The King of Fighters XV Packs a Punch With Its Huge Roster

Dan reviews the new The King of Fighters XV!

Everyone has their favorites. Some people go out of their way to always get that specific brand or flavor of something, no matter how far they have to go to get it. You’re always going to have some kind of loyalty to your favorite or your first. Fighting games are no exceptions. You’re always going to gravitate towards the series you started with or spent the most time with. For me, it was Tekken. Before I could even walk, my uncle would put me on his lap and play Tekken while my father did other things. Since then, fighting games have been something my brother and I always do together, again, particularly Tekken.

But now, I don’t live with any of them, and I like to try new things as often as I can. When the opportunity to review King of Fighters 15 came about, I pounced on it. It’s a huge series with a gigantic die-hard following. But I had never played a single one. So when I first booted it up and jumped into a match, I had no clue what to expect. What I got, though, was a family-sized can of whoop-ass opened on me. The fighting style featured in KOF 15 is much different than what I’m used to as an avid Tekken and Mortal Kombat player, but learning the new system and combos was a blast. The graphics are fluid enough to make every fighters’ moves look crisp. I played on the PS5 and had no hiccups in my fights at all.

The King of Fighters XV screenshot | Courtesy of Koch Media

What’s most important in a fighting game to me is character selection. I played a match as every single person on the huge roster that sits at 39 characters which is a lot more than most fighter titles from the start. Each character plays uniquely from one another. Recently I’ve been going for quicker characters rather than bulky ones, but I need to note there is a King of Dinosaurs, which is a top-tier fighter design. I ended up finding my sweet spot with Kukri, who has sand-based powers. There are a plethora of characters for you to find your groove, though. They’re all wonderfully designed and colorful.

The game features a unique 3v3 system where you switch as each character is beaten. I enjoyed it a lot more than 1v1 at times because it gave me the chance to get to know all the characters. The arcade mode is rewarding and helps you hone your skills if you were looking to sharpen yourself before heading online.

The King of Fighters XV screenshot | Courtesy of Koch Media

But I don’t love playing fighters online because I grew up playing next to someone on the couch. Being that I was so new to this fighter, my partner said she would play with me. Typically she hates playing fighters because I usually win. But this was the first time where she beat me multiple times. She got her first 2:0 win on me as well because I couldn’t keep up with her. It was a wonderful couch play experience. That’s what really mattered to me, was I going to have fun just playing this with someone on the couch? It passed the test with flying colors.

Now, I don’t think I’m going to be switching over to King of Fighters 15 as my go-to franchise, but I did love the game. The fighting is fast, bright, and fun. With such a large roster, it’s worth picking up, as there is always something new to learn with that number of characters.

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