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Killer Instinct's Training Mode features full hitbox displays, a 'Kyle' difficulty setting, seamlessly endless record/playback function, and more

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • October 16, 2013 at 8:12 a.m. PDT • Comments: 37

Greetings, folks! DreamKing back once more for the 5th and final installment of our Killer Instinct coverage. Today, I will be discussing KI's Training Mode, and giving my impressions based on what I was shown.

The guys over at Double Helix Games were nice enough to grant EventHubs a bit of a sneak peek at their training function.

From what I experienced, Killer Instinct's Training Mode is quite robust, and there is still more to it that DHG didn't want to unveil quite yet.

Hit the jump for an EventHubs exclusive look at KI's Training Mode.

Killer Instinct Training Mode

Killer Instinct has a very well equipped Training Mode. The basic layout felt much like Street Fighter 4's training system. The stage itself dons a large grid on the floor and walls, designed to better assist players in measuring ranges, and spacing of attacks. There is also a large KI logo in background, as seen in the recent Dojo Mode video that was uploaded.

Included here are the standard training mode options: Battle info, inputs, counter hit, record / playback, dummy actions, etc. I was only shown the first couple of option screens, and the developers mentioned there was still more to be revealed.

Alongside the option of battling a CPU controlled opponent, you can choose between multiple difficulty levels for said foe. However, instead of going from "Very Easy" to "Very Hard", the KI difficulties are listed as Noob, Easy, Medium, Hard, Killer, and something referred to as "Kyle." The Kyle difficulty level is the most difficult setting, and is based on one of the development team's AI Designers, who is apparently insanely good at the game. (I'm not making this up.)

The Kyle setting is said to make very few mistakes, and actually have some pretty sick reads.

In addition to CPU difficulty settings, you can also choose to have the training dummy perform Combo Breakers against you. There is an option to have the dummy break your Light, Medium, Heavy, and even random Auto Doubles.

Whenever you're performing a combo on the opponent (while this option is enabled), the dummy will automatically break you as soon as you hit your Double. This can be used to get more familiar with Counter Breaker timing, perhaps.

The damage, and attack info is very detailed. One of the stand out aspects is the frame data display for every attack. When an attack is performed, the start up, active, and recovery frames are all shown immediately. (Example: 7/5/9)

In addition to frame data, each attack has two damage values: Instant Damage, and Potential Damage (i.e. # / #). Instant Damage is the amount that will immediately be shaved off an opponent's health bar when used in a combo. Potential Damage (or white health), is a higher number, and represents the damage the attack will inflict if the player properly finishes their combo using a Combo Ender.

Training Mode also features a full hitbox display option. All hitboxes appear right over both characters, showing hittable, hurt and throw boxes; each being respectively color coded.

The new “Display Combo State” was also a very nice touch, as this displays the type of attack you are performing as it lands. (Example: If you hit an overhead, a small bit of text will appear over the contact area stating “Overhead”). This applies to Lows, Linkers, Doubles, etc. Each of the labels are represented with different colors.

A record / playback function has also been incorporated into Killer Instinct's training mode. This feature is reminiscent of SF4's, as you set the the option to "record" in the pause menu, and can switch to "playback" the same way. While other training modes have a 10, 20, or even 30 second record time, currently, there is no time limit on the recording duration, but the developers assured me that when the game is finalized, it will still retain a very large amount of recording time, due to the Xbox One's specs.

Lastly, the health bars can be set at specific percentages, in order to recreate different situations you'd face in a real match. The most useful of which is setting the dummy's life bar at 20%, allowing players to practice Ultra combos. An opponent must be at 15% health before an Ultra can be activated, so setting the life bar to 20% will give players a the chance to kick their combo off with an Opener, before launching right into Ultra.

Overall, I feel that Killer Instinct's Training Mode, in conjunction with the in-depth Dojo Mode, provides players of all skill levels with the tools to really hone their abilities. The hitbox displays, and frame data will certainly appeal to the hardcore "lab monsters", and the intricate explanations / demonstrations of Dojo Mode are perfect for showing new players the ropes.

With the curtain not being fully pulled back yet, we can not wait to see what else Double Helix Games has up their sleeve for Training Mode in Killer Instinct.

In case you missed them, check out our previous Killer Instinct write-ups:

Sadira character breakdown part 1
Shadow Breaker system discussion
Dojo Mode discussion / preview
Sadira character breakdown part 2

Big thanks again to Rich "Filthie Rich" Bantegui, Dave Verfaillie, Michael "Berserker Mike" Willette and Double Helix Games for having me.
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