The wait is over. Well, at least for fighting game heads over in Japan. SNK's long awaited "rebirth" of their legendary fighting game series will finally descend upon us with King of Fighters XII, starting in Japanese arcades on April 2009.
Knocking down the classic visuals from the series, XII will feature one of the most amazing 2D cel-shading animations you will ever see--all hand-crafted with traditional pixel art, quite similar to the graphics in Sammy's fighting game, Guilty Gear X. But, coming back from traditional franchise roots is the 3-on-3 elimination rounds, which is a welcome return to the series.
Game producer Masaaki Kukino said the following about the new graphics in King of Fighters XII, according to Gamespot's report:
"Each character in KOFXII has around 400 to 600 [sprite] patterns. Every single one of them is hand-drawn, and it's something that we're proud of. I'll only say it here, but we believe that this is something that no other company can imitate, something that only SNK Playmore can do,"
We hope that this title arrives soon enough here after its Japanese debut--our fingers are itching for some brand new "Power Geyser" animations. On a related note, King of FIghters '98 will make its Xbox Live Arcade debut sometime this fall.