Getting a Rash: Hands-on with Killer Instinct's new Battletoad

Old-school players were given a treat yesterday when Microsoft and Killer Instinct invited Rash to Iron Galaxy's fighter. How does he handle? Shacknews went hands-on to find out.


Killer Instinct got an interesting shakeup yesterday during Microsoft's Gamescom 2015 conference. Not only was it confirmed that Iron Galaxy would make its triumphant return for a Season 3, the studio also invited a new player to the party. And party animals don't get much wilder than Rash from Battletoads.

So how does Rash handle? As a casual Killer Instinct player, Rash immensely easy to use. It goes beyond being able to mash light attack buttons into combos, which is a play on his old-school beat-em-up. Rash's bread and butter is, appropriately enough, his tongue. A simple tap of the Left Bumper basically allows Rash to quickly fly across the stage or quickly make up ground on an opponent, setting up some combo openers. The downside is that it's easily countered with the most basic of anti-air moves, so don't abuse it.

The key is in the follow-up. Following up the Wicked Tongue move with any of Rash's specials is essential, since most of them are good for multiple hits. The Battering Ram and Wrecking Ball can all deliver major hurt, while the Big Bad Boot is mostly better served as a finisher or as an anti-air.

The unpredictable aspect of Rash is his Instinct move, the Turbo Tunnel. The Speeder Bike mostly causes a lot of mayhem and is a sure-fire momentum stopper for opponents. However, more seasoned players will also be able to cleverly tie it into combos. The Speeder Bike moves quickly enough that if an opponent gets launched by a Big Bad Boot, he can land on the runaway vehicle as it's passing by.

Rash is definitely worth going hands-on with, even if he likely won't stay in this form for the long haul. Iron Galaxy has made it clear that Rash is in beta and will undergo changes, which is fine, because there are definitely a few areas where he could use some improvement. For example, his Ultra Combo is decidedly no-frills, as he'll often simply sock an opponent in the face with no follow-up. Someone as wild as Rash certainly deserves a flashier Ultra.

Rash is available now to owners of Killer Instinct, as well as owners of Rare Replay that have unlocked the "Do You Have Battletoads?" achievement. But get him soon, because he's only available to download until September 8. For more, Shacknews put together some gameplay footage to be enjoyed below.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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