Besides all of the intense competition of Killer Instinct World Cup, Killer Instinct fans were looking forward to the full gameplay reveal of the latest remixed character for KI, Shin Hisako. Acting as the redeemed version of the vengeful spirit, Shin Hisako is simple to pick up, but has some tools which will make her extremely tricky to fight against.
Alongside her change in aura and weapon, Hisako’s purification has massively increased her speed. Gone in the super slow walk speed, Shin Hisako’s walk and backdash are now among the fastest in the game. What’s most drastically changed is her forward dash, which now sees Shin Hisako teleporting diagonally forwards, almost like a shortened forward jump. Combined with her new Spirit Orbs and her tweaked specials, Shin Hisako can get around the screen faster than almost any other fighter.
While her rekkas have stayed mostly the same, Shin Hisako has lost her counter and Possession grapple, but she has gained a DP in the process. She has also gained a new move called Spirit Slice, which has her dashing through the opponent and leaving a glowing trail behind her. The glowing slash does leave a hitbox and you can juggle using the heavy version, so be prepared for some crazy recaptures with Shin Hisako.
As she is now purged of her anger and hate, Shin Hisako no longer has her Wrath meter. It is now replaced with her Spirit Orbs, which are orbs of spiritual fire which travel around the screen. Whenever Shin Hisako dashes forward when a Spirit Orb is on the screen, she will actually teleport to that orb. If you grab someone, you stick a Spirit Orb on them, meaning you have a way to always get in on your opponent.
If you attack these Spirit Orbs, Shin Hisako fires off a projectile similar to Leo Whitefang’s in Guilty Gear Xrd. If you land a hard knockdown and have a Spirit Orb up, you can set up some trick mixups which will keep the opponent guessing as which way to block. The projectiles created from Spirit Orbs clash with all other fireballs, besides Shadow or charged fireballs.
These Spirit Orbs also interact with all of Shin Hisako’s heavy specials, with all of them actively tracking a Spirit Orb. Players will have to keep a close eye on Shin Hisako’s Spirit Orbs but they should not be completely feared. Aganos can actually flick away Shin Hisako’s Spirit Orbs before she can establish any cool setplays, so be careful of the stone golem.
Her Instinct has also changed, as she now summons the spectral hands from the Village of Whispers to drag her opponent to Hell. The hands travel in a puddle along the ground, slowly approaching the opponent. If a player stands in the puddle for too long, they are dragged down beneath the earth and take a large chunk of damage. Shin Hisako players can resummon the puddle by pressing heavy punch and heavy kick and their Instinct will completely drain if they drag the opponent to Hell.
As said in the presentation, Shin Hisako is much easier to pick up and play when compared to normal Hisako, but her amazing mobility and Spirit Orbs offer huge depth for veteran players.
Shin Hisako is set to definitely launch on March 21st for $4.99, but this is considered a ‘worst case scenario’ by Iron Galaxy and Microsoft. As part of a special “Beam Plays Killer Instinct” promotion which begins on March 14th, the Killer Instinct community will be able to unlock Shin Hisako early, if they manage to beat Shadow Lords mode with the character, using the special stream commands. It will be tough going but if a dedicated team of stream viewers bands together, it can be done.
Check out the entire Shin Hisako breakdown in the Twitch VOD below, along with the following Shin Hisako gameplay videos in the mean time, courtesy of Iron Galaxy. Patch 3.7 of Killer Instinct is also available on March 14th, so expect all the juicy balance changes very soon.