Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Kick Beat

E3: Hands-on with Zen Studios' Kick Beat

2:00 PM on 06.10.2012 // Conrad Zimmerman

Recently, Zen Studios revealed that they were broadening their horizons from the pinball games they're best known for. One of their new projects, Kick Beat, is a rhythm/music title with a martial arts theme planned for release later this year. The reaction was muted, at best, and I have to admit to a certain measure of reticence toward the title myself.

Having had the chance to play it now, I came away pleasantly surprised by Zen's new adventure.

Kick Beat is a simple game. Enemies move in a circle around the player, eventually stepping in to engage, at which point the player must strike them or receive damage. To succeed, all one has to do is press the face button corresponding with the enemy's position on the circle, which simply keeps to the four basic directions of up, down, left and right. A successful strike results in eliminating the enemy, scoring points and building a combo while missing the beat clears that score combo and may cost a bit of health. 

When you're playing well, the scene you're watching becomes akin to a dance routine, as the character executes a wide variety of flips, rolls and kicks to dispatch foes. The hand-drawn animation really stands out in this regard and I found myself getting absorbed by the hypnotic flow of the figures moving in and out of the combat area.

Some enemies have icons floating over their heads as they move in. These can include score multipliers, a shield to protect you from damage and bonus points. You collect them by making a second attack on these specific foes, adding another level of complexity to the affair.

The guys at Zen made it look easy, but it took me a few rounds to start to get the feel of it. Kick Beat is designed with a range of difficulty settings which should make the game accessible for skilled and casual players alike. At its easiest, the enemies will move into a circle bearing the symbol of the button the player is to press next, which then glows at the appropriate moment. On harder levels, that circle is replaced by merely outlining incoming enemies or is absent altogether and collecting bonus icons becomes mandatory. At the most extreme setting, the entire sequence is randomized to ensure that your skill at the game -- not memorization -- is tested.

Kick Beat comes with 18 licensed songs to play through, tracks Zen refers to as, "music suitable for combat." Some of the music comes from major label artists, including Marilyn Manson and Pendulum, but the majority are from indie artists that the development team were fans of and sought to get involved in the project. Players won't be limited to just these tracks, as Kick Beat will also include a beat analyzer which will allow you to import your own music and have stages generated from them.

It looked a bit goofy from the first trailer shown and I suppose it probably is, but I rather like Kick Beat. It has a lot of energy and it's just fun to play. I found some of the prompts on the easiest setting to be a bit distracting, possibly more trouble than they're worth, but kicking missiles out of the sky to the beat of Rob Zombie's "Scum of the Earth" has tremendous appeal for me and I'm interested in checking out what the game's two-player competitive mode looks like. Right now, I'm optimistic that Kick Beat will be a fun experience on a few different levels and worth looking into when it releases later this year.

Photo Gallery: (8 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Conrad Zimmerman, Moustache
 Follow Blog + disclosure ConradZimmerman Tips
An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast () and str... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Kick Beat

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 1

Thankful it's Over: Bioshock Infinite

Is Toei using Kamen Rider Ghost to address suicide in Japan?

Let's talk about Xenoblade Chronicles

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

El Dango avatarEl Dango
[url=][/url] fun...
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night I had to clean projectile liqiud dogshit off of the sides of my puppies kennel. Pity me. Read my blog.
techsupport avatartechsupport
Taking a break from Fallout 4 to try out Twitch Creative. Catch me painting Chun-Li while listening to an eclectic mix of Alex G, DJ Shadow, and Modest Mouse. [img][/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So far from first impressions of my Freedom Planet indie box its 100% more worth it than lootcrate. Whereas lootcrate you get a bunch of stuff you may or may not like, indie box gives you indie games, and stuff related to that game, such as the soundtrack
maycausecancer avatarmaycausecancer
When one game is rated 7.4 and another 7.6, Are you telling me one game is 0.2 worse than the other. WHAT!?!
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
I think Microsoft takes the cake for worst console updates. The XBone UI is worse and the fucking controller had an update. What the hell has gaming become?
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Well, that's a wrap for the Bloodborne DLC. I liked it. More thoughts and maybe spoilers in the comment section.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
a rainy afternoon, and too sleepy for games. Time to go to the animal shelter and try not to fall asleep, surrounded by kittens.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Following from yesterday's Community Question, how would you feel if reviewers began assigning two scores to a game? One specifically for the technical aspects/performance of the game, and the other for their own personal enjoyment?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I went back to Persona 4 Golden this weekend, asked Chie to be my girlfriend but then accidentally maxed out my social link with Yumi, changed my relationship status to "It's Complicated" on Personabook. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Why am I hyped? Just cause :D
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
You know what Fallout 4 mod I want to see? One to fix the interior lightning. It's like the silliest thing to get fixated over, but I can't seem to ignore how white and bright some of those inside lights are.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Just wrote my first C-blog. It's me talking about the games I have played this month; I'm quite excited
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I wish the Squid Girl outfit was still a dress for boys. I want to live through my Inkling boy and be a cute girly-man, dammit. [img][/img]
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Goshdarnit...just stood in front of the camera to record an intro for the advent calender thingy and actually got stage fright >.>
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well, it seemed like for two seconds people were finally going to give Star Fox a fair shake, but nope! GameXplain's YouTube audience seem pretty insistent that it's just a Star Fox 64 clone down to the graphics. Sometimes I just don't understand peopl
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
There's something so fucking delicious about a toasted Hawaiian roll, smoked ham, Swiss, some spinach and a dollop of mustard. #FatKidPosts
Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -