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Double Kick Heroes Preview: Making Plastic Instruments Great Again

Five Badasses in a Gundillac

Double Kick Heroes

 

Are you one of the few gamers that managed keep their plastic video game drum kit? Do you appreciate chunky pixel art? Have you not tired of the onslaught of zombie video games and movies that have unleashed in the last decade? Well, if you answered yes to all of those questions, then the indie developers over at Headbang Club sure do have a game for you!

Double Kick Heroes is an upcoming headbanging, zombie-killing, armed to the teeth Cadillac-driving rhythm game that I wish would have launched back when I possessed my Rock Band drum kit. That’s not to say that the game can’t be played with just a controller or keyboard. In my opinion, it requires a drum kit to get the most out of it.

 

Sunday Driver

Double Kick Heroes

So many zombies, so little time.

In Double Kick Heroes, you get to ride shotgun in a Cadillac with a metal band as they attempt to escape a zombie apocalypse. This isn’t JUST any Caddy though. This thing shoots gun turrets to the beat of whatever music the band is playing! The story is lighthearted and comical and full of retro references (and bad language), and there are plenty of pit stops along the way that push said story along. During these stops, some well-known metal icons just might make an appearance, although they don’t use their actual names. I’m sure this is just for legal reasons, but you pretty much know it’s them!

 

Melting (and shooting) Faces

What is it with the zombie apocalypse and prisons?

The visuals during the action and pit stop sequences are retro-inspired pixel bliss. Since this is a rhythm game you probably won’t notice all of the amazing artwork going on during the gameplay. There were so many times during my hectic, headbanging slaughter-fest that I wanted to take in the action, but I obviously couldn’t take my eyes off of the scrolling notes at the bottom of the screen. This is a problem rhythm games have suffered from since, well, forever. 

Like many other rhythm games, Double Kick Heroes displays “notes” on a scrolling staff. As the required notes enter a small zone, the player will need to press the corresponding button in order to register that note. Where Double Kick Heroes differs is that every note hit results in a gunshot from the back of the band’s Caddy; where thousands of zombies are giving chase. As the story progresses more notes (different types of firepower) get added. By the end of my time with the game, zombie brains and guts were literally dripping from the top of the screen.

 

Mad Metal

Hmmmm. Looks familiar.

As I stated earlier, this can (and probably will by most) be played with a controller. Although doable, most controller buttons can’t register button presses as fast as the game requires. At least that was the case in my time with the game. These notes are coming fast and furious! I started on the game’s Metal (medium) difficulty. After a few thrash tunes, I needed to bump the setting all the way down to “Rock” (the easiest). I’m hoping this isn’t a sign that I’m getting old, but I honestly believe that it was the controller’s inability to register every one of my rapid button presses. I did attempt to play with a keyboard but I still had the same issues.

 

Zombies Ahead

Hey, our buddy Hoagie survived the zombie apocalypse…kinda.

Just like in the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games, the music is what most consider to be the most important part of the experience. What I’ve played/heard works great, but I wish there was more from actual bands that I knew. I’d love to play this along to some Dillinger Escape Plan and Between the Buried and Me. Thankfully, there is a planned stage editor mode that will let you put in your own music! If you don’t have the time to do so, you could always just download content from other creators, and I’m positive the quality and quantity of the content will get quite hefty after launch.

 

 

We can’t wait to get our hands on the full version of Double Kick Heroes! Be sure to check back with us for updates on this upcoming face melting rhythm game! Its available via early access April 11th on Steam!

 

Mike Vito has been a slave to gaming ever since playing his grandfather's Atari 2600. A collector of all things retro, his main focus is obtaining a full NES collection. Being a father has rekindled his spirit for Nintendo and he now spends most of his time teaching his daughter about the games of yesteryear. Check out his other work in Pat Contri’s Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library. Current favorite games: Air Zonk, NHL Hitz 2003, Castlevania Symphony of the Night, & Super Dodgeball.
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