Zen Studios Announces KickBeat For Vita
Zen Studios, primarily known for their pinball games, has just announced their next Vita game: KickBeat, a rhythm-based fighting game. Yes, two very different genres combined to create KickBeat. Its not a traditional type of fighting game, where two players are set up to fight, but rather an arena where KickBeat‘s main protagonist, Lee, is pit against numerous foes who are trying to attack him. The way he repels them is quite unique however; he uses martial arts and strikes them in a way that is directly in sync with whatever song is playing in the background. For example, in Rock Band, a musical note is played when it crosses the bottom of the screen and you hit it in time. But in KickBeat, Lee’s arms and legs hitting his foes is what goes along with the music.
A large and diverse array of music will be featured in this game ranging from big name artists like Marilyn Manson to smaller indie musicians like Celldweller. So basically, if you play this game, you’ll have heard some songs before and others you will be hearing for the first time.
This game will focus on the story and it’s characters, which is pretty uncommon for rhythm games. As mentioned earlier, you will be playing as Lee, who is fighting to save music which has been stolen by the evil corporation Entertainment Earth. All the cutscenes are hand-drawn and fully voice acted to make them seem more alive. This is because Zen Studios really wants to make the characters the central focus of the game.
As with most rhythm games these days, KickBeat will offer online multiplayer fighting action. You will be able to collect orbs to gain power ups to unleash on your opponent. Of course, there will also be leaderboards where you can see how well your friends are doing as with the rest of the world. (But really, leaderboards are so you can show off to your pals your insane high score and have it irritate them until they beat it.)
I applaud Zen Studios for doing something completely out of the ordinary from what they usually do, and create something truly original like this. KickBeat is set to come out sometime in 2012. And with that, I leave you with this quote from Neil Sorens, Zen Studios’ Creative Director:
“Several years ago, we asked ourselves, ‘What would happen if we took a beat-matching game, replaced the abstract cues like bars, arrows, and button icons with kung fu fight scenes, and set it all to some incredibly intense music? We spent three years turning that idea into in KickBeat, and anyone looking for something fresh and exciting and the music genre is in for a treat.”