Review by DandyQuackShot
The Mortal Kombat-Street Fighter Mix Game
Killer Instinct was another arcade port to the Super Nintendo that in my best comparison is a fighting game that mixes the combination attacks of Street Fighter with the brutality and pitfalls of Mortal Kombat. One could say there is not a lot of originality owed to Killer Instinct but it still is a unique fighting game and I do not mean just for its sleek black instead of gray Super Nintendo cartridge. It is hard to put violence and Nintendo in the same sentence but if you were born before the age of Pikmin then you have undoubtedly run across such a game as Killer Instinct. For me there were plenty of violent games for the old NES but quite a few can claim that Killer Instinct was one of the first violent games they ever played. Even checking out the commercial for the Super Nintendo version of this game is quite a treat with plenty of rebellious kids getting walked in on by their parents while playing Killer Instinct. How rebellious us kids were back then...
Next to Primal Rage, Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, and Time Killers, I don't remember ever playing Killer Instinct at the arcade so my first experience was probably renting it as a Super Nintendo game. Of course, now that I picked it up from various Saturday sales at the bargain store it has become part of my SNES collection. For me fighting games have run their course and there is just no recapturing the awesomeness and first time experiences of playing these games at the arcade. For the console you got to play the games without burning your quarters up so you could discover all there was to these games and that just took the fun out of it. Killer Instinct still holds a few surprises with a challenging fighting system where combination attacks are key to victory and some very corny endings.
Fighting is basically the same as every other fighting game with two rounds if you can defeat your opponent twice or three if you screw up once. These rounds end once an opponent's life bar goes completely down but the other fighter's life bar will remain where it was. So most of the time you end up having to fight about three rounds. Tables can turn quickly if you are able to throw in some button pressing combos on your opponent and one can go from 0 to 80 hits with plenty of skill. The great thing about Killer Instinct is that there is a practice mode to learn all of the combos on as well as other moves. Most of the characters pack some sort of weapon whether it be a sword or dual wielding axes. So as the moves for each character are basically the same there are unique techniques with each character.
On the multiplayer side, this was probably the fighting game to get for the console. If you had friends over you could put on a Killer Instinct tournament by choosing up to eight human players and dishing out the mayhem in a one on one tournament mode. It's a pretty cool mode to have unless you are playing by yourself.
The music is interesting because the stages for fighting take place in odd areas such as on top of buildings or on a bridge in the desert so the music changes with each characters stage but there is only like two or three different tracks for them. One track reminded me of the Dead Rising mall music. Perhaps it was the same recording I dont know. The 8-bit announcing and graphics are okay for the time.
As for the characters and the game's story line, well you can never expect a more cheesier plot than Clayfighter, but Killer Instinct comes pretty close. A corrupt corporation is out to test which of their genetic or manufactured fighters could stand up to the likes of the best fighters that the universe has to offer. Most of the characters are good guys out to prove their worth, break free from the corporation, or shut the corporation down. The characters' names are as generic as their individual stories with names like Riptor the raptor, or my personal favorite Combo. Too bad he does not get a Mike Tysonality move in this game. Orchid's hilarious flashing fatality is definitely one for the fighting game fatality record books. Killer Instinct is definitely not a serious or dark fighting game despite its style and the endings will usually leave you laughing.
Final Recommendation 7/10
Killer Instinct is the C-c-c-c-combo breaker of the other series of fighting games and its partial success was probably enjoyed more on the console than at the arcade unlike the other games of this genre. For the Super Nintendo this game was a great party game and you didn't have to worry about blowing quarters to achieve some corny endings. Killer Instinct is a good game to have in your collection if only just for the nostalgia factor. As for me, I would totally love to see Spinal again on the big screen.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Killer Instinct (US, 08/31/95)
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