riostarwind's KickBeat (PlayStation Network (Vita)) review

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Can you keep up with the Kickbeat?

The story is told via a motion comic
The story is told via a motion comic

Rhythm games still come down to if you enjoy the music. So check out the tracklist before you even think about picking it up. In my case I can enjoy just about any kind of music so I went in knowing nothing about it. (Plus it is a October PlayStation Plus game.) This games story mode follows Lee and Mei who must fight their way through a assortment of unique looking stages to retake the Sphere of Music that was stolen from master Fu's monastery. Which is really just a excuse to tell a satirical story about the chosen one. Which also doesn't fit in with the serious tone the game has during certain scenes.

Every level is presented in the same way. Although you will be facing different variations of the same enemy types.
Every level is presented in the same way. Although you will be facing different variations of the same enemy types.

The game itself is a run of the mill rhythm game with a lot of style. Instead of just seeing the notes come down they are represented by a set of evil thugs that must be taken out with timed presses. Depending on the beat of the song they will be a different color. Yellow for normal beat, blue for half beat and red for double beat (Hit two buttons at the same time.). Every level has the player surrounded by enemies and they slowly walk in a direction that coincides with a certain button on a controller. So from above your will need to hit Triangle/Y or from the right it'll be Circle/B. Along the way certain enemies will have power ups that require you to hit a button twice quickly to pick it up. Although they can help you beat the level by destroying all enemies or refilling Lee's life bar it mostly makes the game feel really busy.

Flashy finishers are given to enemies if you do well.
Flashy finishers are given to enemies if you do well.

To much stuff going on is my main issue with this game. Between the disco show each level has and camera work that sometimes moves all over the place makes it hard to keep up with the song. Plus the added incentive to double tap certain notes easily lead me to missing others especially later on when the songs are always throwing another note a second later. The story is also forgettable and it makes you repeat the entire setlist over again to see it all.

This game may not be perfect but I did enjoy my time playing through all the songs. Worth checking out if you like rhythm games that have a lot of style/heart.

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