Before I get in to the review of this game, I must state I only have used Jago. I bought him first to see if I am going to be interested in the full game.
I spent basically my entire childhood, in elementary school, playing Killer Instinct on SNES with my friends every day after school. We occasionally visited the arcade, back in the before times when such places existed. If you don’t know what an arcade is, don’t worry – no one does anymore. So, having obviously spent countless hours destroying my fingers to do ultimate combos with Eyedol, it’s needless to say any return of the Killer Instinct franchise would pique my interest.
It’s been 19.5 years so my memory may be a little rusty, but I feel the Double Helix game captures the essence of the old game very well. It is still very satisfying to pull off massive combos, and to know that queuing all these commands on your controller paid off.
Combat seems to have been ramped up now. You have three kicks, three punches, and then multiple variations of each movie that uses those six buttons. Combos are chained together with specific structure (though they needn’t be, necessarily) that end up being as rewarding as they are difficult to do. Again I may not remember, but it seems the technicality of the fighting has been expanded since the old days. I don’t remember fake-outs or tick throws or any of that existing before, but maybe they did. They do in other fighting games, but again this was 1994 and I don’t remember. Whether it was the case then or not, it’s the case now and Killer Instinct – from my view as someone who doesn’t obsess over fighting games – is a pretty solid package. It contains the complexity of many other fighting games, with a simplicity that allows non-fighting game players to pick it up and learn pretty quickly.
I think really the thing people dislike this game for is the micro-transactions. It’s pretty ridiculous to pay $5 per character but you could just buy all the characters. If you only want Jago, then only get Jago. At least that way you can learn each character at your own pace. Here’s to hoping for the return of Eyedol, Skeletal, Cinder, Fulgore, and TJ Combo. And Riptor. Riptor, that fuckhead.