Killer Instinct Almost Makes Me Forget XBOX ONE’s DRM Policies

Combo breakers are back in the new Killer Instinct game.
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I will admit it: I thought the new Killer Instinct was going to be bad. I do not have a very high opinion of Microsoft after learning about everything they’re planning to do with the XBOX ONE and I expected myself to hate all the games on the system automatically because of that. I was wrong.

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I played the hell out of the original Killer Instinct when it was on the SNES. I was a kid at the time and had no real clue what I was doing, but combos were pretty easy to pull off, the characters looked awesome, and the announcer added some style to the game that never lost its appeal to me.

The new version of the game looks radically different, plays a little bit different, but somehow still retains that same combo heavy, fast paced fun the original had.

I got a chance to try out the game this week and I had a blast. It was very simple to pick up. Within the first round I was doing long chains of combos with Jago.

I really liked that they gave Sabrewulf and Jago most of their old moves. Jago still plays sort of like Ryu and Sabrewulf has his lovely charge claw attacks. Since the inputs seemed to be the same from the original game, it made it easy to throw some specials into the combos that were so easy to pull off.

The combo breaker system is back so players have a chance to get out of enemy strings. This keeps the game’s easy to use combo system a bit more balanced since they do feel like they could go on forever.

The rounds are still divided up the same way: there is only one round, but players have two lives, so to speak.When a player is down to their last sliver of health, their bar says ultra and their opponent can pull off some amazing combos that absolutely shred them to pieces.

So far, aside from the two playable characters, Glacius, Spinal, Cinder, and Fulgore are slated to make their return. I really hope that the full cast, especially Combo, Mohawk, and Orchid, make their return as the game would feel empty without them. How can you have a combo breaker without a Combo?

More characters will be revealed at EVO this summer, so be sure to pay attention to that. I hope that there will also be some new additions added to the cast to liven things up a little bit.

Pad vs. Stick

I got a chance to try out Killer Instinct on both the XBOX ONE pad and the new MadCatz KI XBOX ONE arcade stick.

I had played the game first with the stick then next with the pad and I am thankful I did this. When I played with the stick, everything felt super responsive and my moves came out clean.

When I played with the pad, my inputs sometimes did not register and everything felt like it had a delay. I was wondering if it was a low battery, but the controller gave no indication of being low and my opponent was having the same difficulties.

Why Did You Have to Be So Good?

I am really mad at Killer Instinct. It is an XBOX ONE exclusive and I really, really want to play it. I absolutely refuse to buy the console, though, especially when this is the only exclusive I have any interest in. Nonetheless, however, it definitely makes the console tempting to me when I had previously found it objectionable.

Although it might not be enough to convince people to buy the console, it is definitely worth checking out if you get a chance to get your hands on it. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that somehow, by some miracle of the gaming gods, Killer Instinct will go multiplatform.

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Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.