Xuan Dou Zhi Wang (炫斗之王, "The King of Dazzling Fighters", tentatively translated for an international audience as "King of Combat") is an online PC fighting game published by Tencent. The game's first Beta build has been available since 2011 in China via digital download. It is considered a still in-development game and hasn't received a proper release.
The game draws important influence from the King of Fighters series, both in gameplay and art design. It is generally considered the development of the game responds to the need of Chinese players to be able to play The King of Fighters (or at least something "similar") at home, since video game consoles sale was banned in China by the time.
On April 2013, Tencent confirmed a strategic alliance with SNK Playmore, developers of the King of Fighters series, and the first step was including characters Terry Bogard and Benimaru Nikaido as guest fighters for the game. The two characters were added playable to the game on August 2013.
The game's distinctive visual style consists on sprites over 3D backgrounds. The character sprites are created via 3D models later photographed and retouched the give the appearance of traditional 2D sprites. That also allows the designers to include alternative skins (alternate costumes) for the characters, which are included via updates.
On September 2013, iOS and Anroid version of the game was announced, however it departs from the gameplay of the PC version and plays instead as a 1-player beat 'em up game:
A beat'em up spinoff called "Tian Tian Xuan Dou"(天天炫斗, "Fighting Days") was released on iOS and Android. The game features Brazel, Ell Blue and Kaoru Kuraki as playable characters. An all-new character, Catherine, was recently released.
The gameplay is straight taken from games like The King of Fighters '97 and The King of Fighters '98. It consists of the same 4-buttons layout, including the ability to perform short and super jumps, rolls and strong attacks ("blowbacks"); throws are performed by pushing the two punch buttons together, however. A maximum of 3 Super gauge levels are attainable. Pushing light kick and heavy punch together puts the character in the MAX mode where its damage is increased and is able to perform an improved version of a supermove.
Single and team battles (3 vs 3 fighters; either six players, each one of them controlling a fighter, or two players, each one controlling three) in the King of Fighters fashion are available.
The game is downloaded and installed in the PC. But it cannot run without the computer being connected to the internet, in order to connect with the Tencent servers. Ranked single battles and the option to create rooms to sustain matches are included, as well as single player modes including a 1-player arcade mode and bonus stages of breaking barrels (similar to Street Fighter II) or play an adventure mode resembling a beat 'em up game.
There are "missions" to complete every day (for example, beating arcade mode once or sustaining 5 team battles) that grant experience points and "Point coupons", to rent or buy characters and costumes at the game store ("Shop").
Users win experience to unlock new fighters, and they can train each one of their characters to upgrade their skills, and unlock a powerful "Hidden" supermove by reaching character level 30.
Updates with new characters, costumes and game modes are added every 1 or 2 months, as well as patches with changes in balance of character moves and their properties.
In year 20XX, a meteor called The Messiah landed in Peru, carrying with it mysterious "CORE crystals", containing a microscopic form of life called "The EVA". United Nations formed a group of scientists called the CRD ("CORE Research and Development") in order to obtain and investigate the properties of the CORE. The CORE is a life form in the middle of a virus and a compound, and it can bond to living hosts. The first contact with the scientists ("First Baptism") was lethal, but after discovering the CORE is a potential unlimited source of energy, they developed a way to create Human-EVA hybrids, granting amazing powers to the subjects of the test.
In China, the powerful Fung Family (or "Maple Group") consortium decided to begin its own line of investigations, but found problems on getting their own CORE samples. That changes when a mysterious sect called "SHINE" appears and offers them an amount of CORE crystals, with unknown intentions.
Realizing only the strongest subjects can resist the bond with the CORE crystals, the Fung Family announces a worldwide fighting tournament called the XD Tournament, and lots of martial artists in representation of different organizations sign up to win the prizes.
The first build of the game was launched with five characters in the initial roster. Later updates have been adding up more characters. As of October 23, the character list is the following:
- Ell Blue (艾尔.布鲁 Aier Bulu) The original protagonist of the game, an agent of the CRD whose goal is becoming the next leader of the organization. He has the power to produce lighting and tracks down other EVA hybrids in order to absorb their powers.
- Brazel (布雷泽 Bùléizé) The Spanish President of the SHINE sect, and an EVA-Hybrid himself with the power over chaos flames, he has the secret intention to destroy humanity.
