Killer Instinct Gold was to be one of the first two games released with the Nintendo 64. However, while KI Gold didn't make the initial release (Mario 64 and Pilot Wings shared that honor), it is clearly the best fighter currently available on Nintendo's next generation system.
Killer Instinct Gold is basically a translation of the popular arcade game Killer Instinct 2. Its only truly new play feature is a training mode, designed to teach both beginners and pros how to kick out some amazing combos. The game's fighting system is made up of manual combos (regular hits strung together for maximum damage), and automatic combos (specific hits and secret moves linked together to engage automatically pre-determined combos). The ultimate result is that a player can perform insanely long 70+ hit combos. These combos are combined with super moves and fatality-type enders that allow for massacres. Of course, every combo has a "Combo-breaker" that can stop a fighter from getting murdered - or even turn the tide of battle.
The sound and graphics in KI Gold are near-perfect, though some of the narrator's voice-overs have been left out. KI Gold has enhanced the 3-D backgrounds of the arcade version, and though this is still basically a pre-rendered, 2-D fighting game, the graphics are impressive. All of the backgrounds are interactive in some way, which keeps play exciting and varied, but some of the characters aren't quite as sharp as the backgrounds are (minor flaw). KI Gold may lack that final finesse, but it more than makes up for it with fun.
The fighting games for the Nintendo 64 can only get better from here, though this title is a good offering for the first round of N64 titles.