King of Fighters: Maximum Impact – Maniax Review

OK, I’m going to tell you right from the start that King of Fighters: Maximum Impact Maniax (KoF) is strictly for the hardcore fighter crowd. If you’re looking for story, training modes, or even a polished, cohesive feel, you’re not going to find it here. This game is pure 2D fighting – albeit with a 3D look – that’s for those who like trading combos back and forth at a furious pace and are looking for an easy way to demonstrate their skills online on Xbox Live.

When you first start KoF you’ll see right away that you’re in for a game short on presentation. A metallic menu system presents you with a choice of game modes, but that’s about it. Select the training mode and after selecting a character you’re simply dropped into a fight with a computer controlled opponent who doesn’t fight back. There are no tips, instructions, goals, or anything else; you’re just on your own. If you’re a total beginner to King of Fighters good luck to you.

The game’s story mode follows this same barebones approach. Some introductory text scrolls by faster than can be read by most humans which is supposed to serve as the “story’s” set-up. I quote the word “story” because there’s no more story here than a really odd character that pops up to introduce your next opponent while violating half of the laws of English grammar. And so it goes – fight, weirdo, fight. It makes you wonder why they even bothered to include a story mode in the game.

KoF is really just about the fights, which is fine if that’s your thing but if you’re looking for something with a bit more meat to it you’ll have to look elsewhere. The roster of characters is not extensive, but four new ones have been added to the menagerie for this incarnation of King of Fighters. This roster is effectively smaller though due to balance issues between the characters. Some are simply over or under powered, so if you want to win you’ll have a shortlist of characters to play with.