Zen Studios bringing music rhythm fighting action to the PS Vita with KickBeat

It’s great to see Zen Studios once again stray away from their successful Zen Pinball and Pinball FX franchises from time to time. Yesterday the company revealed their latest project, KickBeat, for the PlayStation Vita.

Mashing up music rhythm gameplay with a fighting game is definitely a new concept, and an idea I’m surprised no one has really attempted before. The result is pretty unique looking as you can see from the debut trailer and first screenshots below.

KickBeat trailer:
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KickBeat screens:

KickBeat is scheduled for a summer release on the PS Vita. Read on for the announcement with more details.

Zen Studios today announced KickBeat, an experimental rhythm game featuring fully 3D characters and combat and high-energy music, set to release this summer on PlayStation Vita.

KickBeat offers players several innovative ways to interact with music. The game combines beat-matching mechanics with an acrobatic style of martial arts, turning every song into a raucous battle. The game also features a music analyzer that allows players to create new tracks from their own music libraries.

?Several years ago, we asked ourselves, ‘What would happen if we took a beat-matching game, replaced the abstract cues like bars, arrows, and button icons with kung fu fight scenes, and set it all to some incredibly intense music?’? said Neil Sorens, Creative Director for Zen Studios. “We spent three years turning that idea into in Kickbeat, and anyone looking for something fresh and exciting and the music genre is in for a treat.”

The Kickbeat soundtrack hits hard; it?s comprised of licensed tracks from a diverse lineup of artists ranging from well-known bands such as Pendulum and Marilyn Manson, to indie pioneers Celldweller and Blue Stahli, to hidden talents like electronic music producer Voicians and Taiwanese rapper Shen Yi.

?Kickbeat is a showcase example of passion, risk and creativity. Traditional publishers might shy away from this type of thinking, but we will embrace it. After all, what’s the point of working in video games if you just keep making the same one?” said Zsolt Kigyossy, Managing Director for Zen Studios.

Zen Studios will demo KickBeat at the upcoming E3 Conference in Los Angeles, CA.

For more information, visit the Zen Studios blog or www.KickBeat.com.