* AwesomeEgo: While he was already pretty cocky to begin with, Cinder's ego came to a head in ''2013'', where he's pretty much acting like he's the hottest thing since sliced bread, and most people seem to love it.
* BrokenBase: While many fans were elated to see Killer Instinct get a '''long''' overdue reboot, the fact that it's an XboxONE-exclusive title[[note]]which is justified, as Rare belongs to Microsoft now; but the fact that the Xbox One itself is a BaseBreaker so far seems to have leaked over to the game too[[/note]] has many more split on whether it's worth the trade-off.
** The game is adopting a free-to-play model and will release with ''only'' Jago as the selectable character at launch. This is itself a bag of controversy among players, especially considering each character will be $5.
*** This break has largely gone away with release; as it turns out, the pricing model doesn't try to pull any tricks to scam more money from the consumer after all and the free character rotates. About the only negative thing one can say is that the emulated, offline version of the first game isn't much of a bonus for the deluxe edition's extra price. It's largely been forgotten amid the microtransaction insanity of [[VideoGame/ForzaMotorsport Forza 5]] and [[VideoGame/RyseSonOfRome Ryse]].
** The fact that Double Helix is making it, and they haven't had a very good track record...
*** Though Double Helix's work on Season 1 [[WinBackTheCrowd won back the crowd]] with its high quality of gameplay and graphics, to the point that several claimed Iron Galaxy couldn't live up to Double Helix's standards when the game switched developers.
** Some people are disappointed by the fact that No Mercies and Ultimate Combos are not available at launch, since they consider them an important part of the game. Double Helix has stated that they would be added in the future, but that does not stop the disappointment. Most {{egregious}}ly, Shadow Jago as final boss had an Ultimate finisher while no one else had any as of the end of Season 1. Season 2 is beginning to turn that around after adding stage finishers to roughly half the new stages.
** Omen, the January 2015 character, has caused a lot of controversy among the fans. Some consider him to be a cheap, unoriginal clone fighter who uses other characters' moves and looks very bland, created by Iron Galaxy as a filler, while the others think that he is a very interesting character with an cool design and interesting backstory. It doesn't help that Shadow Jago, who is beloved by most fans, wasn't given his own moveset and theme at the time, and still isn't available except to those to those who participated in very limited offers.
*** Oddly enough, he IS essentially pitched as a bonus character. Hell, it even says so in his trailer! Some, however, argue that Iron Galaxy still should've put more effort into him, and if they couldn't, then they shouldn't have made him at all.
** The E3 2015 announcement that the game would be coming to PC with cross-play compatibility drew a lot of ire from some Xbox One owners, with some lamenting the loss of an exclusive game on that console ([[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement and that's all that we'll say about that]]), while others were concerned that devoting resources to a port two seasons in would negatively impact the possibility and quality of a third season of content. On the other hand, others were thrilled at the possibility of KI staying in the spotlight during the release of ''VideoGame/StreetFighterV'', which had joint PS4/PC exclusivity, as well as a possible huge boost to the userbase. The latter fear has also been relieved by the announcement of Season 3 for March 2016, which also happens to be around the same timeframe for the PC port of the game.
** Rash. There's just as many people who are excited as there are people who think he doesn't fit the tone of KI at all, as well as claiming his inclusion will lead to KI getting flooded with guests and turn it into Microsoft's equivalent of VideoGame/SuperSmashBros.
** The news of Mick Gordon not returning to compose the Season 3 soundtrack was met with unanimous sadness, but the outlook on the future has been mixed. Many are hopeful due to Atlas Plug and Celldweller's past work and the preview of Rash's theme that was put out the same day as the announcement, but others argue that switching composers midway through will create obvious inconsistency, claiming that no one could hope to live up to Mick's work. Then again, some people said the same thing about Robin Beanland before Season One was released...
* ComplacentGamingSyndrome: You will see Jago often in ranked matches. ''Very'' often.
* CreepyAwesome: [[DemBones Spinal]], [[EvilSorcerer Kan-Ra]] and [[StringyHairedGhostGirl Hisako]] in ''spades''.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs Riptor]] and [[KillItWithFire Cinder]] from the first game for their unique designs and gameplay. Demands were heavy for their return in the new game and they got their wish in Season 2.
** [[StringyHairedGhostGirl Hisako]] has been received very warmly by the fanbase due to her interesting and [[CreepyAwesome awesomely creepy]] design, as well as [[{{Golem}} Aganos]], who has a very fleshed out rivalry with Kan-Ra, an interesting design and an awesome stage theme.
** Speaking of Cinder, his new characterization as a DeadpanSnarker LargeHam BloodKnight has been pretty well-received by the fanbase. Having a [[AwesomeMusic ridiculously awesome remix of his original theme]] strapped to him certainly helped.
** Rash has managed to please many fans straight out of the gate, thanks to being from another Rare franchise and his overall funny character and moves, along with being a much more fundamental and straightforward character than most of the Season 2 cast.
