Killer Instinct
#34: Killer Instinct

Released In: 1995
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Nintendo

      In a bleak dystopian future where corporations have replaced governments, the powerful Ultratech corporation organizes a fighting tournament known as Killer Instinct to test the destructive capacity of its genetic and cybernetic creations. Outside combatants are invited to the tournament, with the promise that Ultratech will grant their greatest wishes if they win. Some fight for freedom. Some fight for cures to their afflictions. Some fight to restore lost honor. Some fight simply to try and destroy Ultratech. To accomplish their goals, these fighters will defeat not only each other, but Eyedol, an ancient warlord that Ultratech rescued from a dimensional prison, as well. Killer Instinct features ten playable characters: Fulgore, Cinder, Glacius, Jago, Riptor, Sabrewulf, Spinal, T.J. Combo, Chief Thunder, and Black Orchid.

Syd Lexia: Honestly, I was never a big fan of the Super Nintendo's pre-rendered 3D graphics. A big deal was made of them at the time, but virtually all of the games that used them would have looked a lot better in 2D than they did in claymation-style 3D. But whereas games like Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario RPG looked pretty good, Killer Instinct looked pretty shitty. Also, the characters all had retarded names. Oh yeah, and the fighting engine sucked.

It's easy to beat up on poor old Killer Instinct, but we have to remember that for a brief moment in time, it was a popular 3D fighter. As Nintendo's former BFF, Rare was faced with the challenge of translating the game to a console that couldn't possibly run the game in its original form. The solution was simple: Rare turned Killer Instinct into a 2D game with 3D character models. The formula had worked with Donkey Kong Country, so they expected it to work Killer Instinct. And it did. The SNES version of Killer Instinct enjoyed a respectable level of popularity and kept KI fans happy until the release of Killer Instinct Gold on the N64 the following year. So yes, Killer Instinct kinda sucks. But people loved it at the time. You know, like how people used to love Hitler.

Valdronius: Part of the appeal of this game was the fact that it came in a black cartridge. How awesome is that? It was more violent than the Street Fighter series, but not quite so violent as Mortal Kombat. I was never really good at fighting games, but I could actually hit fairly big combos with Cinder and Fulgore. Once, I even accidently pulled off Spinal's combo finisher. Did I mention I suck at fighting games?

Murdar Machene: COMBO BREAKER! I liked it in the arcade better. In fact, for any arcade port that's on SNES, just imagine I said that for my review. This goes for Final Fight, Knights of the Round, all that shit.

Douche McCallister: Anyone else remember the awesome CD that came with this game? I think Track 6 was Jago’s Theme. Jago was the shit. I never really knew how to do the finishers in this game, but I just liked hearing they guy scream Monster Combo. Or C-C-C-Combo Breaker! This is one of my favorite fighting games of all time besides MVC 2, but that wasn’t on the SNES. Rare is a company of all trades. Killer Instinct, Donkey Kong Country, Goldeneye... who knew?

DarkMaze: I played a lot of fighting games in my day. Well, all the major ones: Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, KI... uh... TMNT Tournament Fighters... Anyway, Killer Instinct really pushed the graphical and storage capabilities of an SNES cartridge to its limits, and that was a bit of a double-edged sword. Much as I love the game, a lot of sacrifices were made to port it from arcade to console. Characters were smaller, detail suffered, animation was recycled, and basically all of the full motion video was chucked out the window. I wouldn’t have cared so much if they had followed through with their plan to port the game to the N64 (or “Ultra 64” as it was being touted at the time), but lamentably they scrapped it in favor of a modified KI2. Sad. Nevertheless, the SNES version of Killer Instinct was still a heckuva lot of fun.

Also, any game in which the female character’s finishing movie is to tear open her shirt and flash her opponent is probably going to go down as one of the best games ever. Well played, Nintendo. Not even Mortal Kombat thought of that.

BACK                              NEXT

43: Super Star Wars

42: Kirby Super Star

41: Sparkster

40: Lufia and the Fortress of Doom

39: Shadowrun

38: Earthworm Jim

37: Super R-Type

36: Super Smash TV

35: Mario Paint

34: Killer Instinct

33: Mega Man X3

32: Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage

31: SimCity

30: Secret of Evermore

29: Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen

28: Soul Blazer

27: Mega Man X2

26: Super Punch-Out!!

25: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time

24: Zombies Ate My Neighbors

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