King of Fighters Wing Shows How Fans Can Create New Innovations
SNK’s King of Fighters series has always had a niche crowd appeal –thanks to the complex move system, not-so-mainstream series (many of the newer players have never even heard of Art of Fighting nor Fatal Fury), and the pretty steep learning curve when it comes to gaining competition level skills in the game. Still, it has a pretty good following, and one of these devout fans is a coder named Flashwing who developed the uber-fun KoF Wing for the browser. Sure, it is a lightweight, watered down flash version of the KoF games, but we prefer to think of it as KoF pocket blitz, wherein you get to enjoy satisfying matches in small doses.
This Deserves an App
Just how good is this game? We think it deserves to get on the mobile to reach a bigger fan-base. Fact is, since this is a fan made, non-SNK licensed game, so we might not be seeing an app version of KoF Wing at all. And besides, Flashwing has already stopped development many years ago. Still, this does not mean that the game does not get bug-checked or upgraded. Wing has plenty of support from various independent developers and fans. But we digress, the point of the matter is: KoF Wing is a fighting game worthy of the hardcore gaming market.
In Depth Combat
What makes the original KoF series so good is the depth of gameplay. From the chain combos to the cancels to everything else, KoF has a myriad of various gameplay elements that come into play whenever skilled players come to head. Wing emulates most of these and despite simplifying plenty of the details (most likely to contend with the limitations of both the Flash medium and the keyboard-centric controls that most players will have), the game still manages to be plenty of fun to play.
One of the advantages of creating a homage game as opposed to creating one’s own characters is the fact that players will instantly recognize these faces. Iori, Kyo, K, Kula, Mai, Terry, and several other major KoF characters make an appearance in this game as playable characters. A few guests, such as Ryu and Chun-Li from Street Fighter, also pop up (players will have to thank Mugen for that one).
Most of the art (main character artwork, and combat sprites) have been taken straight from the Capcom VS SNK game –which means that those of you who loved the original arcade smash hit would instantly recognize plenty of the visuals. There are also a few original characters as well, just to spice things up.
One of the reasons why KoF Wing is such a hit among fans is the fact that it has an online mode. Yep, with this game, you can connect with hundreds of players across the world and pit your fighting game skills against them. The community is wide and active, discussing everything from safe moves, to combos, to characters that they would love to see in the next game update. Of course, if you are new to the game, do expect to get schooled quite a lot in your first few games (unless you have had plenty of practice or experience with the game). So we do suggest playing solo for a while just so you can get oriented to the controls and overall feel of the game.
Easy to Play
Despite the high mastery level required for this game, playing solo is not so bad. The starting stage AI is still aggressive and accurate, but still hangs back a little in order to allow new players to get used to the gameplay. Get a few more stages in and you will be faced with opponents who will truly polish your fighting game skills. Thanks to the not-so-steep hardware requirements, even players on a humble netbook would be able to play this game (but we still suggest playing on a desktop rig since getting in-game lag would be detrimental to your enjoyment.
Most importantly, the ability to play with other players makes for an engaging and encouraging atmosphere. After all, King of Fighters Wing’s online competition mode is always a great way to increase one’s own talent.