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Release year: 1996 | Players: 1-2 players | Developed by Rare
Killer Instinct Gold (N64)
Killer Instinct Gold (AKA Killer Instinct 2 or KI) is a 1996 fighting video game developed by Rare -a British second-party developer for Nintendo- and published by the Big N for the N64 console. The game is based on the arcade game Killer Instinct 2.
Killer Instinct Gold is a game featuring arcade, team and tournament modes. It has various difficulty levels and gaming speeds to suit the player’s taste. A knockout tournament mode is also available, where players switch to another character from a preselected bunch when their initial pick is knocked out.
Unlike other fighting games, there are no auto combos in Killer Instinct Gold so players are compelled to memorize movement combos and explore the full strength of each character. The game’s practice mode serves this purpose.
There is a total of 10 characters, with 7 carried over from the previous game and three additional ones to form a new roster. Combats are set in various locations, including a tropical jungle and a medieval castle setting.
As for music, the typical upbeat sounds do good work at maintaining hype in-combat. Occasional sounds of passing helicopters or buses can be heard as the corresponding vehicle comes to view in the background. However, the focus is really on the character’s combat sounds. There are no character introductions, unlike other titles.
Graphics are gritty and sharp, typical to fighting games on arcade machines. Colors are toned down with darker hues and there’s no visible gore to the fighters in combat. Victory relies on players’ mastery of the characters they use.
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It’s a straightforward game, although one of the few fighting game titles featured on the Nintendo 64 console. This is because the N64 controller isn’t suited to titles of this genre, which work much better when operated using a D-Pad controller.
Killer Instinct Gold was a bit ill-received as one of the initial N64 game titles. It was considered one of the weaker games by Rare mainly because of its difficulty to operate. Beginners have no chance when playing this title against seasoned players, as it involves a lot of memorization and internalization of character play styles.
Despite all this, Killer Instinct Gold is a must-try, especially for lovers of the fighting game genre.
Killer Instinct Gold game has been ported to Nintendo 64, and Xbox One.