The King of Fighters XIII – Classic Iori, First Impressions
While a depowered Iori can still be a beast on the field, let’s face it, without his trademark flames it just doesn’t feel like a complete KOF. Despite the moveset change being an integral part of the story, SNKP plays it smart by bringing back his original incarnation – added with his classic KOF 95 stage and original Arashi no Saxophone theme.
Classic Iori still has the same bag of signature tricks, but now with the newly integrated EX tech he gains some slightly more interesting capabilities:
- EX Dark Thrust (ground fireball) has a temporary paralysis factor, with gradual poison that tacks on 7 additional micro hits. Fans will recognize that this is akin to his old skool super, Eight Wine Cups, only now without the fuss of uber slow startup.
- EX Deadly Flower (triple punches) sends opponents flying at a higher trajectory. This allows the opportunity to connect with the Maiden Masher super in the corner, though the super’s EX version must be used if juggled at midscreen.
- EX Dark Crescent Slash (running face planter) omits the auto dash – going straight into the face palm. This allows an on-the-ground (OTG) hit, ideal for following up after certain attacks and supers in the corner. However, the damage is minimal and is seems more for style points.
- EX Scum Gale (side switch grab) like other enhanced special grabs gains increased range and startup speed.
- EX Demon Scorcher (anti-air), like Kyo’s, does additional hits – acting as a mini super.
Classic Iori also carries an assortment of classic supers, not just the Maiden Masher, but also the return of Bloom of the Wolf – a follow up super that can only be performed after the last hit of Maiden Masher. The additional damage is nothing to write home about as usual (ever since KOF 2002) so spending the plus 1 meter isn’t always advisable. Also added is Yamisogi, an odd choice of a returning super (first and last seen in KOF 2000). Like back in the day, the super has Iori procure two short range, projectile nullifying, flame swipes, followed by a geyser. Why this was done instead of Iori’s more useful instant geyser super from KOF XI is beyond me.
While Classic Iori does maintain the feel and mixup options similar to his OG days (much of his combos from KOF 98 can still be applied), there are a number of differences:
- The last hit of his close standing light kick, forward + light punch, light punch chain can miss if you combo from his back + light kick crossup air attack.
- Forward + light kick doesn’t combo from close standing heavy punch due to its startup.
- Far standing heavy punch can now be chained into forward + light punch, allowing opportunities to hit confirm into Deadly Flower or Maiden Masher.
Much like the rest of the cast, Classic Iori has the potential to deal tremendous damage with HD custom combos. I’ve managed to come up with a nifty one that deals around 800 damage – characters in the game have around 1000 health. Though the timing is tight, from a landed Scum Gale, I’ve been able to inflict a free 782 damage custom, making a full Drive, 3-4 meter toting Iori a higher threat at close range.
While Mortal Kombat has done well enough in ringing in their DLC characters this year, it is without a doubt that SNKP has NetherRealm’s days numbered in the rat race of downloadable content. Classic Iori is a must download for all KOF fans and fighting game enthusiasts. As an in-depth character who’s always had an accessible learning curve (this version is nowhere near being overpowered), newbies who are still struggling with XIII will do well to add the old skool Yagami to their copies. Seriously, it’s worth the five bucks.