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Cinder Hero Art, Killer Instinct

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New Cinder is a Failed Character Design (Killer Instinct Xbox One)

Cinder Hero Art, Killer Instinct

For a serious fighting game with little comedic pretense, Killer Instinct Xbox One has one of the most visually-confusing characters ever made — Cinder!

In the first Killer Instinct game, Cinder (Ben Ferris) was a criminal permanently on fire due to a chemical accident. His skin was orange matter that resembles plasma, like the surface of the sun, and was able to fluctuate in temperature. Like the rest of the cast, he was proportionally muscular and imposing.

Fast forward to today, and Cinder is almost unrecognizable with regards to both his story and character design. He is supposedly an ex-military man turned master thief who was captured by Ultratech and infused with Glacius’ alien technology. Sadly, Iron Galaxy and Microsoft’s interpretation of the new Cinder is an abomination unbefitting of a game like Killer Instinct. Where to begin…

Firstly, the relatively muscular and imposing look of the original Cinder has been ditched for an ET-headed, overly lean and skinny entity that, despite being fiery, is not as imposing as the other characters. This is especially odd considering that similarly lean and skinny Glacius is one of the most intimidating in the game, a clear testament to Double Helix’s design prowess.

Secondly, as if a lanky body wasn’t enough, he was given clamp-like chicken hands in a seemingly desperate attempt to sell the idea that he’s part alien. And here I thought being on fire was all that was needed…

Why he is wearing pointy shoes is beyond me and there must have been a better alternative to giving him shoulder and knee pads. The unnecessary lip on his mask is minutia compared to every other design deficiency…

Finally, his moves don’t suit his look, and I am not talking about his awkward gliding walk animation, jelly-like Pyrobombs, or sperm-shaped Trailblazer attack. Seeing a lanky, ET-headed half-alien with chicken hands and knee pads do karate moves is as awkward as Glacius doing El Furte-like wrestling moves.

Take Dudley from Street Fighter 4, especially his punching and walking swag, and make the following modifications:

  • Stretch his body vertically and take off all his clothes
  • Give him chicken hands, some kick moves, a mask with a slit for a mouth, and shoulder and knee pads;
  • Give him a slight variation of King’s fighting stance from King of Fighters and add Bruce Lee’s side hopping
  • Pour gasoline over him and light a match

Now give him a million moves for players to use and low-quality special effects and you have yourself the new Cinder — an aesthetic mishmash of characters from three fighting games, one alien movie, and hockey!

Do you like how Cinder turned out? In not, what would you change about him? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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