As the era of 16-bit gaming comes to an end, Killer Instinct for the SNES shows it isn't time to throw in the towel, yet.
With 3DO, Atari Jaguar, and Sega Saturn already on the market; the release of Sony's PlayStation mere days away; and Nintendo's Ultra 64 slated for release April of next year, there is no question that the 16-bit era is drawing to a close. As software companies and development houses turn their attention to the next generation systems, it can only be expected that support for the 16-bit systems will slowly dwindle. With the end in sight, however, there are still a few titles that really go to show that "it ain't over till it's over!"
One such title is Killer Instinct for the SNES. This whopping 32-meg cart packs in ray-traced graphics, orchestrated music with real voice, and awesome moves - combos, ultras, danger moves and face-against-the-glass ending moves.
Is it the arcade? ...not really. All of the cinemas have been stripped, or converted to cheezy Mode-7 bitmap manipulation. The 3D-type levels, such as the rooftop scene, have been converted to flat, 2D representations, and the one-player battles seemed less-than challenging.
This aside, however, Killer Instinct is unquestionably one of the truley great 16-bit games. There is no doubt that this title takes full advantage of every last ounce of the system. While it may seem tough to compete with the stunning 32-bit 3D fighting games such as Virtua Fighter 2, Tohshinden, and Tekken soon to be released, Killer Instinct is painfully addictive. With game play like this on 16-bit, I can't wait to see what they do with Killer Instinct 2 on the Ultra 64 next year.