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Games : Worth a Look
Release Date: January 20th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

KickBeat Steam Edition

Overview -

Zen Studios is best known for invigorating libraries with an array of dazzling virtual pinball tables adapted from various licenses. Recently, the company has been venturing out with original titles like 'CastleStorm.' and 'KickBeat,' the latter being a rhythm fighter released last fall for the PS3 and Vita. 'KickBeat,' the rhythm-based combat game set to licensed music and Kung-Fu calisthenics comes to the PC as 'KickBeat Steam Edition,' boasting of multiple enhancements to original, including additional licensed music and custom soundtrack capability.

Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
Release Date:
January 20th, 2014

Video Review


As I said, the presentation would almost be brilliant if it didn't negatively impact the gameplay. Zen Studios has built an impressive animation system, weaving one attack to another without so much as a hiccup in the dancey nature of it all. Friends and foes alike are designed with that gangly, break-dancer-style athleticism that lets them twist and contort to meet an opposing force with style. The stage designs reflect the story's absurdity with semi-futuristic, mostly insane compositions ranging from Tron-like to 1970's disco camp.

I was also consistently impressed with the cutscenes, even if the dialogue was forgettable by comparison. Presented in a two frames per second, storybook animation style, the artists really capitalized on the opportunity to draw out a compelling scene. I'm not sure exactly what to call the medium, but it felt like a sort-of moving, very dense water color composition. It's unique and at times beautiful. It's easily one of the best parts of the game.

Audio Review


One of those preferable with headphones games, 'Kickbeat' is full of songs with electric energy. They may not be the most radio friendly, and maybe that's a budgetary concern and maybe it's a conscious choice, but they still work well with the whole idea. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of audio impact to the actual punching and kicking. Lee or Mei smack bad guys like they're wiping their noses, and it sort of diminishes your feeling of badassitude.

The voice acting provides a similar affect, Mei and Lee more akin to teenagers at summer camp than masters at musical fist fighting.

Among my gripes about the game, which are minor at times and major at other, there is one thing to remember about 'Kickbeat.' It's not a fighting game at all, really. Aside from some weird powerups – a shield and a blast you can activate once collected – nothing about the concept of the game actually differentiates the final product from other beat-matching rhythm titles. A better example of a game melding rhythm with another genre is the 'Bit.Trip' series, where gameplay elements from both sides impact the gameplay. Here it's just a different coat of paint over a repeated concept. Still, 'Kickbeat' is fun when those issues aren't flaring up. It just isn't the deepest experience, nor will it engage you in any way beyond your basic rhythmic romp.

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