If there’s one thing that Killer Instinct Community Coordinator (and pro fighting game aficionado) Mike Robles loves, it’s combat. Developer Double Helix has done an amazing job with the first season’s worth of downloadable content for the game, and inbound developer Iron Galaxy is set to pick up the baton in a big way for “Killer Instinct: Season Two,” coming to Xbox One later this year. With the news that “Killer Instinct” will join other competitive games such as “Call of Duty: Ghosts” for Major League Gaming’s Anaheim event lineup from June 21-22, we spoke to Robles briefly about his history with “Killer Instinct,” what he loves about the game, and what he’s hoping we might see in future seasons.
Xbox Wire: Why is Killer Instinct your game of choice? With so many great fighting games out there, what makes this one the most alluring?
Mike Robles: Part of it is nostalgia. When I first heard that Killer Instinct was coming to Xbox One I was crazy excited. KI has been a huge part of my childhood. Everyone remembers playing it in the arcade and then having it on their Super Nintendo.
Seeing the initial demos, the redone characters and fight engine I knew that this game was going to be a major contender with all the other fighting games out there. This wasn’t a game that was being produced solely for nostalgic purposes, this was a fighting for the new generation of home consoles.
Xbox Wire: What does it mean, for Killer Instinct’s immediate and long-term future, to be included in the MLG Anaheim lineup?
Mike: It shows that KI is meant to be taken seriously. That it’s a top tier game worthy of full scale competitive e-sports treatment.
Xbox Wire: How is the MLG competition looking so far? Is the pro KI community excited about its inclusion?
Mike: The competition is looking great. There is a huge KI community and there have already been some amazing tournaments out there. The community was excited about the inclusion because it shows the rest of the games out there that KI is here and a new breed of competition is coming to MLG.
Xbox Wire: How has KI: Season One been? What are the dominant characters and play styles, coming out of the season?
Mike: So far Season One has seen some amazing character showcases. It is really hard to say what ONE character is dominating over any others. Jago can be a beast when it comes to his manuals, while Sabrewulf & Orchid have amazing rushdown capabilities.
Xbox Wire: What do you hope to see from KI: Season Two’s new developers? Any favorite characters or potential balance tweaks that you’re keeping your fingers crossed for?
Mike: There is a lot I (personally) would love to see. T.J. Combo was my favorite fighter from original KI so I would love to see his reimagining. Double Helix did an amazing job with Season One and I have nothing but the utmost confidence in Iron Galaxy for Season 2.
Xbox Wire: Who is your character of choice, and how do you play him/her? Give us some insight into your play style.
Mike: Sabrewulf. After playing with all the initial characters I just fell into a rhythm with Sabrewulf. He has a great rushdown play style and has some amazing mixups. I enjoy being able to switch up from a rushdown, aggressive attack to a patient footsie game depending on my opponent. Thunder was a close second until the release of Fulgore. It’s a new play style for me but I am really enjoying learning all the technical aspects of Fulgore. He is a difficult fighter to use, but one that will pay off after spending some time in the lab.
Xbox Wire: And, finally, what advice do you have for aspiring pro Killer Instinct players who are having a tough time improving?
Mike: Never give up, don’t get discouraged, and relax. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to lose a match I shouldn’t have because I didn’t calm down. Be ready to adapt to different plays styles and rewatch your matches. See what you could have done differently. If you lost, look back and see what your opponent did and how you could react if that situation came up again. You are going to have good days, and bad days, but as long as you take every match as a learning experience you’ll be pro in no time.