Review by KI Simpson

Reviewed: 09/12/01 | Updated: 09/12/01

The Best game ever.

Killer Instinct is my personal favorite game of all time. I have seen many people, including the reviewers of Killer Instinct (from now on known as KI) at this site bash it. I think the people who don't like this game often don't fully understand it. In my review I will explain why KI is my favorite game ever.

Graphics: 10/10
Considering when KI was made, its graphics are fantastic. The game is rendered, similar to Donkey Kong Country. This rendering gives the characters a very detailed look, and fits the games futuristic feel. The characters are large enough and detailed. The character designs are interesting. Fighters range from a reptor with a human brain to a man who is permanantly set on fire and can turn himself into fire. The Backgrounds are detailed and clear, and in some you can knock opponents off the edge at the end of a match to see them falling towards you in 3-D and landing in a pit or street. The stills shown before and after a match are FMV quality.

Sound: 9/10
To be honest, I really don't pay much attention to sound in video games, but KI's music/sound effects stand out to me. The music for each stage is fitting. The sound effects are clear and plentiful. The announcer speaks completely clearly, and every time you do a combo the name of the combo you just did is announced. Some characters speak during fights, and they sound just as good. Oh, and if you can, try to get the soundtrack, Killer Cuts. It's fantastic.

Gameplay: 10/10
Gameplay is the most important part of a game for me, so I will be breaking it into separate categories.

Control: 9/10
The control for the most part is great. The game uses the standard three punch and three kick system. The moves and combos take practice to do successfully, but once you know how you should be able to pull them off. The combos involve openers, linkers, and enders. You need to know several moves to pull off 40% damage combos, but once you learn you'll be pulling them off easily. The only reason the control didn't get a ten out of ten is because to do Ultras or Ultimates (finishing moves done inside a combo when your opponent is almost dead.) you must pull off special move combinations during a combo. This is very frustrating, especially since many of the combinations require you to charge a direction for 2 seconds, which is a long time to keep a combo going without pressing anything. However, this is a minor complaint that doesn't detract much from the games excellent control.

(note: I rate the challenge not only by how hard the game is, but also by how fair the game is.) Killer Instinct is a hard game. The combos take a lot of time to learn, and since a skilled player can take off over 40% of your health with a long combo, mistakes are deadly. The one player mode is very hard on higher difficulties. The computer fights intelligently, and will take advantage of any mistake you make. However, the game usually isn't so bad its frustrating. There's one exception to this, which is why the challenge didn't get ten out of ten. in this game you can pull off moves called combo breakers. These will attack your opponent while they are comboing you. This is a good idea, since it forces players to fight with variety (you must use a different attack button to break differents types of combos). The manual states that a combo can only be broken after three hits. However, the computer on harder difficulty setting will break combos after almost any move that could be used as an opener. Jago is especially guilty of this. The computer doesn't do this to often though, so the game is mostly fun and fair to play.

This is the most important part of the most important category, and it is where KI really shines. This game is fantastic. The game uses a complex combo system involving openers, (moves that must be used to start a combo) linkers, (moves that can continue a combo) and finishers (moves that end a combo with an extra powerful attack). Despite what you may have heard, this combo system is quite complex. You will have a lot of fun with this game, the computer is a real challenge, two-player never gets old, and it will take a long time to master every character. Give this game a try, you won't regret it.

Buy. It's less than $5 at Funcoland. I however would still buy this at full price. If you need to know why, scroll up.

Sound: 9/10
Gameplay: 10/10
-Control: 9/10
-Challenge: 9/10
-Fun: 10/10
Overall (not an average) 10/10

Killer instinct is a very underrated game. It may take some time to learn and truly appreciate it, but once you do you'll be very happy you did. Please try this game, and find out why it's my favorite game of all time.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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