“We loved working on Killer Instinct, and we had a great time supporting that community. They still ask us to update that experience every day on social media and we really appreciate the enduring enthusiasm. Like any other opportunity that comes our way, if KI ever presented itself again, we’d consider it.”
Honestly, I don’t mind if they do another KI, but ideally speaking…not really. In terms of story and art design, a lot of their work was kind of generic. There were one or two things in terms of the latter that had been redesigned pretty well in KI2013 such as Maya and Eyedol, but in terms of their art as a whole? Their work has been unimpressive and uninspired.
Gameplay is only one of several factors, the others being story, characters, music, sound and art design. You can have great gameplay, but if your game looks and sounds like a turd, is mediocre and/or boring, gameplay isn’t going to be worth much.
If you have over 60 characters like in the case of “Tekken”, perhaps. That said, just because a bunch of characters are added doesn’t mean that an attempt at making a good, cohesive story should be ignored, or that story should be disregarded entirely. Part of the reason why I love “Street Fighter”, “Tekken” and “Mortal Kombat” is because of their stories and characters. Granted, there are things I kind of dislike about the current games, SF and Tekken especially, but still, at least in the case of MK there is a sense of ambition and a desire to make a compelling story.
One of several factors, yes, but the most important one because it’s a game and you’re playing it.
There’s a host of examples through the years of games that look poor, but are exceptional. Classic examples off the top of my head:
Starcraft: Brood War
Then look at DOOM 3. A game that looks fantastic for it’s day with amazing lighting effects, but a game that’s heavily criticized for it’s gameplay. Look at Mortal Kombat 11. Arguably the most graphically beautiful fighting game out there right now, yet heavily criticized for it’s bland and boring gameplay.
Killer Instinct (2013) looks great for a launch title that was originally also going to be on 7th generation hardware, and it’s soundscape is generally regarded as on of if not they best in the genre.
I wouldn’t say that game looked poor personally. Nowadays it looks a little dated, but far from being poor.
Doom 3 was alright for its time and for what it was, a horror game that was a corridor shooter, although compared to “Doom 2016” and “Eternal”, those games blow that one out of the water.
With KI2013, though, it looked good as a launch title. Not great. It was definitely one of the better launch titles on the Xbox One, but in comparison to a lot of the other fighting games that came out like MK9, X and “Injustice”, it wasn’t as good as those games. It also didn’t help that it’s a kind of Frankenstein in terms of its direction and that some parts are incomplete. I don’t by any means think KI2013 is a bad game, but I do think as a fan of the franchise that, while it had made some great steps in its gameplay, it does stumble in certain other aspects that make it fall short of being excellent or great.
But with that out of the way- Iron Galaxy took the rock-solid foundation of Double Helix’s KI and continued the legacy in a way that is practically unheard of for bringing back a dormant game series- THEY NAILED IT.
It plays smooth
Each fighter feel completely different, yet they are are viable and fun to play
The music is incredible
The visuals are beautiful
The reimagined/updated character designs are fresh, yet they each encompass the original core feel of our beloved characters.
The game is always fun to play online
A huge choose-your-adventure single player campaign
Any complaints on my end are tiny specks of dust on the tapestry that is the best game on the Xbox One, and I would be over the moon to have IG return for more KI.
You want an example of a BAD game revival? Battletoads.
I was ULTRA-HYPED for the toads to return via getting to know & love 'em with Rare Replay & Killer Instinct, but instead we got one of those awful revivals that takes the source material and craps all over it while thinking it’s trendy and cool to sh*t all over everything that made it likable in the first place.
I mean literally- They put Rash in a diaper full of sh*t for no reason, Zits & Pimple are extremely unlikable @ssholes, they threw stones at fans who preferred the Dark Queen’s original design, and the baddies in the beat 'em up? All blobby, bland, “meh” designs of nothing nonsense things instead of a cohesive theme, such as say- punk-@ss barnyard animal thugs. Oh, and on top of that, its controls kinda suck to the point where you’re going to get the flies kicked out of you for attempting the SLOW super moves anyway.
And that’s ok! I totally understand how even our all-time favorite games may have a thing or two we don’t like about them.
