hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

double helix

Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct to put rage-quitting players in 'jail'


Don't be that guy
Jan 30
// Jordan Devore
In detailing an upcoming patch for Killer Instinct, developer Double Helix Games has broken down its plans for rage quitters. Players whose disconnect percentage rises above 15 percent in ranked multiplayer matches will be se...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Oh hey it's Spinal's new design in Killer Instinct


I still enjoy this game
Jan 16
// Chris Carter
Killer Instinct is still played weekly in my house, especially with the Mad Catz Xbox One stick. The problem is it needs more characters sooner than later, and it looks like Spinal is almost done. Play XBLA has posted th...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Sabrewulf is the next free Killer Instinct character


So long, Jago
Jan 03
// Jordan Devore
Killer Instinct has swapped out its first free playable character as of a new 675MB update. Since launch in November, Jago has been freely available to test out. Now, it's Sabrewulf. The full list of patch notes from develope...
Strider soundtrack photo
Strider soundtrack

Do you prefer Strider's retro tracks or the new remixes?


Strider? I hardly even know her!
Dec 13
// Steven Hansen
The original "Raid" has not been topped, but both "Siberian Tunnel" tracks make my ears sing. The Strider reboot is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC early 2014 for $15. C'mon, Double Helix. Don't goof this up or it's back to licensed Battleship games and Killer Instinct DLC forever.
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

This might be Killer Instinct's new Fulgore design


As long as he still has his blade charge I'm okay
Nov 25
// Chris Carter
Killer Instinct may have launched with a paltry six characters, but that number is set to increase to eight early next year. Currently, fan favorites Spinal and Fulgore are in development, and thanks to a forum thread over at...

Review: Killer Instinct (Xbox One)

