This popular fighting franchise is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and as part of the festivities, the series has gotten a new game for mobile devices. The King of Fighters ALLSTAR isn't just a quick grab for attention though. The side-scrolling beat 'em up game is a highly polished, action-packed stroll down memory lane that's easy to pick up, but ridiculously hard to put down. The gameplay is fluid, fast, and responsive, with a lot of flashy effects and attention to detail that makes it feel less like a mobile game and more like an old school trip to the arcade. It's some button-mashing fun at its finest. There's plenty of solo content to fight through in the game's robust Story mode and its various Battle modes. And arcade fans will have fun pitting their best teams against the teams of other players in the game's multiple online Match modes and Tournaments.
Outside of the combat, there's a lot of content to take in. It can get a bit overwhelming sometimes, as players have to constantly manage their ever-growing roster of fighters. Whether it's leveling them up, upgrading their stats and abilities via an RPG-like (role-playing game) skill tree, or equipping things like assist characters, battle cards, or other such options, there's almost always some way to tweak and improve your characters. Of course, doing this is likely to burn through a lot of resources, encouraging people to either grind through a never-ending list of in-game challenges or to shell out some real-world cash to pick up a boost from one or more of the microtransaction bundles available in the shop. These offers are helpful, but thankfully not necessary to get a lot out of the game. Instead, The King of Fighters ALLSTAR comes across as a true celebration of an iconic series, and a great addition to a franchise that continues to prove itself time and again over the years.