My list of KI nitpicks is a small one:
-I LOVE Riptor, but her stage and theme are pretty dull for such a fast and wild fighter. (Maya’s theme & stage are my favorites!)
-And while it’s ULTRA-nitpicky to complain about something that DIDN’T make it into the game, I wish Iron Galaxy spent the time they used for Ultimates for the Tree Man fighter that WOOD’ve been fighter #30. Ah, well- They’ve gotta put something in the sequel, right?
And regarding Iron Galaxy’s storytelling prowess, it is crystal-clear that they did their best with whatever dwindling timeframe/budget/limitation they had.
The biggest example? The first Astral Guardians came with fascinating lore backstories, while the latter offerings were like:
Here’s the Lion. It makes your opponent flinch.
I’m sure that IG wanted to keep the ball rolling, but an immovable object and and an unstoppable force met somewhere…
I love Riptor as well…back in KI1. I absolutely hate her current design, theme and stage. She had a really cool and visually distinctive design with four scythe-like claws and a snake-like look with a scorpion tail, but here, they just took the JP 3 raptor design, gave her Dinobot’s spinning tail and painted her claws blue with lazy blue grid marks on her sides. Like Talon from “Primal Rage”, but even less interesting and goofier. Like, okay, I can accept Ultratech is always experimenting, that this is one of potentially dozens of different Riptor models that are being modified and improved upon, perhaps done with different species, but as a Riptor fan? This version of Riptor felt like a RINO (Riptor in Name Only).
I find this part a little dubious. Granted, they had a limited timeframe/budget, but by the same token, their storytelling left a LOT to be desired. Even if those had been factors, they could have told a more coherent story in more effective ways. I just don’t find them to be on the same wavelength with DH in terms of the latter’s passion for KI.
I think their efforts were…well…good enough. That’s the biggest problem with this game and its development - it’s good enough. I would not say that IG respected KI. At least, as much as DH had. I never got the sense they were KI fans, but rather they were just happy to be doing a fighting game. It also doesn’t help that a lot of their contributions were downright contradictory. I think IG has done some good things, but by the same token, in other ways, they’ve…stumbled. Gameplay-wise, I think they’ve done some cool and creative things like Gargos’ free combo breaker move where he becomes a human grenade, but I do feel like they were a little too derivative in some other parts. For example, making Gargos overtly satanic, giving him Pain and Panic and making into a kind of Bison clone complete with Psycho Crusher. I do admit, though, that when it came to the new characters like Aganos, Hisako, Tusk, Kim Wu and Maya, they’ve done some good stuff, with some good updates for the latter three. Granted, those three were never as cool as the KI1 cast, but comparatively, I think they were better, although some of their animations could be fixed.
It had excessive texture pop-in everywhere, low texture detailed characters, and low quality textures in general. Halo 2 was praised for it’s gameplay, storytelling, and for being the title that really sold Xbox Live, not for it’s graphics.
Each game has its own style. Every time I leave KI and come back I’m again impressed by the visual design. It’s not without flaws, but it’s very very good. There’s less story than some games but frankly, NRS puts a ton of money into making impressive story cut scenes but is the story GOOD? Not in my opinion. If you want to compare the character designs of KI against other modern fighters I think they compare favorably. You have to recognize that the original KI is the ultimate derivative pop culture mash up. Kim Wu, Tusk, Aganos, Kan Ra? Yeah if you think being referential to pop culture is “generic” that’s your prerogative, but I think they’re brilliant.
Oh definitely! KI is pretty much 80s/90s zeitgeist the video game, but by the same token, it takes those tropes and makes it its own distinctive thing. Fulgore is undeniably based off of Terminator and the Predator (and to a tiny, tiny extent Scorpion in his fatality), and Riptor is unmistakably based off the Velociraptors from “Jurassic Park”, but again, they each had their own distinctive features that made them stand out from those.
Being referential to pop culture isn’t the same as being “generic”. It’s one thing to take inspiration from something and creating their own character or creature based off of that, but it is another to do that and at the same time add features that make it stand out, distinctive, something unique. If the resulting design is something that could pass for any other bargain bin copy, or is of such quality that it would make even its lesser imitators seem superior in comparison, then nothing about it would be unique. What you’d end up having is a mediocre design.