GameSpot writes: "The King of Fighters series has offered team-based 2D fighting game competition, in arcades and on multiple console and handheld platforms, for 15 years. But other than the forgettable Maximum Impact series (which used 3D graphics) and a few obscure handheld versions, the series has generally reused the same 2D "sprite" art assets for its characters year after year. Until now. The King of Fighters XII offers a big visual overhaul that introduces huge new character sprites, along with brand-new background stages and music to go with generally solid fighting game action. But in exchange for the new paint job, the console versions of the game come stripped down with limited play modes, a thinner character roster than usual, and serious online problems."