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'Our concept is an easier-to-play King of Fighters than ever before' - KoF14's battle director says players can still perform KoF13-esque combos

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • December 23, 2015 at 11:52 a.m. PST • Comments: 45

4gamer recently conducted a lengthy interview with King of Fighters 14 battle designer Yasuyuki Oda. Though the piece was entirely written in Japanese, EventHubs' own MajinTenshinhan was able to translate in English.

Last time, we learned that King of Fighters 14 is roughly 70% complete with development. This time, Oda discusses the game's fighting system and how it's changed from previous games in the series.

"Our concept is an easier-to-play King of Fighters than ever before," Oda says. "Among our fans, King of Fighters '98, 2002 and 13 seem to be the most highly praised, so we're placing extra care into making sure that players of those three titles will not feel out of place when they play 14."

Though KOF 14 will cater to newcomers in several ways, it seems that the developers are definitely designing aspects that will make veterans feel right at home. For example, players can perform more complex combos -- like those found in King of Fighters 13 -- when they activate MAX mode and use meter.

You can check out the second half of the English translation after the jump.
4Gamer: So, please share some more about the game's system. Up until now in the King of Fighters series, as the number on the game changes, it also brings big system changes with it. What kind of fighting game are you attempting to make, exactly?

Oda: Our concept is "An easier-to-play King of Fighters than ever before". Among our fans, King of Fighters '98, 2002 and 13 seem to be the most highly praised, so we're placing extra care into making sure that players of those three titles will not feel out of place when they play 14.

4Gamer: I only touched the display version at PlayStation Expo lightly, but my impression was that the play feel is very close to King of Fighters '98. The MAX activation (pressing Triangle and X at once when you have more than 1 power gauge) system felt a lot like King of Fighters 2002. But the King of Fighters 13 feel, namely the refreshing feel of it being a combo-oriented game, where exactly is that?

Oda: Just as you were saying, the charm of King of Fighters 13 is the refreshing feeling of pulling off a really good combo using the HD gauge. That was really important in battles, but a lot of people couldn't get used to it and weren't able to learn the game because of it. So this time, we've reworked the MAX activation and super gauge systems, and made them much simpler than before. I suppose you could say that the KoF13-ness of the game only comes out when you go into MAX activation mode.

4Gamer: Could you explain that a bit more intricately?

Oda: First, EX special moves can now only be done while in MAX activation mode. Also, we've made it so that for each character, they have two supers, one MAX super and one ultimate Climax super, which means there are three different levels of power. There are slight differences between characters, EX special moves are easy to use in combos, and can be canceled into different supers, so if you do your research you should be able to grind out some very KoF13-esque combos.

4Gamer: Basically, the more super gauge you have, the bigger combos you can do.

Oda: That's right. Also, your full power gauge and MAX mode time will get longer with the 2nd character, and even longer with the 3rd...

4Gamer: Aah, so by putting characters that are easy to combo with at the very end, you increase your chances of making a comeback, then?

Oda: Indeed. I think that will be a lot of fun for people to experiment around with. That said, though, for beginners it's not going to be so easy to just start mastering all of these cancels, so we've inserted a simplified combo called "RUSH" as well. If you mash Square while close to your opponent, anyone can unleash a combo using meter, so we'd like players to first use this to get the hang of it.

4Gamer: Understood. By the way, wasn't there something similar to Just Defense as well... ?

Oda: Oh, you noticed? We're still testing that out right now, so please stay tuned for details, haha.

4Gamer: There's one more thing that caught my eye. In the trailer, I saw they keywords "Party Battle". What exactly is that?

Oda: King of Fighters 14 is being developed as a consumer game, so we believe increasing the quality of online play to be very important. With this in mind, we felt like we don't just want to have serious fights as online, but a more fun-oriented party-esque mode as well. This is Party Battle, where 6 players join up online, and divide into 2 teams, a mode where you can cheer for your friends. We wanted to simulate the feeling of being in an arcade, surrounded by your friends while you're playing.

4Gamer: I'm looking forward to that. Finally, could you give us a message to the King of Fighters fans of Japan?

Oda: I'm sure a lot of people are feeling "This is a Japanese game, why is it playable to the public in America first?!", which is why we made it a point to announce a lot of characters in the trailer. At some point in the future, we feel like we have to make it available for Japanese players to try out the game, as well. We're definitely going to make it worthwhile, so please stay hopeful.

4Gamer: I'm looking forward to it. Thank you for today.
Source: 4gamer. Mentioned by RYU81.
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