Nov 23 // Chris Carter
Killer Instinct (Xbox One)Developer: Double Helix GamesPublisher: Microsoft StudiosRelease Date: November 22, 2013MSRP: Free ($4.99 per character, $20 Season Pass, $40 Ultra Edition) Killer Instinct 2013 is a "2.5D" fighting game that operates similarly to Street Fighter IV. But as a stark contrast to some other fighters, the crux of the game is based on the intricate combo system -- which lets you to "link" certain moves together (regulars and specials) to form long chains of attacks. To start off this process you'll throw up an "opener," which will allow you to begin a combo, then you can throw in a few regulars, with a small window to enact another link move, and so on. The regular hit-confirm game is more present than ever, as you attempt to link everything you can into an opener to start a combo. To prevent you from doing this indefinitely, there's a "combo limit" meter near your hit count that shows you when you'll have to stop -- at that point, you'll pop an "ender" to inflict as much damage as you can, and your opponent will be allowed to recover, resetting the fight. The beauty of this system is that it's extremely simple to grasp at first, but it has a lot of intricacies to it. For starters, the enemy can escape any combo with a "combo breaker" move, which is used by pressing either LP+LK, MP+MK, or HP+HK. Why the disparity between light, medium, and heavy? Well, because you need to know the strength of the combo your opponent is using to break it -- if you press the wrong combination of buttons, you'll be "locked out" of a breaker for a few seconds, and you'll have to take the punishment. [embed]265842:51522:0[/embed] Add in the fact that you can use moves called "manuals" (delayed attacks that mix up the timing of combo breakers), and you have a huge, interesting meta-game involving the combo system that's very interesting to take part in. In practice, I mainly love this setup because it always keeps you on your toes. At any point anything can be punished, but instead of sitting there and waiting for it to be complete, you can just break it -- and with enough practice, you'll be able to break more and more. But combos aren't the only system present in Killer Instinct. There are shadow attacks (EX moves) that allow you to modify special moves to do more damage, open up new combos, or even go through projectiles. Killer Instinct also has its own version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3's X-Factor (used by pressing HP+HK), which allows you to regenerate a small amount of health, and gives you more hit stun capabilities. But it's more than just a buff, as it can be used to cancel a move to avoid a punish, and momentarily reset your combo limit. All of the standard fighting game tropes are also present, including cross-ups, wake up game, resets, and frame-specific moves. To finish everything off, you can use an "Ultra" combo as a fatality of sorts when your opponent has less than 15% of their health left on their last life. It's meant to be a dramatic finish, and the announcer goes absolutely nuts. You won't have too much difficulty learning these systems, as Killer Instinct's "Dojo" tutorial is one of the best in the genre, rivaled only by Skullgirls. In fact, I'd make the claim that if you finished both tutorials from start to finish, that you'd have the foundations to improve your skills in any fighting game -- they're that comprehensive, including frame data and frame specific tutorials. Jago is the new Shotokan (or, Shoto, Street Fighter's perfect learning character) of Killer Instinct, so injecting him into the demo as your first free character is genius. But while the systems are pretty solid, Killer Instinct is bare-bones in a lot of ways. For one, there's no campaign or any substantial amount of single-player content, really -- you're relegated to playing against the AI in single combat in the form of versus, survival, and practice. Killer Instinct does support two-player local and online play of course (which is where I spend all of my time anyway), but if you're the type of person who tends to play by themselves a lot, you might get bored rather quickly. It doesn't have a whole lot going for it in terms of the fighter count, either -- there are a mere six at launch, and the promise of two more earlier next year (with future content up in the air). Alongside of Jago you'll get Sabrewulf, Sadira, Thunder, Orchid, and Glacius. Out of all these Sadira is the only newcomer to the fray -- so you're getting five pre-existing characters in all. Now, while the count is low for sure, I have to say the game is pretty balanced, to the point where all six are viable in their own way. I was particularly blown away by Sadira, who quickly became one of my favorites with her web-based combos and aerial antics. All of the fighters have a decent amount of flair and their own personality though, so players shouldn't have trouble gravitating towards one. Personally, my all-time favorite Fulgore isn't coming until 2014, but I'm slowly learning to master Jago and Sabrewulf until then. As an aside, the visual style may feel a bit uninspired at times, but it runs at a smooth 60 frames per second, and occasionally looks like a next-gen game -- albeit a very early one. Although I've been playing the game for quite some time, the reason the review is dropping after release is because I wanted to test the netcode, and online play in general. It's a bit of a mixed bag in the end, as most of the games I played had no slowdown, latency issues, or drops -- but there were a handful of games that had any number of those issues, to the point where I hope Double Helix fixes them sooner than later. On the bright side, you'll get a win for enemy disconnects. Matchmaking is simplistic (to a fault), with the ability to be put together in ranked or unranked fashion, or host private games for friends. Keep in mind that your options are extremely limited in the sense that online play has no bells and whistles attached to it, and I hope that Double Helix ends up adding far more options in the future -- including robust lobbies, a spectator mode, and tournament options. So how do you buy Killer Instinct since it's not a physical game? Well, you download the free version, and choose what to add on from there. Despite the gaming community's proclamation that the sky was falling at the announcement of the game, Killer Instinct is a far cry from an abusive free-to-play scheme. It's very simple -- you download the game for free, which comes with Jago, or buy each character for $5. If you spring for a Season Pass (six characters now, with two more later) it'll run you $20, and the "Ultra Edition" nets you some extras for $40. So long as you don't mind the limited roster of six at launch, it's not a bad scheme in the slightest. Since you can still completely learn the game's systems using Jago for free and play with your friends, fighting game fans will get hours of entertainment out of the "demo" alone. I tested the bare-bones version out for myself actually, and was sufficiently entertained for quite a while before I was influenced to redeem my Ultra code. If you spring for the Ultra Edition of the game, you'll get a number of costumes, all the characters from the Season Pass, and a full Xbox Live Arcade game -- Killer Instinct Classic. This is basically its own game that's completely separate from Killer Instinct 2013, with its own achievements, save files, and extras. Point blank, if you're even a mild fan of the original it's worth buying. The Ultra version includes the original arcade game with all its "fan-favorite glitches" in tow, and a rework that smoothed them out completely -- to be clear, this is not the Super Nintendo version. Unlike the Xbox One game this one has 10 characters, all of which are fairly unique in their own way. The extras are basically a solid collection of fan service, including a sprite gallery, cutscenes, and even Easter eggs like the "Winners Don't Do Drugs" arcade messages. Killer Instinct may not be the new king of fighting games, and it feels a bit rushed in terms of content, but it is very solid and far exceeds my expectations for it. With a pricing scheme that doesn't feel exploitative and a balanced character roster, the well developed mechanics will keep you busy until the new content drops next year. It'll be interesting to see what the community at large thinks of it over time, but in my living room, it's a welcome addition to my fighting game roster.
Killer Instinct Xbox One photo
A surprisingly semi-killer combo
When Killer Instinct was announced, I don't think I had heard the silencing of so many screams since the destruction of Alderaan. While many gamers quickly jumped for joy at the mere mention of this resurrection, said joy was...

Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct launch trailer teases Fulgore


New characters set for release in Spring 2014
Nov 21
// Alessandro Fillari
As the release of the Xbox One approaches, the official launch trailer for Killer Instinct is out now, and it's teasing plans for the future. Much like their previous trailers, they showcase much of the existing content whil...
Strider photo
Strider

Can you guess which console these Strider screens are for


Lots of extras are in tow when the game drops
Nov 21
// Chris Carter
In 2014, a new Strider will launch on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC platforms. Set to hit Japan on February 22nd, the game will be both a downloadable title and a packaged version -- similar to DuckTales Remastered...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct Classic won't be sold separately


Restricted to new game's Ultra edition
Nov 13
// Jordan Devore
Currently, the only way to get Killer Instinct Classic is by purchasing either the Ultra ($39.99) or Ultimate ($59.99) edition of Double Helix's new Killer Instinct. I say "currently" because these things have a habit of gett...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct's Survival mode will be ready for launch


Dojo, survival mode, and the many uses of Killer Points detailed
Nov 08
// Alessandro Fillari
With the Xbox One coming in just two weeks, it's about time Microsoft let out a bit more information about one of its more talked-about titles. Killer Instinct is easily one of the most commonly-seen titles for the new consol...
 photo

Leaked character roster outs Fulgore for Killer Instinct


Oh, happy day
Nov 04
// Abel Girmay
Less than a week after the reveal of Spinal, we get a nice little leak showing Fulgore as the final character for Killer Instinct's season-one roster. Yes, there is a God. The leak comes by way of Penny Arcade, who seemingly ...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

New Killer Instinct trailer reveals Spinal and much more


Double Helix shows off the goods
Oct 31
// Alessandro Fillari
During IGN's recent livestream event for Killer Instinct, much of the focus was on B.Orchid's return in the newest entry of the series. As a fan favorite, Double Helix was keen to show off its redesign and new mechanics for ...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct's training mode gets further detailed


Teach me, sensei
Oct 22
// Abel Girmay
With Killer Instinct drawing nearer, so too are details, specifically about the game's training modes. You can expect the standard training mode, of course -- just you and a dummy with A.I. The twist here is that the previous...
Strider photo
Strider

Strider looks nice when it's being played by a pro


But will that sense of speed remain constant?
Oct 08
// Jordan Devore
Even without a deep-rooted sense of nostalgia for Strider -- okay, I do love the ridiculous Blue Dragon and always will for obvious reasons -- the remake in development at Double Helix is enough to bring about feelings of un...

Getting up to speed with Strider

Sep 24 // Dale North
[embed]262384:50600:0[/embed] In playing the demo I very quickly found that trying to "clear the screen" wasn't the best way of going about things -- the longer I hung around in one place, the faster I died. I was being heckled by a booth attendant. You have to keep on moving, I learned. It isn't quite to the level of a runner, but you are best served by keeping a move on, stopping at most only briefly to clear a path with your sword. The other change to the formula adds pathways that have you moving up through ducts or down ladders, like a fast-moving Castlevania, but with a katana instead of a whip. The guidance I had been receiving at the booth to "keep moving" stopped being valid as soon as I had to slide kick through a duct and then double jump up to grab a ledge. I didn't like how my movement had to stop to change paths at first, but I got used to it after a bit.  So it's move, slash, climb, in that order, with a heavy reliance on your reflexes and sense of direction. After getting a hang of how I needed to both keep moving and keep an eye out for my next path change, I was doing rather well. It didn't take long to warm up to the mix of moving and slashing. The flow is nice as most enemies go down fairly easy. It's fun -- they just sort of pop. Throwing in jump attacks for some flair kept things entertaining as I progressed on my way towards the more difficult sub-bosses.  The demo boss was a massive robot snake that I had to ninja scale to take down. The scene had both the snake and Strider moving along at high speed through the air, and it looked outstanding on the Xbox 360.  Again, when you're moving, Strider feels really good. I expect that the branching paths will be a point of contention for some. It's certainly not a deal breaker, and the balance of the two elements could weigh out differently in the full game, but I found that I just wanted to keep on moving after I got started. Stopping, climbing, and finding my way felt like too much work. Strider's TGS demo wasn't long enough to get a feel for the game's world or how its power ups fit into it, but it was long enough to let me know that the gameplay felt great. For me, that's enough to be excited about this game.
Strider HD photo
Hands-on at TGS
Strider was…well, it wasn't a big deal at Tokyo Game Show 2013. It could be found at a couple of places on the show floor, but you had to look for it. But I didn't need any fanfare or huge signage to want to try it out...


  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter?
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -