SNK Playmore's signature 2D fighting series returns to arcades with a complete graphical overhaul in King of Fighters XII. The focus on new hand-drawn, high-definition sprites means that King of Fighters XII includes a roster of only 20 characters, and the series' practice of pulling in fighters from other popular SNK franchises has been largely abandoned, though Raiden from the Fatal Fury makes an appearance. The premise and gameplay of the series remain largely intact though, as gamers once again take control of a team of three fighters and battle through a series of five-round bouts. The game does introduce a new "critical counter" system, whereby fighters who land a strong punch from close range are given a short period of time in which to string together multiple attacks and perform a finishing move. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide