Dou Zhi Wang / King of Combat
In the year 20XX, an asteroid that later would be called "The
Messiah" landed in Peru, South America. Energy issued by the impact was
even larger than the Tunguska event, which resulted in a couple of days with
"White Nights" after the event. Luckily, the surrounding areas were
almost all jungle and there were few casualties. This incident became known the
After the incident, United Nations sent a group of
professionals to inspect the area, since during those times the radiation caused
biological mutations. The discovery led to the neighboring area being sealed and
placed in quarantine. The Peruvian Government increased security in nearby
areas, and equally throughout the country, in addition, monitoring any activity
that may occur at the site of impact.
The character selection
screen as of August 2013.
Xuan Dou Zhi Wang
(which translates to King of Combat) is a free-to-play Chinese fighting
game produced by Tencent Games. The game is in a closed beta phase, currently
exclusive to Chinese servers. After SNK announced the playable appearances of Terry Bogard and
Benimaru Nikaido back in April 2013, interest in the title quickly spread.
Early on, the game was swiftly dubbed a "King of Fighters
knock-off" due to the familiar character designs and gameplay. However, there is
actually a legitimate reason for this: In
China, video game consoles are
ever since the year 2000.
not uncommon to see systems make their way into China through Hong Kong and
Taiwan... but even so, the Chinese have
to develop alternative products to
meet the needs of its
market. The development of Xuan
Dou Zhi Wang
in a way reflects the
wishes of Chinese gamers to play something
at least "similar" to
King of Fighters at home.
Another interesting fact: Tencent was
a developer for the canceled KOF
project (The King of
from a few years back.
King of Fighters
inspired, yes... but XDZW has a very unique visual style of its own.
So it's interesting that Tencent is now working
Playmore in this
"strategic alliance". Now with the exposure
from SNK, the chance of an official widespread launch of the game
is more possible than before. On April
18th, Tencent announced that
in the second quarter of 2013
they will release the game for the Windows 8 platform, meaning tablets and
phones running Windows 8 will be compatible with the game.
However, an actual "physical" version of the game has yet to be announced.
As a 2D fighter, Xuan
Dou Zhi Wang
quickly distinguishes itself in a variety of ways. The high resolution 2D sprites
were originally created with polygons and later retouched by hand to give them
a more "2D style" appearance.
In motion, it's definitely a very unique-looking fighter. The style
resembles KOF XIII in some ways, but is also very fluid and
stands out on its own. If you ask me, XDZW's characters have the
coolest and most "stylized" walking animations I've seen in a really
long time. No doubt, XDZW's animation is top notch; I'd even go as far as
to say XDZW's animation is more aesthetically pleasing than most
"mainstream" 2D fighting games of this generation. Put that in your
pipe and smoke it, Capcom! (This coming from a fan since the late 80's).
Several characters also have alternate costumes
(unlockable through points in the game), which is very rare for a 2D fighting game of this
nature, and certainly a treat.
A Kung Fu Panda knock-off
is also in the game.
you might've expected, the gameplay is eerily similar to King of Fighters. Along with traditional 1-on-1
3-on-3 team matches are also possible. There are four buttons: Punch, Kick, Weak Attack, and Strong Attack. Many
gameplay trademarks of KOF also make the jump to Xuan Dou Zhi Wang, including: Rolling & dodging,
short jumps & high jumps, the
super meter, double super moves (SDMs), and the ability to cancel
supers. Needless to say, if you're a KOF player, you'll feel right at
home (in some weird way).
One of the few ways where XDZW differs from KOF is that grabs are performed by hitting 2 buttons (similar to the Street
series). There are also some Custom
Combo possibilities (comparable
to KOF 2002 and KOF
On-screen, easy access hot keys
are also available, which are basically 1-button special moves - or special
abilities like throwing or running. Also worth mentioning, XDZW has
easy button configurations (even in Chinese), plus a handy
Currently, XDZW is
basically a constant "work in progress". Tencent games continues to add
characters to the title every so often via online updates. The main menu of the
game feels very "alive," featuring moving artwork
(similar to something you'd see in a motion graphic novel). This artwork rotates
when a new character is released. The main menu hosts quite a few different
online & offline modes to experiment with, along with your
customizable player profile which tracks your progress (and EXP points).
Weekly, different characters become unlocked - and on the flipside,
others become locked. Players can permanently unlock their favorite characters
by acquiring them through points (although this requires quite a lot of level grinding). Also worth mentioning: The main menu features
random songs when you log-in... and I do mean "random" quite
These full-length songs can range from a heavy metal track, to a jazzy Kesha hit, to a Kung-Fu Fighting rap
remix, to some really weird Chinese rap.
Literally every time I boot up the game, I hear a new song. It keeps things
interesting at least; but on the flipside, oftentimes the music doesn't quite mesh with the game
So far, I'm definitely enjoying Xuan Dou Zhi Wang... and I'm intrigued to see
if it'll come to any sort of "finished" state, followed by a
worldwide. Even though the gameplay and some character designs appear to be
"knock-offs" in one way or another, Xuan Dou Zhi Wang's
characters do at least succeed at being interesting in more ways than one. The game's cool art
style and crisp 2D graphics also grabbed my attention from the start... and
honestly, it's a really beautiful 2D fighter (and thanks to the cool graphics
style, the character sprites actually appear more 3D than 2D). It's also
pretty exciting game to be playing at the moment, especially with the monthly
updates constantly keeping it fresh.
||PC, Windows 8
||Yan, Ell Blue, Claire
Fox, Brazel, Ameth,
Kaoru Kuraki, Tsukikage
Arashi, Ray, Long,
Panda Wojownik, Cool
Lee Won Hee, Legend,
Bogard, Benimaru Nikaido, King,
Blast, Seal, Andrei
of Fighters XIII, Rumble Fish, Legend of Raven, Chaos
Code, Under Night In-Birth, Battle Fantasia,
Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma, Guilty
Gear Xrd -SIGN-, Ultra
Street Fighter 4, Tekken Revolution, Dengeki
Bunko Fighting Climax
Story / Theme
Music / Sound Effects
Options / Extras
Intro / Presentation
Replayability / Fun
I started playing Xuan Dou Zhi Wang on August
29th, 2013. Upon booting up the game on my PC, I was treated to a cool
comic-style intro (and was rather impressed by the quality artwork). At the time I jumped
in to XDZW, the game
began in a Tutorial with King as the main character, whom is basically a pure Chinese bootleg of Ryu...
Perfect if you ask me, since my Hadouken and Shoryuken skills on
keyboard need some brushing up! (Haven't used a keyboard to play a fighting game
since my Kaillera / Online
MAME days - circa 2002-2003. I need to invest in a PC controller... looking
into that soon).
Anyhow, XDZW's beginning tutorial / "beat-em-up" style mode
pleasantly surprised me in a few ways. For one, XDZW's tutorial features quite a few unique characters that don't even appear on the
character roster, and a ton of dialogue (that I can't read)!
On the bright side: Even though all the text is Chinese, the gameplay basics are a walk in the park
for any 2D fighting game player. I always thought more 2D fighters should
feature a halfway respectable "beat-em-up" mode as a bonus... in XDZW's
case, it works very naturally as a tutorial.
Overall, XDZW feels like a mix of KOF and Street
Fighter... it's easy to play, and nice to look at, too. The 2D/3D graphics are
impressively sharp and very pleasing to the
eye (although the game unfortunately doesn't run in full screen on my HD
monitor). Xuan Dou
Zhi Wang definitely has a very distinguishable visual style, which isn't an easy thing to
pull off these days, mind you.
After playing for a few hours, it was clear to me that XDZW is a game made by fighting game fans... for fighting game fans. There's
clearly a lot of
heart packed into the game, even in its incomplete state. For example, there are a lot of small details to appreciate, such as characters screaming out
their special moves in alternate "tones"... (sometimes with a lower
voice, sometimes with a higher one). Haven't seen that effect used since the
Once again, I'm definitely enjoying playing XDZW from time to
time. The fact that the game requires so much level grinding to unlock costumes
& characters is a little discouraging, but the rewards are usually worth it.
Continue to stay tuned for my "full" review of XDZW / King of Combat (still in
And don't forget to check out the TFG character profiles for more artwork and
info on the characters! Finally, if your interested obtaining a beta key to play
posted a new tutorial on how to get one.