Assuming you have Season 1, 2 + Shadow Jago aka everything the game has to offer up until now
Let me start by saying I somehow missed the original KI games back in the day as a kid so this is the first KI I have ever played and just got it in December, so I have no nostalgia “blinding” me or life long love for the series (Like I do with MK) so I have no reason to lie and say its better than it is.
With that said I would still give this game a 10/10.
It has everything a good fighting game could ever ask for IMO.
You have a fantastic “dojo” mode that is pretty much the single best tutorial in any fighting game ever. It goes over things other tutorials rarely if ever touch on such as crossups, frame data, hitboxes etc. This is amazing. Like I said, I have been playing fighters my whole life but it was always casually until earlier last year, so I had no idea what really any of this stuff was prior, I had heard of it, but didn’t understand it. KI’s tutorial really helps.
Next is the “Combo Assist” option. This is a great thing to have IMO. Learning and understanding KI at first was a little overwhelming, and it does things like combos a bit different than others, and this mode kind of allows you to see how things are supposed to look. That is how I learned the combos. I really didnt get the textual explanations, but after playing the first month with CA on, I understood the combo set up (Opener, linker AD/manual ender etc.) so in just a little time doing nothing but single player modes/Shadow lab, I was able to turn CA off and play the game like everybody else. I actually recently made it to Killer Rank. CA helped me understand the game and combo system better, this is great for other people who may have trouble understanding the combo system at first.
Then we have the other single player stuff like training mode, VS, survival, and story. All are great. So for people out there who don’t play online, the game does have single player content, and survival will surely keep you plenty busy. There is also the Shadow Lab which is a phenomenal mode, this is what I used to “train” for the first month or so. Its like fighting human like AI, but without having to worry about online lag, rage quitters, hate mail, W/L ratio, and just the nervousness that can come with playing against people online that I know some people have. This mode will also keep you busy, and its really fun because all the shadows fought play different. Its great.
The online is also fantastic. You can play ranked (Which has a pretty good ranking system IMO) you can do for fun exhibition matches, or create or join a lobby which is very much like a King Of The Hill style mode, actually its exactly like MK’s KOTH modes if anybody is familiar with that. Lastly is the netcode, which is easily the best I have ever experienced myself. Rarely have I experience disconnects, lag or characters teleporting around the screen. I don’t have the best internet (Thanks to where I live) but my experience with the online has been great so far.
Next is the roster. At this point you have a hefty 18 characters to choose from. Now to some that may not sound like a lot BUT this is not the kind of fighter with a bunch of characters that play almost the exact same way. Just about every character is extremely unique with the most similar being Jago and Shadow Jago, and even they play different still, much more different than say Ryu and Ken from SF (Or Ryu and Evil Ryu)
This part is subjective I will admit, but I feel strongly about this so I will share it. The characters in this game are AWESOME. I am not even talking about their gameplay right now, I am talking strictly design/appearance. If you are like me and have to like something about a character to want to really play and learn them (Whether it be appearance, story, personality, motives etc.) chances are somebody in KI will be to your liking. You have a warrior monk, a native american warrior, an ice alien, a burning man, a robot, a werewolf, a bad ■■■ firecat summoning lady, a mysterious yet awesome spider woman, a war golem, a J-horror inspired ghost girl, a skeleton pirate, a mummy, and much more.
The fighting arenas/stages. Just like the characters in the roster, each one is unique and a pleasure to look at. You have a stage for each character, with Shago and Omen sharing a stage, which is a like a shadow version of Jago’s stage, but other than those two stages each one is unique. The stages have a lot of detail in them, sometimes its fun to just let the game sit so you can kind get a good look at everything and appreciate all of the little details in each one. Great stuff IMO.
The music. I don’t even know what to say about the game’s music. Its (excuse my language) f****** amazing! Even the title screen/theme is awesome. I can literally just sit there and listen to it for a few minutes before I even start playing the game because I like it so much. Each stage also has unique music. Obviously taste in music is subjective and differs person to person, but IMO this game’s sound track is one of the best. Easily the best of any other current or next gen fighting game. No contest.
Next is the actual gameplay. I already spoke about the combo assist and how I believe it helped me learn the game a bit quicker than I would have without it. The gameplay is fun, its fast, its addicting, its accessible, and it feels rewarding. When you get that huge combo in, cash out all that white life in your opponent’s health bar with a damage ender and see that huge chunk disappear it feels good. I also mentioned this earlier but every character is unique. They all have something special to them (Typically their Instinct) whether it be from Spinal’s searing skulls the drain your opponents shadow meter, Jago’s ability to heal himself with his instinct fireballs, ARIA’ 3 “bodies” that she can switch between mid match, or Hisako’s wrath meter. Everybody has something somebody else in the game is not capable of doing. There is much more to the gameplay such as your shadow meter, instinct meter, shadow moves, combo breakers, counter breaker, shadow counters etc. and it may sound like a lot but it isnt bad once you play and start getting the hang of things. The dojo will go over all of it, as will Infil’s amazing guide http://ki.infil.net/. It’s long but I guarantee it can answer just about any question anyone has regarding KI’s gameplay.
So yeah, thats pretty much my “review” I guess lol keep in mind I am not an actual reviewer so this is bound to be riddled with run on sentences, grammatical errors and all sorts of things so don’t pick me apart for it, this is just a little bit of me sharing my thoughts on the game as it is currently lol
TLDR: The game is amazing and I really can’t think of a single thing I dislike about it. So yeah, for me its a 10/10.