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Killer Instinct (PC)
Member Name: AverageJoseph
Killer Instinct (PC)
Date: 18/07/12, updated on 26/07/12 (49 review reads)
Advantages: Characters, Graphics (for the time), Leader-boards, Music, Difficulty
Disadvantages: Combo Breakers, Eyedol, Difficulty
The first console I owned was the fabled Super Nintendo Entertainment System or 'SNES' as it would later be dubbed. For my birthday, the special edition SNES was accompanied with the brutal fighting arcade game 'Killer Instinct'. Now I must have only been around 7 when I acquired it, which admittedly would be frowned upon by todays standards considering the games violent nature, but its impact was great enough to push me into the world of video gaming. As soon as I slammed the cartridge into the console, saw the RARE logo, hear the atmospheric music grow in stature as a masculine voice muttered "KILLRR INSHTEENKT" I wet myself in excitement. Killer Instinct was originally an arcade only game, where you'd use the retro joysticks and bash away at the buttons - which is pretty much what the game is about for beginners as mashing the controller can prove fruitful during early fights on low difficulties. Of course, veteran gamers will no better or even frown upon such insolence! With a wealth of varying characters and button combinations to train up on, KI is worth the odd friendly 1v1 with a friend..
All combatants have their own move-sets and can be lightly customised prior to selection (you can scroll through different colour outfits and shades). Leaving the game on the 'start game' screen, often provides in depth biographies of the characters, including the usual spiel of age, height and weight. Plus, each one has their own leader-board section that, should you do well enough using a particular character, saves your 3 initials like the traditional arcade game. Each character has their own unique map which makes for more diverse imagery that goes ignored as you focus on beating someones skull in - fight on building tops, ice fields, gyms, bridges and industrial, blood soaked arenas.
Jago - a ninja with a sword, mostly screams "HYAA!", does loads of uppercuts, kicks and fires greens stuff.
Combo - a hench black guy in a boxer outfit, seemingly the most realistic of the fighters.
Spinal - a skeleton equipped with a sword and shield who can teleport and wears a headband - awesome!
Thunder - some sort of shirtless Indian American who has a mohawk and throws tomahawks.
Glacious - a weird gloop of washing up liquid that turns into a puddle like alex mack and makes spikes appear.
Fulgore - the only synthetic opponent, also teleports, fires electricity and loves the odd uppercut.
Cinder - my personal favourite, an experiment who fires lasers and turns into a fire-bolt during combos.
Sabrewolf - this 50-50 creature has a move that leaves him vulnerable but also possesses the biggest combo.
Orchid - the only female of the group, she uses light sabre things and morphs into a golden jaguar - nice!
Riptor - a velociraptor - enough said.
Newbies would be better off altering the difficulty in the options first as it starts on 4 out of 6 stars which is a harsh introduction. You can also edit the pre-mapped controls which is a pleasant touch. Other than options, you can choose to player 1, 2 player or a tournament/practice game - this means you can fight all the characters as ai or your friends. Make the most of the 20 seconds gifted to make your decision on which fighter to control and prepare for bloodshed - 'FIGHT OFF!' Like similar fighting games you can use the directional pad to aim your attacks (e.g up-jump, down-low) and hold back to block incoming threats. On the SNES you can use the standard 4 buttons as well as the bumpers, utilizing different kicks and punches at first, soon stringing together majestic combos (see title). What it comes down to is a quick trigger finger, a good memory and timing since you need to move fast, recall long button combinations and either make a break for a finishing blow or withdraw and block while you get ready to unleash more devastating attacks. The players have 2 life bars (like Mortal Kombat) and once they're both gone, a victor stands with either a small chunk of their own or full, in which case you'd be welcomed with a sneaky little victory image and as a heavy voice announces "SUPREME VICTORY... PERFECT!". Aslo like MK, when an opponent is done for, they stagger about in a death pose for several seconds, just waiting for you to put them out of their misery - which you can be merciful and do swiftly, or enter secretive finishing moves for a drawn out or eccentric execution. To be honest though, I could never figure out the special moves and just tried to hit them into the sky as they could fall of the platforms, plummeting several stories before hitting the ground, a car or lava ;)
Looking back, it was a revelation in graphics as the fighters looked fantastic and moved smoothly, but the lifespan of the game was pretty much over when you completed the single player mode, defeating that b*stard final boss 'Eyedol'.. even with the sarcastic 'congratulations' displayed when you win, daring you to up the difficulty isn't very appealing. Though it is short, the 2 player fights are certainly worth sticking around for, though there is often a gap in technical ability as someone who has got the gist of the game will often reign supreme over new gamers. That said, avid gamers will enjoy the record keeping, typing their name in for a high score in points, name among kill kings, or even speed demons.. Plus it has a badass theme song...
Summary: Not as difficult as Mortal Kombat, but still a real challenge