* EvilIsSexy: Shadow Jago somehow manages to appear even more ripped than regular Jago.
** On the same note, Sadira has quite her share of fans.
** Cinder's [[ArousedByTheirVoice voice]] does this for some fans, but the rest of him...not so much.
* FirstInstallmentWins: While ''[=KI2=]'' was a legitimately better game with a more robust and balanced combo engine, many players were, and still are, turned off of it by the [[ArtShift radically different presentation]] that came with the higher-fidelity graphics compared to ''[=KI1=].'' Aside from the look, many smaller changes also didn't sit well with some players, like the announcer lacking the combo names and missing three favorite characters.
* GoodBadBugs:
** KI 2013 has a rare and amusing bug, where when a character is knocked out of their first lifebar, they will stay down and never get up. Since the timer doesn't run, there's no way to continue the fight, forcing either player to quit in an online battle, or to exit to the main menu in an offline versus battle.
** Many of the exploits in the original ''Killer Instinct'' are so instilled in gamers' memories, such as Cinder's infinite combo, that the digital re-release actually allows players to choose between playing the revised arcade build that fixed them or the original build with all the glitches intact.
* ItWasHisSled:
** [[spoiler: The truth about Jago and Orchid being siblings is now common knowledge.]]
*** [[spoiler: To be fair, the fact that Orchid and Jago were related was actually spoiled when you go into Killer Instinct 1's AttractMode. It's random, but if it happens to land on Orchid, it gives an extended story that outright says "she won't find out for some time yet that Jago is actually her brother". And this is accurate; it wasn't actually announced in-game or in-story up until Killer Instinct 2, in Jago and Orchid's arcade mode ending cinematics.]]
** [[spoiler: The Tiger Spirit Jago worshiped being a phony.]]
* KillerApp: The SNES port of the original Killer Instinct helped push a lot of units thanks to the success the game found in the arcades. The Xbox One reboot also counts, being a very popular, exclusive launch title for that system.
* MemeticMutation:
** [[MostWonderfulSound C-C-C-]]{{COMBO BREAKER}}!!
** Also, "ULTRAAAAAAAAA COMBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
** "'''ULTRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!'''" Courtesy of the XboxOne game.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOe0ceZYn8o "Look for the, Bear Accessories, those simple Bear Accessories."]]
** [[{{Mondegreen}} MAH SOUP]]!
** Kan-Ra's Stage Ultra sending the recipient to the [[Manga/YuGiOh Shadow Realm]]
** Kan-Ra is actually Wrestling/RicFlair.
* {{Mondegreen}}: No one knows for sure what Chief Thunder says in KI 2013 after he wins. One popular interpretation goes "Cats go Yum Yum" (or Meow Meow).
** It's most likely something in Niimiipuutímt, the language of the Nez Perce tribe. The captions say "Thank you for the battle.".
** "BEANS!!" for his Phoenix attack in the first.
** "YOGA FEVER!" for whenever he activates instinct or uses ''Call of the Sky''.
** "EXCUSE ME!" for Jago's Endouken attack. Other interpretations include "WHAT YOU COOKIN!" and "EAT YOUR COOKIE!".
** "MAH SOUP!" for Kan-Ra's Spike special
* MostWonderfulSound: The announcer has a few. There's the classic "C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!". The 2013 game adds "C-C-C-COUNTER BREAKER!" and "ULLLLLLLLLLTRAAAAAAAAAA!". The sheer enthusiasm the announcer has yelling them makes you feel awesome for pulling it off.
** Fulgore's Devastation Beam, which makes a really satisfying Godzilla-like mechanical roar. Unless you're targeted by it, in which case it's [[HellIsThatNoise nightmarish]].
** The giant bell falling in either version of Tiger's Lair comes with an immensely satisfying peal when it hits the ground. It's entirely possible for it to be triggered during an Ultra Combo, and if timed properly can add a very nice bit of flair to the end of the match or during the characters' win animation.
* NightmareFuel: Kan-Ra's reveal. [[JumpScare VERY]] [[NightmareFace MUCH]] [[HellIsThatNoise SO]].
** And now we see he's more of a [[SlasherSmile psycho]] [[EvilLaugh experimenter.]] Yikes.
** Good news: [[spoiler: Riptor's back for the fans!]] Bad news: we learn it really, [[KilledOffScreen REALLY sucks to work at UltraTech.]]
** Hisako's teaser at the end of Aganos' trailer. [[BringMyBrownPants Hope you brought your brown pants.]]
*** Hisako in general. She's basically [[Literature/TheRing Sadako]] crossed with [[VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}} Painwheel]], taking the look and glitching powers of the former and the rage and horrible contortions of the later.
* NightmareRetardant:
** Fulgore is a big, hulking evil robot with glowy red eyes, long claws, and a multitude of deadly weapons at his disposal. He also makes elephant noises when you hit him.
** Some find Eyedol's name too silly to take him seriously.
** On the flipside, most players who found Eyedol intimidating weren't impressed with Gargos, whose design is much simpler in comparison.
