The art style of Street Fighter IV is definitely something to write home about, but all of us above the age of 20 were still halfway sad to see the (numbered part of the) series finally abandon its 2D roots (yes, I understand Arika and the EX series exist, and as much as I enjoyed it, it’s still an off-shoot… that can be a story for another time).

Holy Hell, SNK/Playmore is totally keeping 2D alive with &%#$ing STYLE.

King of Fighters XII

The King of Fighters XII is looking to totally blow the socks off of us 2D-fighter fans. Game Trailers has the latest preview video up for viewing, and it’s sexy as Hell. This game is going to be an amazing complement to have alongside all of the 3D fighters we either already have (Soul Calibur IV) or are coming soon (Street Fighter IV).

My history with the KoF series is a little all over the place. I was very casual about it up until around 1998, and then got incredibly hardcore with it (well, “hardcore” for me). After 2000, though, the games all started bleeding together for me… not to mention the bosses got slightly ridiculous both in style and cheapness (seriously, Goenitz… bite me). ’99 was probably my favorite game in the series thus far. I know a lot of the seriously-hardcore fans have a problem with the striker system, but the specific characters that were in the game, the backgrounds, and the music (oh god, the awesome music!) are what really sell the game for me. I also dipped into the Maximum Impact series, and thoroughly enjoyed 2006 / Maximum Impact 2 despite its transition into quasi-3D.

There’s not much of a point to this entry other than to check in with you all and see what your hype level is for the upcoming fighters… and specifically, KoF. Who’s really digging the updated style for the series? Who’s picking up the American release of ’98 Ultimate Match on LIVE Arcade, and/or already picked it up on PS2?

I’ve got some more SNK love coming for you soon with some talk about a game I finally picked up for myself on Neo-Geo Pocket Color…