The lights are on
If you were gaming in the mid-‘90s, it was tough to avoid Killer Instinct hype. Nintendo used the Midway-developed game (along with Cruis’n USA) to show off what its then-upcoming Nintendo 64 was capable of, even using it as a teaser at the end of a Donkey Kong Country promo tape. I played it in the local arcade a few times and thought it looked good, but it wasn’t enough to loosen my grip on Street Fighter. I bought the game along with the 64, and while I admired Rare’s porting job, at the end of the day I was still playing Killer Instinct.
My unenthusiastic response apparently makes me an outlier. Microsoft bought Rare in 2002, and the company has spent a considerable amount of effort to retain the fighting game’s trademark. Today, Microsoft and Fox reached an agreement over the name, which means the Killer Instinct brand is a go for future projects should Microsoft choose to pursue them. Hold on, though. If Jurassic Park taught me anything, it’s that just because you can do something, that doesn’t mean you should. Here are a few other ways I think that Rare’s time could be better spent. That is, of course, if they are indeed working on something related to Killer Instinct.
Bring Back Blast Corps
Blast Corps’ premise is simple: You’re a demolitions expert, and you have to use a variety of vehicles to clear a path for an out-of-control truck. If you fail and the truck collides with a building, structure, or other obstacle, its nuclear payload will detonate. That is a Very Bad Thing that you obviously want to avoid.
It was a simple concept, but I couldn’t stop playing it. Each of the eight vehicles had a unique way of breaking things apart. For instance, the bulldozer smashed through obstacles by simply butting into them head on. The dump truck required a bit more finesse, since you’d have to go into a skid and whip its rear end into whatever you wanted to break apart. There were also some puzzle elements, too, such as sections where you’d have to fill holes in the truck’s path with blocks or destroy larger structures with explosives-laden cranes.
Eventually, you’d end up on the moon because, well, it was a video game. Blast Corps was silly, fun, and more than a tiny bit stupid. I’d love to see Rare and Microsoft pull this one out of the vault and make a new one. It’s something that would be a great fit as a download, too. I don’t think making a huge open-world Blast Corps would add a whole lot to it, and if keeping it down to a relatively small scale would make a new game more likely, I’m on board 100 percent.
Or Recharge Those Batteries
If that’s not possible, I think it’s time for another R.C. Pro-Am. Rare’s NES racer was a highlight of my NES years, giving me the chance to whip tiny radio-controlled vehicles around tracks no matter how crappy it was outside. The game had a nice amount of depth for the time, including performance upgrades (via on-course pickups), as well as missiles and bombs. In a lot of ways, it cleared the path for the Mario Kart series.
This is another one of those games that would be a perfect downloadable title, with a few caveats:
What do you think? Are you excited about the possibility – however slim – that another Killer Instinct could be in the cards? If not, what would you rather see from Rare? Let us know in the comments.
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.