Why the New Killer Instinct is (KIND OF) a Big Deal | Fanboys Anonymous

Why the New Killer Instinct is (KIND OF) a Big Deal

Posted by Chris Locs Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Previously on Fanboys Anonymous, our friend Sean Mitchell wrote a short piece on why none of us should be excited about the revivification of the Killer Instinct franchise. While there may be several reasons facts outlining why Killer Instinct is the red-headed step child of the fighting game world, there are still a few things about the series' resurgence that should excite everyone with a pulse.

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While it's true that the fighting game genre has changed dramatically since Killer Instinct first appeared on the scene in 1994, that doesn't mean that this new incarnation can't catch up quickly. The graphics definitely look great, so let's at least give Double Helix credit where credit is due. The redesigns of Jago and Sabrewulf look simply bad ass, for lack of a better term.

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 Yes, it's true that Killer Instinct was pretty damn stupid and that this new one (on the surface) looks equally as stupid as far as the core gameplay is concerned. It seems to have retained the automatic combo system which will surely turn off a lot of hardcore fighting fans as it puts the focus more on mashing buttons rather than learning combos and exacting strategic maneuvers. The "extreme" aesthetic of the franchise seems to be intact as well, right down to the announcer shouting "ULTRRRRAAAA COMMMBBOOOOOO" as one fighter unleashes the fury on some hapless sadsack. While these things were pretty ubiquitous in the 90s as everyone was trying to be more "extreme" than the guy next to them, this generation has all but lost it's attraction to it. While this could just be a result of all of the insanity of the 90s desensitizing the planet, it still makes Killer Instinct seem like more of a parlor trick than a killer app (pun intended).

By now, most readers are probably thinking, "wait, wasn't this supposed to be a pro Killer Instinct article? Why is this guy trashing this game all of a sudden?"

The fact of the matter is, everything I just said about Killer Instinct being a button mashers haven with a cast full of Mortal Kombat rejects is the exact reason why this game will triumph. The fighting game genre is full of games that constantly alienate casual gamers and girlfriends across the board, and Killer Instinct is the gateway drug to the culture of 1-on-1 combat. Nostalgia aside, the original Killer Instinct was an incredibly easy game to play and win regardless of skill level. Why? Because it did not matter what buttons you pressed when you played it, as long as you pressed them fast and furious. Casual gamers rejoice, there is a new fighting game on the market and it's all for you.

That's not to say that Killer Instinct doesn't have a strong point or two to make it a legitimate member of the fighting game family. For the record, the health bar system the original game enacted is still intact. Each character has two health bars, and whoever depletes both first wins. No rounds, just health bars. Sound familiar? *coughINJUSTICEcough*. As for any other strong points... ask me later.

The fact that Microsoft has announced that the game will be distributed as a "free-to-play" with one character initially, and the others will have to be purchased down the line is kind of an interesting prospect as well. You can download the game, play it as it's flagship character and decide for yourself whether or not it's worth your time without having to spend a dime. Granted that sounds more like a demo version than a "free-to-play" version to me, but you guys get the idea.

Either way, Killer Instinct on Xbox One is (kind of) a big deal. At the very least, this reporter believes it'll move some consoles for Microsoft. What do you guys think?

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