Characters now seem to respond quickly and hit hard. The game engine seems to have gotten a big overhaul since last we saw it, and doesn’t feel a lot like past KOF games; more like Mark of the Wolves, really. Blows have weight and substance to them. Some people have commented that character animation has been improved significantly over previous games. It’s hard to tell from the videos, however.
It seems like players now get the chance to pick a team leader before every match, a feature that kind of hints at the way strikers were done in ’99-2001, except in reverse, with the focus being on who’s most important rather than on who’s most disposable. So really, it’s most reminiscent of 2001 (or a modified Capcom vs. SNK 2 – BS).
The intro sequence says the game is “The King of Fighters Episode XI” – which is… a strange thing to claim, if you consider that the previous episode was number 8. “XI”, of course, comes from counting the dream matches; same origin as the actual game title. Thing is, until now only the plot chapters were counted as “episodes”. So. Well. Huh.
Moving on, K’ now apparently has a logo to represent him; that logo is the shadow of Kyo’s eclipsed sun. Curious! There’s also an
androgynous guy woman (thanks Count_Hihihi) with a spear, if you’re more into that kind of symbolism.
UPDATE: Also, the music is some of the highest quality, at least production-wise, SNK has ever put into an original game. Yimminy!