- Kaoru Kuraki (仓木薰 Cang Mu Xun) A Japanese pop idol, she is secretly an android, created by LSAI (Life, Science and Artificial Intelligence) to be the perfect girl. She has the power of creating kinetic energy. In Fighting Days, she utilizes a pair of pistols and special firearms.
- Shanwoo (玄武 Xuandu) An underground fighter from a minority ethnic hill tribe in Yunnan. He enters the tournament for revenge, after the CRD closed a factory he maintained to support poor children.
- Tsukikage Arashi (月影 岚 Yueying Lan) A mutant created by the CRD experiments, as a failed product of a CORE experiment. He's become psychotic and put under the orders of Ell Blue.
- Yan (赤炎 Chi Yan) Heir of the Fung Family and the second EVA Hybrid to be created. He has the power to create and release blasts of fire and is the second protagonist of the game.
- Claire Fox (克莱尔 Kelaier) A British college student member of the European division of the Fung Family, and Yan's ex-girlfriend. She is an EVA Hybrid with the power to create ice and freeze her opponents.
- Ameth (紫瞳 Zi Tong) A fox spirit in the form of a beautiful woman. She needs to consume powerful souls in order to attain immortality in the eve of a "Milennial Event".
- Legend (雷煌 Lei Huang) Related to the Fung Family by marriage, he's an old martial artist who exiled himself in the mountains after being possessed by an evil spirit and killing some members of his family.
- Ray (雷岳 Lei Yue) A wrestler from the military, he gets in the tournament to investigate and report to the Chinese Army. He's secretly Legend's younger brother, who survived his attack, and now wants to take revenge on him.
- Dragon (龙 Long) A crime-fighting jeet kun do exponent, based on Bruce Lee.
- Prayuth (巴狱 Bayu) A young muay Thai champion who began as a poor kid in the slums. He gets in the tournament to have a rematch with Ameth, who previously defeated him.
- Panda (胖达 Panda) A scientist investating the CORE that was mutated into a giant panda.
- Lee Won Hee (李媛熙 Li Yuanxi) A young Korean girl who practices taekwondo and enters the tournament hoping to win the prize and save her family dojang during an economic crisis in her country.
- Linn (琳恩 Lin En) A Taiwanese schoolgirl who practices karate and is proficient with ki control. She enters the tournament after knowing she could eat food from all the world.
- Wuxie (百里无邪 Baili Wuxie) A young Chinese-American who enters the tournament trying to reconnect with his roots.
- Shirley (雪莉 Xueli) A high-ranked SHINE secretary, and an EVA Hybrid with the ability to create gusts of wind.
- Sheva (蛇吻 Shewen) An effeminate hairdresser from Western Europe, who attacks using poisonous perfume.
- CoolB (酷比 Ku Bi) An interdimensional traveller from the "QQ" dimension. He takes the form of a little kid and has the power to set and burst "sugar bombs".
- Cloud (云飞 Yunfei) A soldier from the CRD Black Guards, he's in charge of the security of the event and fights using army weapons including guns, knives, and even rocket launchers.
- Jack (杰克 Jiékè) An English swordsman that worked as a thief and infiltrator. He enters to the tournament looking for the whereabouts of Odin, his stepfather, who was apparently abducted by the Fung Family.
- Ruriy (琉璃 Liuli) A Tao exorcist with magic abilities who enters the tournament to dispel evil energies she feels within.
- King (劲 Jin) A young martial artist with ki abilities, and third protagonist of the game, that enters to the tournament with the sole purpose of winning.
- Ciel (雪儿 Xuěr) A Chinese girl who is Claire's cousin and King's friend, and fights in rollerskates.
- Xeno (希诺 Xīnuò) The German CRD representative, who fights aided by a pair of mechanical gloves.
- Blast (公子烈 Gōngzǐ Liè) A musician that fights attacking with his guitar.
- Seal (商之溟 Shāng Zhī Míng) A music composer and friend with Blast, uses his ice-imbued guitar to fight.
- Andrei (安德烈 Āndéliè) A Russian professional boxer.
- Kuya (九夜 Jiǔyè) A Chinese swordsman from Macau. He's the steward for Yan's family.
- Crazy Brazel (觉醒布雷泽 Juéxǐng Bùléizé, lit. "Awakened Brazel") Unplayable powered-up version of Brazel, and boss of the game.
At first, the game was received with skepticism or derision from Chinese players, that considered it a shameless knock-off of The King of Fighters series. After it was reported to Western media for first time, it received similar criticism.