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

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.


lukenvoy said on October 16, 2013 at 8:16 a.m.

give me this game. its so purdy

Oroku_Saki said on October 16, 2013 at 8:24 a.m.

Kyle's last name is obviously [Katarn].

//StarWars/Jedi Joke

slayereyez said on October 16, 2013 at 8:24 a.m.

I was able to test play the new KI at an xbox one tour at my local gamestop it was honestly a lot of fun. More so that i previously though it would be. My pockets say no but my body says yes.

kac1010 said on October 16, 2013 at 8:29 a.m.

will get this game just for the difficulty named after me :)

hiddencancer said on October 16, 2013 at 8:33 a.m.

I cant wait to kick Kyle's Ass lol.. So excited for this game even though so far no TJ Combo...

HooliganComboFTW said on October 16, 2013 at 8:39 a.m.

This is awesome for anybody named Kyle.

DannyBoyPERU said on October 16, 2013 at 8:44 a.m.

" My pocket says NO ... But my body says YES "

kotakuhubs said on October 16, 2013 at 8:47 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

deteknician said on October 16, 2013 at 9:04 a.m.

I love KI but wasn't feeling this game because it looks really easy and super mash friendly. However I'm liking all these features.

Bladeballn3 said on October 16, 2013 at 9:08 a.m.

I'm starting to get on the hype train but too bad I'm already getting a ps4. Ill stick to current gen for my fighting fix. Looks awesome though.

Sanox said on October 16, 2013 at 9:27 a.m.

hitbox display is good stuff.

kyle difficulty is pretty pointless. anyone remember the shadow battle in mvc 3

BlitzN said on October 16, 2013 at 9:29 a.m.

Might I ask why? Aka what game is it that swayed you?

For me KI swayed me to get into the next gen at launch. As my favorite genre is fighters, and there will be no fighter on the PS4 for years. So why go PS4?

GeneralSpecific said on October 16, 2013 at 9:42 a.m.

Hitbox display is great.

It doubles up being able to visually look at the frame data too!

Also if the developer decides to change the property of moves (for instance, *cough* make DP's weaker so scrubs can jump in easier) then the players will know about it straight away!

No sneaky, stealth, dishonest nerfing going on, unlike some other titles.

Nice work, K.I.

Him said on October 16, 2013 at 9:45 a.m.

Game looks GREAT!


Still getting PS4.

xShonuffx said on October 16, 2013 at 10:01 a.m.

Real sad, I can't preorder the Xbox one :(

KaboomKid said on October 16, 2013 at 10:04 a.m.

Props to Skullgirls, settin' that new standard.

JIHADJOE said on October 16, 2013 at 10:10 a.m.

Xbone looking better and better.
My last remaining concern is that kinect creeper cam feature.

XDIEX said on October 16, 2013 at 10:28 a.m.


TheTHCGamer said on October 16, 2013 at 10:33 a.m.

Some games are at very low level play but as with all fighting games your going to have learn to play against people who know how to play the game. Guess what you can mash buttons and win against someone who doesn't know what there doing in games like virtua fighter/tekken however those are some of the most technically advanced games in terms of gameplay.

One thing a successful game must do is have an easy entry level while having advanced tactics for the player once they decide to level up there play. There's nothing wrong with the game being mash friendly at low level play and if you've lost to a button masher it just obviously means your probably not as good as you thought you were.

Games looking great the more news I read and hear about the game the more I'm excited for it. The developers seem like there working hard to make this game a success. I almost forgot lol to be a masher just block them and counter mashers usually don't get that concept. I can't believe were in 2013 and some people are worried about button mashers. Hey button mashers like jimmy Fallon want to play too.

GenSoHotSpicy said on October 16, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.

You can turn the Kinect camera off you know. I don't see the big deal anyways. What, the NSA is going to watch millions of hours of dudes sitting on their butts, playing games, picking their nose, eating munchies and drinking beer? Lol

BlitzN said on October 16, 2013 at 10:52 a.m.

I don't get this you say "but!" Like its somehow you one upping somebody. Get a PS4 that great, but then you don't get to play KI which you say looks great. Just make sure the game your getting is worth giving up KI for.

TheTHCGamer said on October 16, 2013 at 10:56 a.m.

Exactly it was announced a while back that you could just shut off the camera.

Dimensional said on October 16, 2013 at 11:20 a.m.

If I was getting an Xbox One I would get this game but at the current price tag they can forget it which is a shame at least Aquapazza is released soon and GGXrd is coming and BBChrono phantasma and probably a load more I am forgetting so it wont be so bad.

DunnDeal said on October 16, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.

Best buy just started Day-One Xbox One pre-orders again online a few days ago. If you really want one you better do it now.

MisterMartinez said on October 16, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.

Not a huge xbone fan but KI is the only game I'm looking forward to, so xbone wins.

Imknomad said on October 16, 2013 at 12:24 p.m.

U do know that you dont have to plug the kinect up right? X1 works without it now

dankyo555 said on October 16, 2013 at 12:29 p.m.

This game looks great. However, after seeing the Injustice release for PS4, I think Capcom might go the same way and take USF4 to next-gen. So, KI may get some tough competition - which is great for us.

TheTHCGamer said on October 16, 2013 at 1:22 p.m.

Problem is how many people would buy Ultra SFIV for PS4 and nothings been confirmed. PS3's online community would also be split and I personally feel most people would stick to the PS3 version due to so many people already having arcade sticks for PS3. Right now in terms of fighting games you'd be stuck with injustice for quite a while.

KI will be a brand new game where injustice and Possibly Ultra will be updated games we've already played.

ModAL said on October 16, 2013 at 1:22 p.m.

F'ing YES!!! I wish more FG's had this.

DangerousBacon said on October 16, 2013 at 1:24 p.m.

Dude, people are getting next gen consoles for more than just fighting games. KI only being on the Xbox one is not a deal breaker considering the fact that there are other exclusives on the ps4 that he might want.

One fighting game being on Xbox is no reason to forget about the ps4 especially since it will be getting its own semi- exclusive fighting game in about a year.

tldr: KI may not be the deciding factor on some people's console preference. I certainly don't mind giving up KI.

BlitzN said on October 16, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.

I absolutely get that, that's why I'm asking all the PS4 purchasers what exactly they ARE getting, and what makes them excited about that console?

It's not like KI is all that's on the xb1 either, but as a fan of fighters it's the most important title to me... But damn does Titan fall give it a little extra boost:)

deadedbypanda said on October 16, 2013 at 2:24 p.m.

Isn't GGXrd a PS exclusive?

BlitzN said on October 16, 2013 at 2:33 p.m.

It may be right now it's only listed as PS3 and PS4. So it's not next gen. Also I don't believe it's completely confirmed as exclusive, and I doubt it will be. Arkys isn't exactly a system selling studio with tons of extra cash laying around.

DangerousBacon said on October 16, 2013 at 2:50 p.m.

Xboxes don't exactly do well in Japan either so I wouldn't be surprised if it was an exclusive. There's also the fact that Chrono Phantasm is a Ps3 exclusive.

Still, I'm not expecting it to remain a ps3 exclusive.

BlitzN said on October 16, 2013 at 3:16 p.m.

I wouldn't be surprised if it did remain exclusive either.

Side note xboxes haven't sold well in Japan, but I'd bet xb1 matches the PS4 launch in japan. If it launches day and date with Titan fall. They love giant mechs and by all accounts it killed at TGS. Japan more Nintendo and handheld now any way so that's not saying huge numbers or anything.

DangerousBacon said on October 16, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.

Yeah you're right about the mech thing. They'll eat Titanfall up.

Focusflute said on October 16, 2013 at 8:14 p.m.

Game keeps getting better. KI, Forza, Titanfall...X1!

QUANCRO said on October 16, 2013 at 8:16 p.m.

That soundtrack grat da Dep

rakuko said on October 16, 2013 at 9:03 p.m.

999 hit combo - Kyle-like!

Sasuga said on October 17, 2013 at 1:08 a.m.

Thanks to kinect and xbox live, they can link your real identity to your online identity. Thanks to the infra red, you wont even be able to disguise yourself against face recognition.

People fear a future where people are implanted with chips, but thanks to kinect that won't be necessary. But you don't care as long you can play your game and be safe in your home, right?

BlitzN said on October 17, 2013 at 6:23 a.m.

Woo crazy crazy!!! Like every laptop doesn't have a camera and every phone. If your really worried about that its way too late, and you shouldn't be using any modern device because they can all be tracked.


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