Review – Double Kick Heroes

I’m always excited to try out a new rhythm game, as this is probably my favorite genre out there. I can’t live off playing Rock Band 4 forever, so I love when a little title like Deemo Reborn or AVICII Invector shows up. They add a little twist and a different take on the rhythm formula, which can easily be learned by anyone who has played other games in harder difficulties. After I’ve heard about Double Kick Heroes, I sure wanted to try it out. A game that mixed rhythm controls, zombies, shooting, and heavy metal? Well, sign me up!

Double Kick Heroes

Unlike Guitar Hero, which is best enjoyed on Expert, Double Kick Heroes is best enjoyed on easier difficulties.

In Double Kick Heroes, you take control of a heavy metal band riding a beat up car, not unlike the intro video from Rock Band 2, trying to survive a horde of zombies in a post-apocalyptic setting. You do that by shooting at them by pressing buttons according to the beat of some heavy metal songs, of course. How else would you fight a horde of the undead? Stealth? Pfft.

The rhythm-based gameplay reminded me more of some older Konami games like Guitar Freaks, with a flat noteboard instead of a 3D-esque noteboard from Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Its position isn’t very intuitive, being placed at the bottom of the screen, horizontally. It makes it really difficult for you to pay attention at what’s happening on the rest of the screen, which is a shame, considering that the game’s pixel art is pretty cool, as well as the fact that there is a rock band mowing down zombies with machine guns and you’re not completely able to pay attention at that awesome fact. It gets worse when you play it in higher difficulties.

Double Kick Heroes

This game needs guitar support… or drums. Whichever is easier to adapt.

Since the game is played on a controller, dealing with tons of different notes is an absolute nightmare on higher difficulties. It works in Rock Band because you have a guitar-shaped controller at your disposal, as well as the most intuitive control scheme in the history of rhythm games. That’s not the case in Double Kick Heroes. You have to sort stuff out by pressing the face buttons of the Xbox’s controller in the same pattern as some double-bass death metal songs in some cases. It’s just not possible to press those buttons so quickly without either destroying your controller or accepting the fact you’ll probably going to develop carpal tunnel syndrome soon. The fast-paced notes are also an eyesore.

Double Kick Heroes is best enjoyed on lower difficulties, not because it’s fun to play per se, but because you can pay attention to the cool visuals. You can also enjoy the soundtrack without loathing the fact your fingers are deteriorating in front of you. The soundtrack is, without a doubt, the game’s main highlight. Not only does it feature tons of original songs that get gradually harder, but it also features a wide assortment of licensed metal tracks from smaller, but incredibly talented bands. They spawn from all kinds of metal subgenres too, from grindcore to industrial metal.

Double Kick Heroes

Welp, there goes my appetite.

The idea behind Double Kick Heroes is absolutely amazing, and its soundtrack is oh so great. I really wanted to love it, considering how much I love most rock-centered rhythm games, but this game is a mess when you play in harder difficulties. It’s an eyesore and a nightmare for your fingers. It just doesn’t work as well as it should on a controller, reminding me of how annoying Guitar Hero was on a Dualshock back in 2005. If you decide to play Double Kick Heroes on lower difficulties, you won’t be presented with any semblance of a challenge, but at least you’ll be able to enjoy a pretty funny game with a phenomenal selection of metal bangers.


Graphics: 6.5

The overall style is fantastic and the game features top notch pixel art, but you’ll barely be able to pay attention to what’s happening onscreen. You’ll mostly pay attention to the scrolling notes which are positioned in a very uncomfortable way, especially in faster difficulties.

Gameplay: 5.0

It’s like playing Guitar Hero on a controller, but with more speed and less visual cues. It works, but it’s absolutely clunky.

Sound: 10

Not only is the original soundtrack great, but Double Kick Heroes also features loads of phenomenal bangers from guest metal bands.

Fun Factor: 6.0

The idea is fantastic. The game is indeed loads of fun if you’re playing on lower difficulties. It becomes way too much of a convoluted mess when you’re on harder difficulties, not to mention the eyesore that is the scrolling note section.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Double Kick Heroes is available now on Xbox One, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox One.

A copy of Double Kick Heroes was provided by the publisher.