Thursday, 20 August 2009

King of Fighters XII - Game Guides [BradyGames and Hobby Japan Mook]

So as we all know by now, King of Fighters XII has been released in both the US and Japan.
With the release of the game we also got two language versions of the guide, one being published by BradyGames and the other by Hobby Japan.

I decided to get both, as i had read alot of positive things about the American guide and the Japanese guide looked too good to pass up on.
Having received them both over the past week i just wanted to post up my initial impressions of each guide.

First up, as i did receive it first and therefore had more time to browse through, is the Japanese version by Hobby Japan.

Hobby Japan Mook - The King of Fighters XII Official Guide:

Unfortunately, as you might expect from buying a Japanese version of a guide, if your Japanese isn't pretty decent you may or may not get much out of this one.
The layout and design of this as expected of Mooks is exceptionally good, everything is laid out clearly and is well presented.
The guide opens with explanations of the game modes and explaining the various bits and pieces about the game. It then goes on to game's system, such as critical counter, sousai (aka: deadlock/clash), and even has a diagram showing the different angles of jumps.

Next is of course the various character guides, which seem to be in fair bit of depth, not being able to read Japanese fluently i can't say for sure how well things are explained. But it is presented with pictures of what you basically want to know anyway.

So as you can see to the right it basically shows which button to press to select the character colour, the basic attacks, damage details, etc. It also goes into various combos, advanced tactics, and this is pretty much where you realise you need to learn Japanese...
With basic Japanese and Kanji skills i think you'll still be able work out the combos, as it does show you pictures but all the advanced stuff is pretty difficult to read.

You then get to the Database section of the guide, which lists various frame data for characters and also the win quotes for each individual character as well as the voice data.
As i'm not really an expert in either Japanese nor frame data i can't actually tell you how good this is, so check out the (rather blurry) photo to the left.
From what i can actually read it lists the damage, how to guard and i assume the rest is recovery frames for each individual character.

Finally the end of the guide shows conceptual art for XII including the initial pixel art for each character, unused character sprites and concepts for new characters, mid/final boss characters and alternate costumes for characters.
There's some interesting stuff here, and it's also what originally made me want to buy this guide.

Out of them all i was most interested in this character to the left here, who looks like some kinda of fusion between Kyo Kusanagi and Shen Woo.
There's are quite a few characters however which looks a bit out of place and it's probably a good thing they never made the cut.
There are some other more interesting bits like how they had planned to possibly give Elizabeth her own team of characters, not sure how this would tie into the story but i'm sure we'll all find out in XIII.

I think that's pretty much everything i can say right now about the Japanese guide, so let's move onto the BradyGames one.

BradyGames Official Strategy Guide - The King of Fighters XII.

Ok, so the first thing i picked up about this guide is that presentation wise, it's not really as good as the Japanese version. It does seem to me they wasted a bit of space with large unnecessary images which could have used to show pictures of the combos like the Japanese guide.
Even the paper doesn't feel as nice, but that's just me being picky.

Having said that though, the actual content is what matters and it is indeed very good.

I think that both newbies and existing players of KOF will find this guide incredibly useful, and i highly recommend getting this guide if you're serious about playing KOFXII competitively.

It firstly gives an explanation of the terminology used for this game, basic game system information and also a brief history of the KOF series.
Also things such as team structure, super damage, and pretty much everything you will need to get started is explained here. As i've already mentioned i think for anyone completely fresh to the series will find the information here very useful.

Then like the Japanese guide it has dedicated sections for each character. There's a basic introduction to the character, you're shown all individual moves (along with their properties/damage), and then the attack strategy section.
In this particular section you're taught which moves you would probably want to use to poke or use to move into the opponent at different depths. (Seperated of course by long, middle, short.)
There is then a combo useage section which explains in some detail about the combos, and how to use them most effectively.
Each character section ends with advanced tactics and a combo appendix.

Having played KOFXII in the arcade for a few months before the console release, i still learnt quite alot from this part of the guide, it even shows and explains some of the stuff you may not figure out immediately by yourself. Such as the cancel frames for Shen Woo's specials, and Kim's instant hishoukyaku.

The final part of the guide explains the various different trophies/gamer achievements and tips on how to get them.

Unlike the Japanese guide though it isn't loaded with frame data or extras like the conceptual art, i'm not sure why but it's a shame that it is missing from this guide. Although i don't tend to use frame data it would've been nice if it had been included too.

Overall out of the two guides, i would probably be more inclined to recommend the American guide more if you cannot read Japanese.
Though if you can read Japanese then the Hobby Japan version may be better, but if you have the cash to spare just get both.

You can pick them both up on Playasia here and here, with the American guide being the cheaper of the two.
But also to note, the American guide does in fact have a UK price on the back so it may well end up being released over here via Amazon or other online stores, just for those of you who might not want to import.

Any questions about either guide, leave a comment and i'll get back to you about it.

(Also i realise the photo quality isn't great, but as i don't have a dedicated digicam at the moment phone quality images will have to do for now unfortunately...)


  1. Nice write up. I think I'll be content with the American Guide as you (and may others have stated) it is well written with valid information for anyone that wants to pick up XII.

  2. kof is an infiny thing ;) i m a combo maker chek my site for great combos ;)