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Killer Instinct Gold

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Reviewed by Jarr (Ironwolf) Yes, I was lucky enough to have a copy on reserve at my local EB. I was there about 5 minutes after they called. I had been looking forward to this game, hoping that it would live up to Nintendo's and my own hype. Did it? The answer is an ultra-combo Y-Y-YES! The first thing that I noticed is that the N64 can produce killer (no pun intended...well maybe a little) music! After playing MK: Trilogy I was a bit worried about how a 2-D N64 fighter would look and sound. Take heart fighting fans, this game is incredible. The music sounds as good, if not better in parts. The graphics are also outstanding. You've all seen pics, and maybe cheesy quicktimes of this game, but until you sit and watch it in motion you have not experienced it! The backgrounds are deep to say the least. The resolution is really sharp too! Of course a lot of people must be asking: "That's cool, but what about the Supreme Victories?" The answer is that they are handled a little like the SNES version. Except the character still is in a fighting pose standing in a waste land, and the camera comes flying up to the character very smoothly. I find it VERY acceptable. Well done Rare! How would I rate the different aspects of the game? Scale 1 to 5: Graphics: 4.8 Now let me justify that. The backgrounds are absolutely amazing. While I was a bit skeptical as to the difference 60fps would offer, it is awe-inspiring to say the least. The whole game moves rock-solid. However, the characters themselves on some of the close ups get kind of blurry. I guess this would be the anti-aliasing. I have no problem with that, it just would be nice if they didn't zoom so close so I wouldn't have to be presented with a blurry character. Sound/Music: 4.6 This is a cartridge, right? I wonder... However, what brings down my score is the fact that they left out some of the combo announcements. Basically the announcer calls out the Ultras, Ultimates, and a few other things, but not individual combos. Bummer! The music aspect is awesome. How they fit such great tunes in this cart is beyond me. Some of the songs even have lyrics. The music has the famous KI techno-industrial music pieces blasting throughout and I am quite pleased with it all. Control: 4.5 The control for the most part is quite good. However, playing with a Nintendo controller I found it a bit hard at times because of the different size buttons. Now this isn't Rare's fault, but I do think some of the moves sometimes are a little sluggish to pull off. Reply Value: 4.6 Arcade, Team, Team Elimination, Tournament, Practice, Training, and Focused Training are the different modes of play available to ensure the the game does not get boring. I can vouch for the reply value as the game has already cost me studying time for my College classes. Doh! But what fun! Overall Score: 4.8 This is an incredible game and an awesome display of things to come. Rare and Nintendo have once again shown us that the future is the N64. Killer Instinct Gold has many different aspects that I still am getting into and enjoying every bit of. The creators have brought all of the elements together in "the right formula" to give us an arcade fighter at home. And if I may, it is perhaps the best fighter that I have played. I would probably play this version over KI-2. It's that good. The 3D backgrounds give a real sense of depth and are quite detailed. Rent it, barrow it, buy it, lease it, get your hands on it somehow and curl up with the TV and your N64 for some intimate bonding, cause this is KI: Gold... King of the fighters!

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