Review by Prince Vegeta

Reviewed: 04/06/02 | Updated: 04/06/02

A change from S.F.II Turbo, but not one of Rare's better games...

OK, let's start with the most obvious points you can derive from this 'flashy' game. It's a game made by the skilled people of Stamper and Co., I'm talking 'bout the team at Rareware. Known for their other graphically impressive game of that time: - 'Donkey Kong Country', you'd think that any other game they make would share the same level of detail and playability.
Unfortunately, you are slightly mistaken.
I could go on to persuade you to have strong positive feelings about this game, seeing as how I love Rare games so much, but I won't kid you into thinking that all this game needs is some serious practice. It requires a LOT more than that.
The basic premise of this game is that a bunch of fighters have been brought together to fight in a tournament, which begs the question: 'Do you have the KILLER INSTINCT?'
Oh I do have an instinct, to get up and smash the cartridge time and time again because (once you've gotten to grips with the very easy controls and sometimes FRUSTRATING combo and combo breaker system) when you play through the game on harder difficulties, you may need to be tied down to the chair to stop yourself from breaking the snes. This is the most annoying thing i found about this game.
If you consider yourself to be a decent gamer with a better degree of patience than most, then I gladly beckon you to go out and seriously consider to rent this game. You have to look at this game as nothing more than something I like to call a
FFFFFFFFFAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDD (baby).
Look at all the hype surrounding ALL of the Mortal Kombat games, or Double Dragon games (dear God, what a sham). Just like those ageless classics, TIMES CHANGE. If you're looking to take a trip down 'Memory Lane,' play THIS game BEFORE you play Street Fighter 2: Turbo, so you can appreciate exactly how GOOD Street Fighter is.
In all honesty, Killer Instinct follows the same guidelines to become an excellent fighting game:
1) Have well designed characters each with their own great looking special moves,
2) Have a storyline that is somewhat original, but is believable enough for you to become immersed within the game for, maybe hours on end,
3) Good backgrounds, music and voice samples, almost good enough to break your concentration every now and again.
Killer Instinct does have VERY well designed characters and has some of the funniest moves i.e. Orchid's finisher 'Frog' and Glacius' Ice Pick move. This was a big plus point of the game (as I stated earlier) and the storyline isn't as shady as some people think. If I was to be highly critical, then it has parts of the storyline that have been used before (people fighting for freedom blah blah), so therefore, it falls flat on its face here. Tut tut.
As for the backgrounds and music, they are done to perfection for the Snes. If you bought this game when it came with the bonus 'Killer Cuts' CD, then it's worth buying this game JUST so you can listen to 'Yo Check This Out!' and ESPECIALLY 'Ya Ha Haa'. Musical genius. If no CD comes with the purchase, then these can be heard as background music to the levels within the game.
If you're still confused with all the crap I've been spouting off, then I'll just spit it plain and simple.

Gameplay: Nice to begin, BUT you do need to practise a little bit on linking combos 'cause it IS worth it when you first achieve that finger-licking 'ULTRA' combo.
Practising on how to break combos is a completely different matter though. Sore fingers and tired eyes are the order of the day here as Anime-speed timing is required here as the computer A.I gets intense when you have become accustomed to the fighting style of your chosen character. This game is better appreciated in 2-player with people of equal skill levels (as with most games). Once you get to the end boss and have used more than 3 continues, then you'll know what the hell I'm talking 'bout. Easy gets too easy, but this may sound tres wimpy but hard can get too hard for the faint-hearted casual gamer that saw the box and thought it looked cool.
Area Rating: 7

Story: There ain't much to say on this front as it has a preetty predictable storyline and doesn't really offer a great deal of variety i.e. Orchid is a cop; just like good old Sonya Blade from, you guessed it, MORTAL KOMBAT! The only really interesting stories aren't even followed through properly i.e. a possibility of different final characters to face for each individual person. This could have happened with Cinder and Glacius, but it didn't so no tucking' in before bedtime cause there was some slack work here.
Area Rating: A lucky 5

Visuals and Sound: Finally, something nice to talk about. An advance in what could be done with the 16-bit machine. A superb job was done in both of these fields and can occasionally make you just want to stop playing and simply, look and listen. Almost too much to talk about, best of all, Spinal's music and screams (Ya Ha Haa - best track on CD). This was probably concentrated on the most of all the aspects of the game. Such a shame that fantastic graphics and audio excellence cannot save a game from slipping into the 'Bargain Bucket.' The game's best feature by far.
Area Rating: 9

Replay value: Hard to call, because it depends on what kind of fighting game you prefer. There's the newer 'Tekken' generation, that loves combos and to be able to stop opponents from fighting back at all. Paradise for these kind of people, but then there's those that prefer to fight with honour and like real humans, one or two hits at a time. Being able to drag a fight out and then winning because you have more energy does give you a satisfying feeling, so I'm gonna give 2 ratings for this.
Area Rating for Tekken (combo) lovers: 8 simply cause it's fun to pummel someone into a corner again and again and again...
Area Rating for Street Fighter (simple fighting) lovers: 6 as it can become too frustrating if you lose by being hit with the same move again and again and again...

Purchase or Pass on: What we have here the true definition of a mixed bag, or in other words, a game only for rent and lending to people. Lots of good qualities that make the game stand out (character designs, visuals and sounds are top notch) but too many flaws to warrant a great deal of time to be spent playing the game. And, as far as I know, there's only ONE SECRET CHARACTER!! Rip off man.
Area Rating: Buy, as long as you're gonna spend most of the time lending the game to other people (for a price) under the pretence that they think it is a 'Killer' game. Ha ha...

Overall Rating: 7 (only just) NOT AN AVERAGE

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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