* OlderThanTheyThink: Many older players never learned that [=KI2=]'s combo engine allowed 80+ hits without glitching and absent the 2013 game's ability to chain two ultra combos together.
* PolishedPort: Thanks to Nintendo being in a partnership with Rare at the time, they had the programming team for the arcade version handle the Super Nintendo and Game Boy ports, instead of outsourcing it to a third-party developer. The result is that the SNES version was well-received and the GB version was surprisingly faithful, and more importantly, playable.
* RatedMForMoney - Fairly blatant at that. It was actually rated T, but the intent was still there.
** Played straight and literally with the Xbox One release of Killer Instinct Classic, which has a M rating.
* ReplacementScrappy: ''Killer Instinct 2'''s newcomers Maya, Tusk and Kim Wu aren't too popular with the fans, being replacements of fan favorites Cinder, Thunder and Riptor. It also doesn't help Thunder is given no explanation for his disappearance and the other two are simply written as being dead, making for a rather cheap way to get rid of them. Maya was retooled for Season 2 and became more popular, but time will tell if the other two will also be RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap when they show up in Season 3.
** Gargos gets some heat as well from fans for being more of a stock character than Eyedol in addition to sharing his role and similar moves. However, there are some who like him for the fact that he contributed more in the story than Eyedol did.
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Maya got more love in Season 2 thanks to getting a new design and appearing alongside Riptor, Cinder and Thunder, allowing her to become distanced from the other three and avoid getting accusations of replacing them like she did in her debut game. Having been confirmed for Season 3, Tusk and Kim Wu will be heading to this.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: Tusk's theme music sounds an awful lot like the Conan theme.
* TearJerker: The news that Mick Gordon wouldn't be returning to compose the music for Season 3 had fans unanimously heartbroken.
** On the Season 2 soundtrack, there's a secret track at the end of "Herald of Gargos" that features Mick playing a very slow, acoustic version of the main theme on guitar. After finding out days after the album was released that he'd be leaving, the track feels much more somber, seemingly acting as one last quiet send-off after two years of continuous hard work on the series.
* ThatOneBoss: Shadow Jago, by a long shot. Not only does he knock up the difficulty to the legendarily hard ''[[HarderThanHard Kyle]]'' Difficulty, but he also has a lot of improved frame data, a few new moves Jago normally has no access to, and a much more infuriating Instinct Mode. To the uninitiated, Kyle difficulty fights involve [[PerfectPlayAI input reading]] CPU opponents that can break any combo they want, resist any traps for Counter Breakers, and will always finish their combo.
** SNKBoss: May not have been since much of his difficulty stems from being played smartly by the CPU but his moves have unique properties to them that make him stand above the rest of the cast.
** Gargos and Eyedol weren't fair fights either, considering [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard they're capable of regenerating health while the player is down]].
* TheyCopiedItSoItSucks: One of the criticisms towards the game was that it was a ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' clone.
** Some also claimed that the 2013 game looked like a grittier ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV''.
* TierInducedScrappy: Spinal and Hisako both get the majority of their hate for being insanely powerful and easy to use respectively.
** Kan-Ra gets hit with this often, due to the fact that once one knows how to play him well, he can cover so much of the screen and shut down several options of every character in the roster. It's not helped by his surprisingly high damage for a zoning character and being able to start up a combo from almost every area of the screen.
** Despite being a big fan favorite and fun to watch, Aganos is generally considered to be the worst character in the game due to its odd, hard-to-master playstyle and lackluster match-ups against a majority of the cast.
* UglyCute: Much like [[Franchise/MortalKombat Mileena]], Hisako was designed to be disturbing, but somehow got some fans who find her attractive. It's a bit more understandable in this case, since Hisako has [[DueToTheDead more relatable motives.]]
* UncannyValley:
** While the original game seems to hold up well enough, the character models for ''Killer Instinct 2'' are very...off, especially by today's standards. Everybody (especially the women) looks like big-eyed mannequins with FrozenFace syndrome.
** Done intentionally in the 2013 game with Kan-Ra's NightmareFace.
** In the SNES port of ''[=KI1=],'' all of the announcer's callouts play at slightly higher than normal speed (presumably saving some precious space on the cartridge by making the sound files smaller) and the combo callouts are done with MadLibsDialogue. The difference was hard to notice back in the days before MAME and ''[=KI2013=]'' made it easy for a player to compare the two, but if you go into the SNES port with a fresh memory of what the arcade version's announcer sounded like, it sounds really off, ''way'' more so than the rest of the SNES version's sounds, which are just lower in fidelity.
** Another intentional example is Hisako, with her blank eyes, neutral expression and just visible anglerfish-like teeth. The glitching doesn't help, and it gets even worse when she moves or uses her NightmareFace.
* VindicatedByHistory: The new game's callbacks to ''Killer Instinct 2'' have been received better than ''[=KI2=]'' itself was at its release.

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