Double Kick Heroes
Switch version tested
Review code provided
Do you like rhythm games but feel like most of them are lacking in the METAL department? Double Kick Heroes might just be the game you’ve been waiting for!
You play as the eponymous Double Kick Heroes: Lincoln, Randie, James, Snake, and Derek. A heavy metal band just trying to make it. One night, while playing a show at a local high school gymnasium, you notice the crowd is a bit more… flesh-craving than normal. You escape by the skin of your teeth in a souped-up hot-rod. The beginning cinematic alone had me hooked with the dialogue transitioning into a death metal song.
The big plus in this game is variety. There is so much content packed into this game with five difficulty levels, a MASSIVE soundtrack of over 50 songs (including some guest tracks), and several different modes and ways to play.
In-game, you drive down a barren road in the aforementioned souped-up hot-rod with a horde of zombies giving chase. Depending on which button you hit, you fire a shot either high or low to take out the zombies. The goal is, of course, to finish the song and escape the horde. In later songs and higher difficulty levels, you also have buttons for high hats and snare, which charge up and eventually deploy special grenade and sniper attacks.
Now, I say depending on the button you hit, but that’s only one way of playing. You can also play with motion controls using one or two pairs of Joy-Cons. With one pair, you simply use the Joy-Cons as you would drumsticks and you use the shoulder buttons for the high hats and snares. With two, you use the first pair as normal and (and this is SO clever, in my opinion) tuck the other into your socks for the pedals. The variety easily amps up the replay value.
As far as game modes, you have the story mode in which you travel across the land with breaks in between songs to further the story of our heroes. The arcade mode cuts the story and lets you get right into jamming through the tracklist. Hellgate mode is full of guest tracks including the likes of Gojira, Jinjer, and more. And Fury Road mode includes daily challenges as well as an endless mode allowing you to customise and power up your hot-rod.
The only complaint I have is that the game can feel a bit overwhelming. It’s almost like it tried to do too much at some points and that can definitely turn away more novice players. But with the varying difficulty levels, it does feel a bit more accessible to everyone. And it doesn’t penalise you for choosing an easier difficulty.
50+ songs, 5 difficulty levels, 4 different modes, 3 different ways to play, and an awesome (and definitely NOT kid-friendly) story. Oh! And did I mention the amazing 16-bit style graphics? Double Kick Heroes is absolutely jam-packed with content. I believe the Switch version is slightly more expensive than the others ($21.99/£19.79 compared to $19.99/£17.99), but with the multitude of different play styles, I’d definitely consider it the definitive edition. If you’re a fan of old-school rhythm games, don’t sleep on this one!
TBG Score: 8/10
Platform: PC, Xbox, Nintendo
Release Date: 13/08/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: Shooter, Music
Developer: Headbang Club
Publisher: Plug in Digital
Download link: eShop