• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
New to Pocket Gamer? Start here!
ABOUT US
Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
PlayStation Vita  header logo

KickBeat

For: PS Vita

Kick, punch, it's all in the mind

Product: KickBeat | Developer: Zen Studios | Publisher: Zen Studios | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Fighting, Music/ Rhythm | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: US
 
KickBeat PS Vita, thumbnail 1
KickBeat should have been released in the early noughties - it's a rhythm-action fighting game with a soundtrack that features Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, P.O.D., and Papa Roach.

In a pre-Guitar Hero world, where angsty nu-metal was king, KickBeat is a success, no doubt delighting young and old with beat-based beat downs to songs by men sporting goatees and trench coats.

While it remains a fairly entertaining offering today, KickBeat feels anachronous and doesn't quite fit into the music genre. Other than rhythm-action fanatics and Jacoby Shaddix, it's not clear just who this game is for.

The Beautiful People

You play as Lee, a happy-go-lucky sort of chap who happens to be a martial arts expert. You're sent on a mission to retrieve the Sphere, a glowing ball of energy representing every song that has ever existed and will ever exist.

It sounds like an original story, and the ending is refreshingly feminist, but it adds practically nothing to the actual gameplay. The humour is eye-rollingly obvious, and the voice acting falls flat. KickBeat also drops the ball at the height of its "music needs to be set free, man" arc by playing the censored version of Papa Roach's 'Last Resort'.

Each track you play is a level of sorts: you're plonked into an arena and surrounded by goons that you have to fight in time with the music. But the resulting experience is no more complicated than a Guitaroo Man or a Rock Band Unplugged.

Enemies approach from one side and then attack, and all you need to do is press the corresponding direction on the D-pad or face buttons. Some types of enemies attack in quick succession and are blue. Some attack in pairs and are red. Some simply attack you on their own and are yellow. It's conceptually very simple.

Yet this simplicity is belied by the game's visuals. The constantly jostling crowd in the background tests your ability to focus, and occasionally enemies will be thrown in front of the camera, obscuring your view of the action.

Everybody was kung-fu fighting

This is almost manageable until you hit the harder difficulties, at which point the helpful face button symbols that highlight the direction of your enemies vanish into thin air. This makes the game almost unplayably hard, and inaccessible to all but the most dedicated of warriors.

When you keep it on the standard difficulty, it's fairly entertaining, if repetitive. The global leaderboards and the five-star rating system for each level do help to encurage you to keep coming back for more.

The soundtrack has a few (more modern) artists than those I mentioned earlier, including Celldweller and Pendulum, but generally this is going to appeal to fans of industrial metal with an EDM edge.

You can use your own music in the game in an unlockable mode, but with the low capacity and high price of Vita memory cards I doubt too many people are keeping a vast library on their Sony handhelds to take advantage of this feature.

With a superfluous visual hook that over complicates the gameplay and a difficulty curve that spikes dramatically, KickBeat is probably a solid choice for die-hard rhythm-action fans. Everyone else should think twice.

This is a nice attempt at mixing things up in the genre, but it's let down by a couple of iffy design decisions and a limited soundtrack.
 
KickBeat
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 3 September 2013
If you're looking for a mighty challenge, then this may well be the music game for you. That's doubley so if you're still listening to the likes of Marilyn Manson and Papa Roach
 
Have Your Say
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter
Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Sep 2013
Post count:
1
Neil Sorens | 20:24 - 6 September 2013
"KickBeat also drops the ball at the height of its "music needs to be set free, man" arc by playing the censored version of Papa Roach's 'Last Resort'."

Oh, you ALMOST got this! I don't think anyone else noticed it. Consider that Halisi hasn't been beaten yet. This was my very subtle dig at having to use this version of the song to keep a T rating.

(Obviously, I disagree with much of the review and think you gave the game's most-anticipated feature - music import - short shrift, but I was just happy that someone made the connection between the story and the censored song.)
Joined:
Feb 2013
Post count:
556
@xxxAcesHighxxx | 01:10 - 4 September 2013
Looks like you've saved me the best part of a tenner there Mr Willington...

...which, rather thankfully, will help fund what promises to be a particularly strong three or four weeks ahead for Playstation Vita. A strong three or four weeks that I hereby coin as, 'Sultry September'. And it's gonna be quite a show:


*** In the red corner, we have the bantamweight challengers. From the grassroots 'if it's good, I'll play it' school of gaming philosophy, I give you the Hardcore Indie Posse, the self-styled HIP-STERS! And in the blue corner, weighing in at 200lbs of pure big-budget muscle, the heavyweight champions of the high street, the it's Triple-A or it's Ruddy Trash, I give to you, theeeeee TARTS ***


Seconds out, rou...

But wait. Hold on for a moment. We appear to have an unprecedented situation here folks. With both the big-hitting, Killzone: Mercenary and Rayman Legends AND indie darlings, Lone Survivor and Luftrausers, all set to bolster Vita's ranks this month, it seems there is something here for everyone.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is quite remarkable. Both parties appear to have found common ground. This is a landmark situation, BOTH camps are happy.

And not a black eye or a bloody nose in sight. Remarkable indeed.
 
POPULAR REVIEWS
LATEST COMMENTS LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS