King of Fighters specialist Romance discusses new mechanics like MAX Mode, and shares his overall impressions of King of Fighters XIV

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • December 8, 2015 at 2:37 p.m. PST

Ramon Navarrete Valencia, better known as "Romance" in the fighting game community, is a world class King of Fighters competitor.


Romance visited the PlayStation Experience this weekend, and got his hands on the latest build of the upcoming King of Fighters XIV. Spending a good amount of time getting acquainted with the game, Romance offers us his initial impressions.

"I was excited to see King, and of course the return of Angel, and I'm sure many players will be thrilled by her new appearance, I would like to add that the graphics have been improved and look better little by little...

King of Fighters XIV feels like a mix between '98, 2002 and XIII, and I can't wait to play it again"

There's plenty more as Romance also delves into the specifics of the game's mechanics along with its overall pacing and feel. Hit the jump for more.
Game Mechanics

As is usually the case in fighting games, an integral part of separating a sequel in a series is creating new mechanics. Romance points out the mechanics for XIV, and describes a little bit of what each one does.

"The new Desperation moves, which are XIV's equivalent to KOF XIII's Neo Max moves, and Climax animations are pretty cool to watch, I like them. You can cancel special moves into Desperation moves." He continues on to list some other mechanics:

• MAX Mode: Costs one bar, and allows for unlimited EX moves until "Max mode" is over. You must enter Max Mode in order to perform your Max Desperation move.

• Rush Combo: Auto-mash combos that you can finish with super if you have enough meter. (I DON'T LIKE THIS AT ALL.)

• Just Defense: Didn't find anything specific for this property yet, probably it is not finished. It might give health back or lessen block stun.

• Wall bounces: Combo all the way to the corner after you hit your opponent with a CD hit.

• Jumps: I noticed that KOF XIV still has its four jumps that make the franchise unique, but it has different angles and different timings.
Pace and Feel

Romance noted that the majority of movements and special moves were fairly similar to the previous KOF game, but that there were still enough nuances to give XIV a unique feel.

"I found that walk speeds are a bit slower than in XIII, the run speed was similar, rolls are a bit longer (97 style.) I felt the back dashes were really similar to XIII, keeping the same low invincibility on the startup.

One thing that caught my attention was the feel behind jumping. I wasn't too impressed by the jumps because they were more floaty compared to other KOF games. I hope/expect the work a bit more on that, or maybe is just a new fighting strategy, I don't know...

I felt the movements/hits a bit too soft, the density is different than XIII, similar to 98. That is to say, there is less hit stun when you make contact with your opponent.

I also noticed that some properties of some moves/Desperation moves are now different. As an example, Leona's V-Slasher not being invincible was a surprise to me since this has distinguished Leona for years."
Romance laments that he was not able to explore Rush combos, Just defenses and crouch teching to the extent that he would have liked. He asks anyone that has more information on these to please come forward, as he'd love to hear more about them, (as we all would.)

Finally, Romance sends a shout outs to TC Yoshi and KCO Pedro for streaming and recording as much as they could.

A major, major thank you to Romance for his time and his thoughts. Be sure to follow him on his Twitter as he routinely posts about his KOF experiences and findings.
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