- System: SNES
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Genre: Fighting
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Killer Instinct was born for many as a dream in the shape of the first game for the long awaited Ultra 64, the name that had back then the yet-inexistent Nintendo 64. The launch of this incredible fighting game on arcades worldwide at the end of 1994 caused a really huge impact given the genre it represented (not habitual on Rare, it marked their debut on the genre) and its indisputable technical quality. From that point, and due to the affiliation between the English and Nintendo, rumours about a possible port to the 64 bits machine began to bloom.
However, the wait to see Killer Instinct on Nintendo 64 would extend for a few more years and it wouldn’t be on that system where the saga would have more impact, but on the profitable Super Nintendo. Killer Instinct was adapted to the popular 16 bits machine roughly a year after its debut on arcades with surprising results. Rare used once again the impeccable renders that made DKC famous and achieved a new success on their curriculum by creating a game that had nothing to envy to his arcade brother.
Killer Instinct presents the story of a futuristic tournament that has become the most sucessful program in television's history. During the tournament, several opponents from all across the world fight with the sole goal of becoming the champions of the new edition. But all has its darker and grimmiest side, since participants have gone missing over the years and some organizations fear that the tournament's fiery fights are being used as a cover to hide real murders.
The action happens on a near future, marked on a post-apocalyptic background where all governments have fallen and different mega-corporations have gained Earth's control. Only one of those companies rises among the rest, Ultratech, and it’s precisely them the ones who control the Killer Instinct tournament and uses it secretly as a test field for those prototypes and new weapons of war developed on their laboratories. The truth is that, being only a fighting game, we have to acknowledge that the Rare guys came up with a very interesting plot.
The thing is that, as usual, we see ourselves on the skin of the various fighters that come to the tournament (Sabrewulf, T.J. Combo, Orchid, Jago, Fulgore, Glacius and other usual characters from the arcade) and we will have to defend ourselves from all the other opponents. Out of curiosity, the background of each fighter is also interesting and was properly developed on the sequel that this title would generate.
As a game, Killer Instinct has always based its fighting dynamic on the use of combos (ultra fast and hard button combinations). Using them addss points to our score and takes life away to our opponent (by doing this its possible to achieve hurricanes of punches and kicks up to 30 fatal hits). Gameplay, however, it’s easy, and in the end the game could be defined as highly enjoyable and addictive. This last comment could be a somehow subjective opinion, as the Killer Instinct saga has never characterized itself for being liked by everyone and it has always had its particular legion of followers and haters.
Anyway, we should not forget that we’re talking about another one of Rare’s big hits. A game that shows once again the surprising efficiency of this company when risking themselves to develop new genres unexplored by them until that time. Killer Instinct was a huge event for the Super Nintendo users and was considered on of the best games of the year by the specialized press of the sector. Even today, waiting for Rare to develop another chapter, the first Killer is still on the mind of thousands of gamers as a fighting game that has yet to be surpassed by any of its sequels or ports.