Besides Street Fighter 2, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat, not too many fighting games made it out of the pizza parlour days of the 80’s and early 90’s alive. There are grave yards upon graveyards of fighting games that time has simply lost track of. But as a new generation of game developers are… developing, they are drawing upon their past to find what inspired them to become game developers in the first place, and introduce a new generation of gamers to what motivated them to become what they are now. Don’t say a remake. Don’t say a reboot. Just say, “after school, you and me, it’s going down”.
As anyone who has been following news about the Xbox One knows, Microsoft has resurrected the why-has-no-one-done-this-yet classic arcade fighter Killer Instinct. At The Tokyo Game Show 2013 today, Random and I went head to head for the first time, trying out the new Killer Instinct. Since its original announcement several months ago I wondered if they could succeed where so many before them had failed and created a game worthy of the original.
In a normal article I would give you details and explanations leading up to the big reveal of my final opinion. But not here. I won’t play with you. This game is awesome! It does live up to its original completely.
I used to like fighting games back in the day. But in order to improve and out-do one another, they kept getting more and more complicated until I just had no idea what was going on or just lacked the time and motivation to put the necessary effort into mastering a character and all of his or her moves. From time to time I’d check out the occasional Soul Calibur or Blazblue to see what was going on in the fighting world, but everything seemed pretty much haw I remember it, complicated and just too much. Not Killer instinct. The graphics are clean, the animations are fluid and there’s just the right amount of… neh, plenty, of back breaking violence to hook any new player walking up to a fighter for the first time.
As alluded to before, my main gripe with modern fighters is the ultra-steep learning curve within the genre. There are too many complicated combos and I just don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. Killer Instinct started very accessible. As soon as you begin testing out the buttons it’s obvious what each one does. The quick punch, the quick kick, the medium punch, the medium kick, the strong punch… you get it. Right off the bat, you really feel in control. As I continued fighting my first match, I eased into my moves and started experimenting. My experimenting immediately paid off and unlike most fighting games where I’m not quite sure if did something of not, I definitely starting pulling new combos that were visually different than anything else I was doing.
Feeling fully in control it was easy to enjoy the beautiful fighting arenes, and small details put into the game.
But the most important thing weren’t the graphics, combos or legacy, but the smiles. And let me tell you… Random and I had ear to ear grins the whole time. I couldn’t even stand still. Before I knew it, I was getting my whole body into it, ducking and planting my feet and jumping around. There was nothing I could do! We were going for it and having a blast! After our match was over, we noticed there was no one in line behind us (HOW???) and Random asked if we could go again. After a few whispered questions between the booth workers, we got a quiet, “yes, you can go again”. And we did. And it was glorious. Two matches to the death. And I will have you know that I SMOKED Random in both matches. So suck it!
If you were excited when Killer Instinct was announced or if you didn’t quite get what all the excitement was about when it was announced, have no fear. I played it and I’m telling you the new Killer Instinct totally delivers and gives me a reason to pick up a console I was previously not entirely too excited about. Get your hands on this one as soon as you can!