The King of Fighters XII is a pure arcade fighting title. Like a few other releases in its franchise it does not contain a storyline, instead focusing on the tried and true 3-on-3, five round team fighting gameplay mechanic. Far from a liability, the lack of storyline plays into the fighting mechanic by eliminating official teams linked to the prevailing story, which in earlier releases compromised the characters that could be added to a team. In addition, the game also features new combat elements including the "Critical Counter" system which opens up the possibility of additional linked attacks and finishing moves when players land effective counter punches following an opponent's attack, and "Clash Timing," a break effect during a bout that separates combatants when they land blows on each other at the exact same time.
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