Just two weeks from The King of Fighter’s ALLSTAR global version launch, we already have a thriving Reddit community numbering in the thousands. The game’s been out for over a year and a half in Japan, which we thought was terribly unfair for KOF enthusiasts from all over the world, but let’s not dwell too much on the past. We have, at our fingertips, an outstanding mobile adaptation of the legendary fighter franchise, so we’re willing to let the developers at Netmarble off the hook… for now.
Although there is a strong fighting element to KOFA, the mobile version is actually a gacha (and an overwhelmingly good one at that) whose quality of gameplay and content is comparable to games like Saint Seiya Awakening and Epic Seven. Despite the fact that re-rolling for the absolute best characters is a lengthy process, the gacha drop rates are acceptable, while the game is easily playable even if you don’t have the best characters in your collection.
So, is KOFA worth your time? Scroll down to find out.
Classic Arcade Feel, Contemporary Mechanics
Even if you didn’t play any of the KOF games on arcade machines, which you should definitely try or, at the very least, add to your bucket list, the mobile release packs a lot of awesome content and fun mechanics. Naturally, everything looks crisp and polished. The abilities are designed masterfully, the isometric movements add a whole new dimension to fighting, while both punching and kicking feel immensely rewarding. If you’re looking for some good ol’ fighting fun, this is the place to have it.
The fact that you can easily complete all the content without needing a team of full SS tiers is a big win in our book. We don’t want yet another p2w gacha and Netmarble seemed to pay close attention to their player community this time around. One of the best things about KOFA is the way that it uses the background of the franchise. All of the campaign stages are based on some of the most popular versions of the classic game – going from the 1994 release, to the those of 1995, 96, 97, and, so far, the 98 version.
You’ll go from one stage to another within each campaign and, as you probably know by now, when you fully complete a chapter on one of the difficulties, a higher one will be unlocked. If you’re not a story-mode fan, you can skip the dialogue intros altogether. We don’t recommend it, though. The devs have condensed as much of the franchise content as humanly possible and it feels like you’re getting the cliff notes on what’s been going on. As you can see, we’ve almost reached chapter 96 after only several hours into our playthrough.
A Great Gacha That’s Even Better on BlueStacks
Did we mention that playing The King of Fighters ALLSTARS on PC with BlueStacks unlocks a whole new level of gameplay? You don’t have to, but if you’re the kind of player that likes to create their own control schemes and scripts, you should definitely check it out. Those difficult bosses might turn out to be a breeze with BlueStacks. We’re just sayin’. Moreover, Netmarble has done its fair share of quality-of-life improvements we had wish to see on other games.
For example, when you want to select a formation in Story mode, you can have the game select the strongest possible characters in your collection by clicking on CP or “go for style” option. This is incredibly useful, as the game will automatically select the characters that have an elemental advantage in the challenge that lies ahead. Yes, praise Ares, thank you.
After a couple of hours’ worth of gameplay, our team is hyped. We were expecting the devs to rehash some of the enemies we’ve defeated throughout the 90s and early 2000s, but this is not the case. Everything seems to be designed specifically for the mobile platform in terms of adversaries, while the backgrounds are decidedly not boring. This is sort of a bitter pill to swallow for us, since we got used to the same old repeated settings. New players, however, will be spared from having to acquire this weird taste.
We love the fact that you can still juggle out (performing sequential combos on enemies while airborne) your adversaries as is the case with the fighter KOF games. If you find yourself on the receiving end of a spicy rear-whoppin, you can instantly tag out your current fighter with somebody else from your team to break the enemy’s combo. We have to admit that, with regards to game mechanics, KOFA is something definitely new.
Fighting is combined with some of the well-known gacha mechanics you find in traditional mobile RPGs. On paper, it seems confusing, but we guarantee that it works as smoothly as peanut butter and jam. Or bananas and ice-cream. Or pizza and cheese. Netmarble call it a brawler, so we’ll go ahead and credit them with a small innovation.
We simply have to praise the game’s loading times. Sure, we benefit from BlueStacks’ top-tier performance, but even without it, you’ll never, ever feel like loading screens are draining your playtime from you. One last thing we’d like to mention about KOFA is the variety of game modes at your disposal. So far, we’ve been entranced with the story dimension, but, alongside the stages of the chapters, you’ll also find some of the most entertaining side-challenges possible, like punching rocks as fast as possible, or destroying cars with your moves.
They’re not mandatory for progression, yet they’re so fun that you should absolutely do them when one becomes available. If you’re an old-school arcade lover/player, these challenges are going to bring up the adrenaline feels and they’re going to do it big time. We love the fact that the devs give us special event content, as well as the possibility to unlock more game modes as we progress.
The excitement is justifiable with KOFA. From the polished mechanics to the stunning visuals, hefty character collection (around 200, to begin with), and an easy time for f2p players, we’re completely sold on it. If you’re also a fan of the franchise and you like to play The King of Fighters ALLSTARS on PC, don’t hesitate to share your impressions of the game in the comments section below.