YMMV: Killer Instinct

  • Awesome Ego: 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.
  • Broken Base: While many fans were elated to see Killer Instinct get a long overdue reboot, the fact that it's an Xbox ONE-exclusive titlenote  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 Forza 5 and 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 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 egregiously, 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 with Combo's stage giving the first stage finisher in the game, followed up by Kan-Ra's stage.
    • 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 and isn't available to those who don't have an Xbox Live Gold account.
      • 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.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: You will see Jago often in ranked matches. Very often.
  • Creepy Awesome: Spinal, Kan-Ra and Hisako in spades.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Riptor and 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.
  • Evil Is Sexy: 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 voice does this for some fans, but the rest of him...not so much.
  • First Installment Wins: 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 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.
  • Funny Moments:
    • The stage ultra on TJ Combo's stage in the 2013 game. Pull it off and your character knocks your opponent in the air, and then a wrecking ball smashes them into a billboard in the background, which explodes in a shower of sparks. The kicker is that your character poses as your opponent is hurtling back; Jago in particular shakes his head, as if in disapproval. Thunder puffs his chest out in a ridiculous fashion before raising his tomahawk.
    • The stage ultra on Kan-Ra's stage. While the character is launched into the air, they are hit by several artifacts flying by and are sent into a "black hole" portal while comically flailing around.
    • Aganos' victory animation. It buries its (presumably dead) opponent in rock... and then places a flower on the mound of rocks.
    • Hisako's stage ultra, which is a nice mix of funny and creepy. The victim is knocked to the right side of the screen after a few smacks from the winner. Suddenly, ghostly black hands begin to drag the victim under the ground; the victim struggles as much as they can, but they're sucked under...but then the hole opens back up, as the victim has ALMOST successfully escaped. The winner proceeds to quickly run over and knock their opponent back down into the pit with a quick strike. Especially funny when Kan-Ra does it, because he bursts into laughter once he knocks his opponent back under.
    • One of Aganos' normals has it flick the opponent. Said flick can also destroy projectiles, so you can be treated to the sight of Aganos flicking fireballs out of the air completely nonchalantly.
    • Cinder's trailer. For the entire duration Cinder is mocking TJ Combo and spouting one-liners that wouldn't sound out of place in some cheesy action flick.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • 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.
  • Heartwarming Moments: One of Black Orchid's endings in KI 2013 has Jago coming to her aid to help ease her very troubled mind.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • The truth about Jago and Orchid being siblings is now common knowledge.
      • To be fair, the fact that Orchid and Jago were related was actually spoiled when you go into Killer Instinct 1's Attract Mode. 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.
    • The Tiger Spirit Jago worshiped being a phony.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Memetic Sex God: Hisako of all people. Though this is probably tongue in cheek. Probably.
  • 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
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The announcer has a few. There's the classic "C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!". The 2013 game adds "C-C-C-OUNTER 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 nightmarish.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Kan-Ra's reveal. VERY MUCH SO.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • 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.
  • Older Than They Think: 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.
  • Polished Port: 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.
  • Rated M for Money - Fairly blatant at that. It was actually rated T, but the intent was still there.
    • Played Straight with the Xbox One release of Killer Instinct Classic, which has a M rating.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Maya, Tusk and Kim Wu, Killer Instinct 2's newcomers 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, however, time will tell if the other two will also be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap for a potential third Season.
    • 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.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: 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. If Season 3 is confirmed, Tusk and Kim Wu will be heading to this.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Tusk's theme music sounds an awful lot like the Conan theme.
  • That One Boss: Shadow Jago, by a long shot. Not only does he knock up the difficulty to the legendarily hard 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 input reading CPU opponents that can break any combo they want, resist any traps for Counter Breakers, and will always finish their combo.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: One of the criticisms towards the game was that it was a Mortal Kombat clone.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: 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, but it tends to be offset by his Difficult but Awesome status.
    • 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.
  • Ugly Cute: Much like 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 more relatable motives.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • 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 Frozen Face syndrome.
    • Done intentionally in the 2013 game with Kan-Ra's Nightmare Face.
    • 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 Mad Libs Dialogue. 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 Nightmare Face.
  • Vindicated by History: The new game's callbacks to Killer Instinct 2 have been received better than KI2 itself was at its release.