As a lover of fighting games I was more than hugely excited when I watched E3 and heard that Killer Instinct would be making a return on the Xbox One. I remember countless times at the bowling alley when I was younger, dumping my quarters into the original arcade game…and being very, very bad. However, over 18 years later and definitely better at fighters and games in general, I knew this was a must have. I must say this doesn't disappoint, especially coming from the mouth of a guy who excels at 3D fighters and is terrible hardcore at combos and working of 2D ones.
Know what's also excellent? The game is entirely free and lets you pay what you want, when you want. Do you want Sabrewulf and have no interest in anyone else? You can buy him and not a single other character at all. Hate playing as Glacius but love everyone else? Guess what, you don't have to. The ability to buy, play and do whatever you want for this game rules. I however bought the Ultra Edition version which includes an XBLA version port of the original Killer Instinct game (which is a true port as it's unfairly hard to eat quarters you're not using anymore), every fighter in the "season" which includes the 6 at launch and 2 others for the upcoming release in January and March (at the moment). Hopefully there are more! I'll pony up.Plot
Sadly this is devoid of any arcade mode where you fight characters and have a storyline to complete as each fighter. As a lover of classic arcade modes, the lack of one here is saddening. It's going to be fixed in March 2014 as single player content for story modes will be added!Graphics
The graphics in this game are uniquely crisp and very, very sharp. The character movement is fluid and reacts naturally to how the human body would move performing them. The character models are cartoonish with a realistic vibe. I enjoy the updated character models and concepts. They fit with the older ones but are upgraded to modern times. Looks slick and hella good.Gameplay
The game is really smooth and easy to learn. The combo and attack chains are easy to utilize and simple to execute. The rewards are good for practicing as you can easily knock 40% off an enemy's life bar with a high hitting combo. The rush of doing such a thing feels great. Again, as I stated earlier, as a 2D fighter lover (but struggler) they couldn't have done any better for beginners and veteran 2D players to make them comfortable. Each fighter has their own niche, some for distance (Glacius), aerial (Sadira), close range (Sabrewulf), well rounded placement (Jago), etc. No matter who you are, even with only 6 characters at the moment, you'll find someone you'll like.
The game performs well and is simple to use and hard to master, like most fighting games. I didn't elaborate highly enough on it but honestly, words do not do it justice. Here's a clip of me against an opponent online hitting an almighty ULTRA COMBOOOOOOOO.Achievements
Most of the achievements can be obtained online and they are a huge grind for the amount of wins involved. However, the title collecting, spending KP (in-game currency), customizing and doing different moves with each character really racks up the G. After a day and a half after downloading, I already have 180 G without even trying. Feels good to earn achievements without even trying.Replayability
The replayability on this game is moderate to high depending on how much you like it. If you are a fighting game junkie, you'll be here for awhile. That's for sure. If you're not into it as much or are a casual player; the lack of characters, single player modes and online losses might make you feign interest after a bit. I know I'll be here awhile though.
This game deserves praise for bringing an old, beloved franchise to the modern masses and it does it so, so well. After the strain of average to below average developing by Double Helix games in the past, they really delivered with this as the respect and reference to the game's roots is apparent to the max. I'm definitely glad we have a current Killer Instinct. Hopefully you are too.