Originally posted December 18th 2014 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Title: Kickbeat: Special Edition
System: Wii U
Release date: 9/16/2014
The main game/story
This is a rhythm game that’s a bit strange… But once you understand how it plays this game can become quite enjoyable. The story in this game revolves around two students who are responsible for protecting a core that is powered with music going after a mysterious group of thieves who steal the core for their own personal gain. It’s rather confusing, and may not excite you all that much, but there is a simple story nonetheless.
They look pretty good for this game. The menus are pretty similar to Zen Pinball 2’s, which is to be expected since this is made by the same company. During gameplay it runs very smooth and is satisfying indeed. All of the characters move smoothly, and the colors are nice and bright, especially when you are doing a good job during a song. This is definitely one of those games that looks great on a HDTV.
Music and sound effects:
Being a rhythm game, this is the most important thing this game needs to get right. The good news is that it does a pretty decent job with it’s soundtrack! Lots of different artists and genres, and while the songs last a bit long sometimes (3 to 5 minutes), they are still catchy, and after a while you’ll be hitting the buttons to the rhythms of each and every song in no time. Sound effects aren’t a distraction in this game, as they aren’t too loud, meaning you can still focus on the music in order to get lots of good scores. While I didn’t personally recognize most of the themes in this game (That has to do with the fact I grew up with Japanese and video game music instead of popular songs on the radio, so it’s not the game’s fault), I still had fun playing along to each one of them.
The gameplay itself is pretty simple. Hit one of the face buttons (X, Y, B, A) whenever an enemy gets into your range of sight. They move to the rhythm, so focusing on the beats in the song will help tremendously when trying to fight them off, especially on the harder difficulties. You can use a special attack or Chi off and on, but besides that it’s pretty straight forward. There’s a high score element to it, however. The leaderboards from Zen Pinball 2 are back, and they add to this game’s replay value by giving players another reason to play!
Unfortunately, considering how simple the gameplay is, this game can get repetitive quite quickly. These songs can be long, as I mentioned earlier, so you need to be focused all the way through, especially if you want to get a good score. This means that after playing through a few songs in the campaign mode, you are bound to get bored, and then you’ll take a break like I did, and come back to it later. Rinse and repeat. This game does have a lot of content that makes it worth the $15 at least, but the repetitiveness doesn’t really help that much either…
In conclusion, Zen Studios did a good job with Kickbeat. It has a solid soundtrack, great graphics and a lot of content and replay value thanks to the leaderboards and the different songs available. The only major downside to all of this content is the repetitiveness that results from it. So if you really like the songs that are in this game, I strongly recommend you buy this, but if you are like me and aren’t quite familiar with all of the songs in the game, I recommend waiting for a price drop. Whether you like this game or not depends on how much you like the songs that this game has to offer, so it’s pretty much up to you to decide if you fit this game’s target audience. I give Kickbeat: Special Edition a 6 out of 10.
Thanks to Zen Studios for the review code.