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Killer Instinct

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Reviewed by Diane Cote Killer Instinct has transferred well to the small screen. Nine of the characters have come along for the ride and they've come out looking quite natty despite the shrinking process. Most of the combo manoeuvres, as well as most of the music has made it to the portable version. You know what this all means, of course? Killer Instinct has acquired the distinction of being the best fighter I've ever played on the Game Boy. C'est incredible! The graphics of Killer Instinct on the Game Boy are surprisingly crisp, clean and colorful (yeah, right -well, 2 out of 3 isn't bad). The animation of these little scrappers is very good, when you consider that less than six months ago we were playing a flicker plagued conversion of Street Fighter 2 on the Game Boy. Fulgore, everyone's favorite fighting android, has turned out to be mini-extreme despite his being compressed into 2 colors. His bladed fists and flashing laser-vision eyes are as slick and powerful as they were on the SNES. The rest of the "Instincters", although not as totally gnarly as Fulgore, have also been recreated well on this mighty-mite cartridge. Visually, although the game suffers from hardware limitations, this is definitely one of the sharpest titles to ever appear on the Game Boy and it most assuredly represents an excellent job from the developers involved. In terms of the whole audio experience that Killer Instinct provides on the portable, let's just say that the game player would probably enjoy playing this fighter just as much with the sound turned off. That's not to say that, despite the limitations imposed on them, the audio engineers and sound technicians at Rare didn't do some fine work with this game, because they have. It's just that we've been listening to the same blips and bleeps from that monophonic tiny speaker on the front of the portable for so long now, I think we can safely say, we've had all that we should take. However, on the Super Game Boy, those same blips and bleeps turn into fairly recognizable renditions of the various techno themes of the game's arcade based big brother - only trouble is, the tunes sound like they've been performed by a somewhat musical calculator. The control of portable Killer Instinst has been even more simplified from the infamously simple controls of the original. It is so easy to let those combos fly, you're just going to laugh. I had a great bus trip to the Playground playing this thing. I was smirking to myself, trying to look somewhat civilized as my Sabrewolf was being destroyed by the computer's Orchid in a devastating 24-hit Ultra Combo. I could just imagine how all of the silent, suited and grumpy looking professionals around me would handle it if this awesome event was taking place live in front of them on the bus. Oh, happy thought. Anyway, to reiterate, Killer Instinct has always handled beautifully and the Game Boy port is no exception. The Game Boy game testers at Nintendo have done another excellent job. They made sure that Killer Instinct was not only a good product but a great value for the Game Boy gamer. I was impressed with the cart from the moment I turned my Game Boy on. It plays great on the SNES' Super Game Boy - the frame (populated by rendered images of Orchid, Fulgore and Combo) around the smaller screen is slick, as are the colored fight preview screens. And it handles the two player linked Game Boy contraption just fine. Killer Instinct for the Game Boy is a jewel of a title and one deserving prominent placement on The Electric Playground's Must Buy list. If you're still packing around that battery friendly, night-fearing, 8-bit portable warhorse, you owe it to yourself to check Killer Instinct out. Just watch out though, this one's addictive.

I'm giving Killer Instinct 9 out of 10

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