I like rhythm games y’all. Games like Rhythm Heaven and Elite Beat Agents are regular entries into my systems. There’s just something about getting into a rhythm (no pun intended) and sort of zoning out on the music. I remember when Kickbeat was first announced and how interested in playing a rhythm game from Zen Studios I was and then disappointed when I found out it was going to be a Playstation exclusive (due to not having a Playstation system at the time). I’ve been a big fan of all the stuff I’ve played from Zen Studios whether it was their numerous pinball tables or their sidescrolling RTS Castlestorm. Now Kickbeat is out on Wii U so I finally get to play the game I was so excited about to begin with. Was it worth the wait?
What You Need to Know
Kickbeat is a rhythm based fighting game. Well, actually it’s mostly rhythm game disguised as a fighting game. Actually, it’s pretty much just a rhythm game that happens to have some fighting in it. Your character stands in the middle of a circle and is surrounded on all sides by enemies. They attack you and you have to fend off their attacks in time to the music by hitting the corresponding face button. The four buttons match up with the position of the face buttons on the controller so it’s easy to keep track of where you’re supposed to be hitting at all times. You play along with the game’s 18 song soundtrack as you try to restore music to its rightful place in the world. There are other modes outside of the main story mode like an endless survival mode where you are not given any of the normal visual cues and you have to survive as long as you can or an equalizer mode that basically plays the game for you so that you can listen to the music and watch the events of the song unfold on screen. (Something more rhythm games should do.
With the recent rash of publishers announcing their intentions (or lack thereof) for Wii U it’s refreshing to see one bringing more content to the system. Zen Studios, famous for their Zen Pinball / Pinball FX series, and Castlestorm, has announced a new update coming for the Wii U version of Zen Pinball 2.
A new update is set for the title on August 28th that will bring the latest round of Marvel themed pinball tables to the game. These include tables based on Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadpool and Doctor Strange. In addition to that, the recently released Walking Dead themed table will be made available for purchase. Each of these tables will be available for $2.99 each.
“We’re huge supporters of the Wii U, and have worked to ensure a great pinball experience across the board for our fans on the system,” said Mel Kirk, VP of Publishing at Zen Studios. “This table update is only a small piece of our ongoing future commitment to the platform, so be ready for more announcements coming soon.”
Zen Pinball is available to download for free from the Wii U eShop and you can try out tables before deciding to purchase them.
I’ve played a lot of pinball in my time, both virtually and in arcades. My electronic experiences range from Pinball on the Atari 2600 to the Space Cadet table included in Windows operating systems to the now ever growing library of tables from Zen Studios. Their most recent tables are probably the most unique experiences they’ve ever created. Super League Football combines the seemingly un-combinable worlds of pinball and soccer and it’s a great experience all around.
What You Need To Know
Super League Football features eight different teams, seven popular European teams such as Real Madrid, A.C. Milan and Juventus. For those who might not like any of those teams there is a Zen Studios themed Football Club you can “support”. Each of these teams features a table that while laid out identically to the others is decked out in the colors of the corresponding team’s colors. You choose one team that you will support and play in “soccer matches” on a pinball table where the results go up on a global leaderboard. You have the traditional three chances of a pinball game while at the same time playing a sped up version of a full length soccer match. Goals can be scored and you must defend against opposing teams scoring as well.
A couple of weeks ago Zen Studios released the first batch of DLC for Castlestorm, called From Outcast to Savior, that added 20 new missions, new troops and a new Hero for the Royal Guard. They promised that the second batch of DLC would make its way to the console in the future and that time has arrived. Thursday, March 13th Castlestorms get a little bigger with the addition of The Warrior Queen. This additional content adds a further 20 missions and takes a look at the fate of Viking warrior Freia. New weapons like Meteor Showers, Exploding Barrels, Stormbringers, Golem Hostages, and the Frozen Swordfish add to the Vikings arsenal of weaponry as they take the fight to the armored Royals.
The Warrior Queen will be available for download from the Wii U eShop for $3.99.
Castlestorm is the sidescrolling RTS from Zen Studios that sees you attempting to defend your castle while attacking and destroying an opposing army’s fortress. The game currently features two factions and a number of missions to complete. Zen Studios announced today that the game is getting a little bit bigger on Wednesday February 26th.
The game’s first expansion, From Outcast to Savior, will be available for $2.99. It includes one new faction, the Royal Guard who appear to be based on medieval Europe and Knights. It will also include a new, unlikely hero, new weapons, and trophies as well as Skirmish and Survival levels. Some of the new environments include Stonecrest, The Royal Airport, The Skyship Harbor and the Bladgard Icefields in your quest to capture the mighty Viking warrior, Chief Ramhorn.
All of this content will be available for the Wii U in North America and Europe. Zen Studios also announced the second planned DLC pack called The Warrior Queen, but did not set a release date for that content as of yet.
Zen Studios, the developers behind the digital pinball platform Zen Pinball/Pinball FX, are getting in the holiday spirit by putting their pinball tables on sale for a number of different platforms. In fact, they want you to play their pinball offerings so much they’re offering numerous tables for at least 50% off and as low as .99c on a number of mobile platforms. Here’s the full list of their deals.
• Wii U Sale: All DLC for Star Wars Pinball and Zen Pinball 2 will be 50% off from Dec 19 – Jan 2
• Mobile Sale: Dec 19 – Jan 3, all tables are $0.99 on iOS / Google Play
• Mac Sale: Dec 19 – Jan 3, all tables are $0.99
• Steam Winter sale: Dec 19 – Jan 3, CastleStorm and Pinball FX2 are included!
All of the sales run through December 2nd or 3rd. There are a number of their tables I don’t have on Wii U at the moment so I will probably be taking advantage of some of these sales. I highly recommend the Plants vs. Zombies table and The Clone Wars table in Star Wars Pinball is easily my favorite of them all.
What do you get when you cross Angry Birds with Minecraft and throw in a little bit of real-time strategy for flavor? You get Zen Studios’ newest game, which is heading to Wii U. Zen Studios is most famous for their pinball series Pinball FX/Zen Pinball, but that’s not all they do. Announced today is their Wii U release of Castlestorm, a 2D physics-based war game between Vikings and Knights.
Use the Wii U Game Pad in a solo campaign, multi-player versus or co-op modes to rain destruction on your enemy from the massive artillery pieces at your command. Playing by yourself you can see the action on either your TV or the Game Pad. The touch screen controls all the action, but if you prefer the whole game can be played using traditional button and stick controls. Multi-player utilizes the best feature of the Wii U, the ability for each player to have their own screen; one player using the TV and a Pro Controller, the other using the Game Pad.
Castle customization is available for those generals who want full control over their defenses. Just be careful. The choices you make here determine the troops that will be available to you during battle.
The game will be available to download through the Wii U eShop on December 26th for $9.99 so if you need something to spend that Christmas gift money on now you have an option.