Review by Larcen Tyler
Reviewed: 03/06/01 | Updated: 07/16/01
Oh man, I must have been psychic!
Back in early 1995, during a free moment in one of my classes, I had some thoughts about, ''If they attempted to port Killer Instinct to the Super NES, what would it look like?'' All throughout class after that I had thoughts about how the levels would look and how the stages might look, complete with the way the system would be drawn. Of course, that was only a daydream. Why would you want to port an Ultra 64 (Nintendo 64's name back then!) title to the Super NES?
Pan ahead a couple of months to when I got an issue of Nintendo Power, and my jaw dropped when I saw something about 'Killer Instinct' for Super NES. I opened it and what I saw stunned me. They were actually working on a port of this great game onto a system that was smaller than the one it had been programmed for! Not only did it look good, but some of the elements looked how I had thought they would!
Of course, just thinking wouldn't do the trick. I'd have to play it. Come September 1995, I picked the cartridge up, and I nearly fainted as soon as I realized I had a great port of an excellent arcade game!
OK, seeing how this was written originally on Nintendo 64 hardware, chances are not everything would be able to be included in a Super NES cartridge, and indeed sacrifices had to be made. For one, the camera zooming in some stages, as well as 3D rotation on others, had to be taken out. Another thing was the rendered animations shown before and after each match were reduced to a single rendered portrait, but the tradeoff was that the portrait would actually match the color of the costume you had chosen for your character! A few animation bits were either edited or removed, mostly during fatalities, but most of the animations are still intact, meaning that although it lost some, it still kept most!
When it comes to sounds, cartridges aren't always the best way to compress music, meaning that the songs you heard in the arcade may have been cut and pasted here and there. Still, it should be faithful to the original songs that you knew and loved in the arcades. A few vocal effects are edited or removed, but most of them still remain. You'll still hear the announcer call out your fighter's name, announce the beginning of a fight, and even tell you the name of the combo you performed!
The focus of this game is on combos, but instead of just pressing any button repeatedly, you must learn how to link certain movements and special attacks together. Unfortunately, the timing of some of these can be very touchy, meaning that if you miss by even one button press, you can end up blowing the combo completely! The controls are similar to that of Street Fighter, with three punches and three kicks, as well as sweeping motions to perform special attacks. Of course, you can also perform fatalities once your opponent's almost finished, but be warned, your opponent can revive for one final attempt at a comeback victory!
Armageddon has been averted for some unknown reason, and now, some futuristic corporation called Ultratech (it's similar to Umbrella actually!) famed for showing brutal fights on TV, is hosting a fighting tournament, although there's something suspicious about it. Naturally, you've got your variety of characters, including your secret agent, your person looking for revenge, etc. Big deal.
You've got the standard one player and versus modes, so you can't go wrong there, but that's just the beginning! There's a tournament mode so that you and your friends can play just like you did in the arcades, with the loser going to the back of the line! You even get a practice mode, where you can practice on an opponent who has been injected with some kind of drug that makes them impervious to pain and doesn't allow them to fight back (or something like that!)
To think I actually envisioned this game before it was even announced is just plain ironic! OK, you don't have to believe my story, but if you're looking for a unique fighting game and/or you were a big fan of the original in the arcades, then might I suggest this game? I'm sure this will satisfy even the best fighter's instinct!
Rating: 4.0 - Great
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