Killer Instinct is a mash-to-win noob-friendly combo fest

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Hit all the buttons all the time

The best thing about E3 this year was the constant loitering of awesome developers at the Sony booth. It was like a Sup Holmes reunion special. That’s where I bumped into Adam Heart, creator of the PS3/PS Vita/PC fighter Divekick. I expected Adam to be down on the upcoming Xbox One exclusive Killer Instinct, as it’s pretty much the exact opposite of his game.

I was totally wrong. Adam was totally into the game, citing its loose tolerance for late inputs and fun, flashy visuals as just a few of its strengths. I was lucky enough to test the game out myself, and Adam was 100% right. While it’s relatively tough to pull off moves and combos in Street Fighter 4, Killer Instinct almost makes it hard not to. In other fighters, it can be frustrating to be at a mid-tier skill level as you’ll always get your ass beaten by the pros. Killer Instinct may be the opposite. The less I tried to to anything specific, the bigger combos I pulled off. As soon as my opponent got in range, I just hit all the buttons, canceling a throw into an flying uppercut into a super flying uppercut for a third of my opponent’s meter.

Killer Instinct has always been an anomaly. It takes Street Fighter‘s core, adds Mortal Kombat‘s western “grit” and crushes it all together with polygon-based graphics which at the time of its inception were a relatively rare sight. This new entry maintains all that, while allowing even the least dexterous combo-dialers among us pull off some long chains. It will be interesting to see if the FGC takes to such a scrub-tolerant experience.