Having become the pinball wizard, Zen Studios now throw their gaming knowledge into beats with brawls. KickBeat – Special Edition is a rhythm fighting game, but unlike Guitar Hero all you need is the super responsive DS4 controller. Forget those mounds of ugly fake guitars and wobbly drum kits, this is the PS4 and things are done slightly different around here. You may have thought the musical gaming genre was six feet under. You’re wrong. If the first track does not impress, then take up knitting. KickBeat is here and about to slap you senseless.
KickBeat – Special Edition takes place in a high tech circular area which throws advancing kick fighting beef cakes at you from all sides. Hitting the face buttons to the beat and at the correct moment takes out each advancing fighter. If these brawlers attack from the left hand side of the screen, then a glowing icon appears telling you to hit the square button. A glowing circle to the right, then hit circle. It’s a concept that, if you have played these types of games before you’re going to feel right at home. If you’re not the music fighting type of gamer don’t worry, after the first song you will be. Think you’re going to be prancing about like Bieber? Oh no, you’ll be tossing bodies about the place like Bray Wyatt at the Royal Rumble. If you wanted One Direction go elsewhere. It’s meaty riffs all the way, which when cracked up to Spinal Tap 11, makes for one of PS4’s loudest games.
Starting with the basic training will get you up to speed pretty quickly and here you will get a feel for what’s about to happen on your journey. This is where you learn the different type of enemies; ones that can be defeated with fast combo chains or ones that can be pushed aside using action buttons simultaneously. Collecting orbs have different effects throughout the game and affect health, score, Chi and so on. Timing is the key to a perfect hit. A strike just before they attack triggers the perfect audio/visual feedback.
KickBeat comes with a rather endearing narrated storyline about two characters, and explains how and why you’re plonked in a ring of death. Some fine hand drawings accompany the story which show the great care and detail Zen have put into the whole package.
PS Vita owners will be familiar already with KickBeat as it first landed to the handheld last year. The presentation on PS4 is flawless. Zen have brought the same fluid beauty that graced their previous pinball titles and in turn have delivered a superior version. The trophies on offer are 9 bronze, 6 slivers but no gold unfortunately, which is a shame as harder level settings warrant a gold or two.
Kicktbeat is a perfect rhythm action fighter. An aural and visual assault coming at you with the confidence and style that Zen Studios have perfected. Hats off to a new PlayStation 4 experience of gaming delight. It’s Rock and Roll all night and karate every day.
Lizard Rating 8.5/10