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KickBeat Special Edition

  • PS4
  • Release Date: TBD
  • Genre: Music and Rhythm / Action / Fighting
  • Publisher: Zen Studios
  • Developer: Zen Studios
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Game Overview

From indie pioneers Zen Studios (makers of Pinball FX2 and CastleStorm) comes KickBeat Special Edition, an innovative rhythm game with a Kung Fu theme, featuring fully 3D characters and high-energy music! 

The KickBeat Special Edition Soundtrack features tracks from a diverse lineup of artists:

Pendulum - Self vs. Self, Propane Nightmares (Celldweller Remix)

Celldweller – Switchback, I Can’t Wait

Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People

Shen Yi – War Dance

POD – Boom

Papa Roach – Last Resort

Blue Stahli – Takedown, Scrape, Ultranumb

Southpaw Swagger – It’s Showtime

Pre-Fight Hype – It’s Goin Down

Voicians – Fighters, The Construct

Rob Zombie – Scum of the Earth

Styles Beyond – Nine Thou 

Pre-Fight Hype & Southpaw Swagger – Tug-O-War

enV – Destination, RPM, Vee, Shakestopper, OCP, Bloom

KickBeat features a full length single player campaign with beautifully hand drawn animations and a unique art style.


Story Details

Because we've put all this effort into making characters a central focus of the game, we needed to give these characters a human touch.  Otherwise, they're just animated props.  Our story revolves around a love-struck and unlikely hero drawn into a battle for control of the world's music.  It's light-hearted fare, but we've done a bunch of hand-drawn and fully voiced sequences that really bring the characters to life.

• Lee (male) and Mei (female) are the story protagonists. 

• Master Fu is the leader of an ancient, secretive sect of monks called the Order of the Melodic Fist, who have been the guardians of Sphere of Music for centuries. 

• Lee is the unlikeliest of hero’s, but he is chosen to fight to reclaim the music that has been stolen by Radio Earth, led by Mr. Halisi, owner of Entertainment Earth and leader of those who would use music for power and control


Gameplay Details

Music games have a long tradition of innovation.  From the peripheral-based games like Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution to controller-based ones like Frequency and Patapon, these games allow us to experience music in new and often unexpected ways.  We are big fans of what other studios are currently doing with music games like Sound Shapes and Beat Buddy.

The first thing about KickBeat that is immediately visible is its fighting theme.  If you watch the old Hong Kong kung fu movies, you've probably noticed that the fight choreography is heavily rhythmic.  We noticed that, too, and figured it would be a good theme for a beat-matching game.  Combine the martial arts theme with heavy, aggressive music that goes well with punching and kicking, and you've got a game with a little more edge than the ones where you get jiggy to the the latest autotuned pop hit (not that there's anything wrong with that, especially with friends and limited sobriety).

Second, we got rid of the bars, arrows, button icons, etc. that other music games rely on as action cues and replaced them with fully 3D animated characters.  Instead of just seeing characters in the background moving to a preset script as eye candy while the actual gameplay takes place in an abstract 2D interface, you actually control and react to those 3D characters.  That means you actually get to focus your attention on what those characters are doing! As you play the game, you're creating your own fight sequence with your button presses (or screen touches).  We also even let you get rid of all the other interface parts (such as score) if you like, so that there are no distractions from the action.

Selecting the music for KickBeat's hard-hitting soundtrack was an equally daunting task, but a very rewarding when you manage to find that perfect track or hidden gem and get a deal signed.  We didn't get every song we wanted - we really wanted the Beastie Boys' “Sabotage”, for example, but it didn't work out.  However, those setbacks just made us look harder to find great music in unlikely places.  We ended up with 24 tracks across multiple genres (mostly drum & bass, rock, and hip-hop), from big names like Pendulum and Rob Zombie to some stuff you probably haven't heard before.  The most unusual? A track from Shen Yi, a Taiwanese rapper – yes, it's in Mandarin, and yes, it is awesome.

Finally, we created a story driven single player campaign to tie the game together. All of the cut scenes are hand animated and done in the flavor of old school kung fu movies.  The balance of story and combat is tricky, but we feel the finished game presents quite a novel blend of story and rhythm combat, none of which has been done to date.



"KickBeat" and the KickBeat logo are trademarks of Zen Studios Ltd. © 2013 - 2014 Zen Studios Ltd. All rights Reserved.