Zen Studios has just lifted the lid off of KickBeat for PlayStation Vita.
KickBeat is essentially a kung-fu inspired music game for the handheld. Zen are promising a completely different experience from what you have come to expect from traditional music rhythm games, doing things that music games don’t usually take a risk on.
Zen’s Neil Sorens told the PSBlog:
The first thing about KickBeat that is immediately visible is its fighting theme. If you watch the old Hong Kong kung fu movies, you’ve probably noticed that the fight choreography is heavily rhythmic. We noticed that, too, and figured it would be a good theme for a beat-matching game. Combine the martial arts theme with heavy, aggressive music that goes well with punching and kicking, and you’ve got a game with a little more edge than the ones where you get jiggy to the the latest autotuned pop hit (not that there’s anything wrong with that, especially with friends and/or limited sobriety).
Second, we got rid of the bars, arrows, and button icons that other music games rely on for action cues and replaced them with fully 3D animated characters. Instead of just seeing characters in the background moving to a preset script as eye candy while the actual gameplay takes place in an abstract 2D interface, you actually control and react to those 3D characters. That means you actually get to focus your attention on what those characters are doing! As you play the game, you’re creating your own fight sequence with your button presses (or screen touches). We also even let you get rid of all the other interface parts (such as score) if you like, so that there are no distractions from the action.
KickBeat is expected later this year. Get the debut trailer below.