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Video Game / KickBeat

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Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Rhythm Game

KickBeat is a martial arts-themed Rhythm Game released by Zen Studios for the Play Station 3, Play Station 4, Play Station Vita, Steam, and Wii U. It follows the story of a trainee martial artist who enrolled at an order of monks tasked with guarding a giant sphere that contains all the music ever thought of in the past and future. When a group of mercenaries suddenly raids the monastery where the sphere is kept, it's up to said trainee to travel the world in search of the mysterious Earth Organization, all the while rhythmically beating down every mook that comes his way.

KickBeat contains examples of:

  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Well, that and alternate skins based on the different mooks for each level.
  • The Chosen Many: In the second story mode, it's revealed that the "Chosen One" doesn't have to be a singular person, in contrast to what most characters had assumed to that point. ("One" evidently meant something like "One with the Sphere", and the Old Master's students misunderstood him.)
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Yellow enemies come on the beat, blue enemies come on both the beats and half-beats, and red enemies come on two or three directions at once.
    • Also, the cardinal directions are colour-coded for incoming attacks; this becomes important with denser enemy clusters where it becomes hard to track all the circling attackers to know which direction(s) the next attack is coming from.
  • Combat Stilettos: Both female fighters tend to be wearing impractical spike-heeled shoes or boots. And Mei at least knew about each fight in time to change clothes.
    • For convenience of skeletal animation, allowing one set of heels basically means the female fighters need to keep that same posture in any outfit. When in a gi and barefoot they stay on the balls of their feet as if wearing heels (though it looks natural enough in context); the "cyber-armor" still elevates the heel but replaces the spike with a bladelike tapered sole which fills the space under the foot and looks semi-practical.
    • This may be lampshaded at one point: one of the last unlockables gives the hidden female fighter a pair of comfortable sneakers (slightly oversized to hide that they effectively put the heels inside the shoe and compress her feet). The accompanying text: "Totally worth it."
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Every fighting stage consists of a circular arena with a bunch of enemies circling the player character, waiting for the opportunity to strike.
  • Culture Police: The Big Bad's ostensible motive for claiming a monopoly on the world's music (beyond making money) is to act as a gatekeeper to oppose Sturgeon's Law in music and keep trash away from the public. His credentials as a Man of Wealth and Taste are a bit... questionable, however.
  • Deflector Shields: One of the powerups does this, making the player temporarily invincible against any missed mooks.
  • Epic Rocking: Subverted in the case of the Level Editor, since any songs going beyond 6 minutes will cut the track short.
  • Eye Beams: The statues that fight off the mooks during the first boss battle.
  • Ki Manipulation: The given reason for the game's triggered score multiplier.
    • See also the Ki Storm attack in the below Shock and Awe example.
  • Hidden Character: One male and one female. They have no dialogue or known backstory (though from their clothing, presumably they've both trained in the Order of the Melodic Fist at some point), and happen to be somewhat less dressed than the protagonists.
  • Level Editor: Players can choose their own songs, calculate the BPM and then generate entire levels for these songs. (As long as they are under 6 minutes)
  • Radial Asskicking: It might as well have been named Radial Asskicking: The Rhythm Game.
  • Reckless Sidekick: The plot reason there are two story modes.
  • Shock and Awe: The Ki Storm attack, used against the first boss, the Mercenary Chief.
  • Shockwave Stomp: One of the powerups in the game does this, wiping out all mooks that have drawn close enough at that particular moment to make their colours visible.
  • Shout-Out: The Yellow mook's "virtual" skin has a helmet that looks a bit Thomas Bangalter-esque.
  • Updated Re-release: The Steam edition, which reduced a lot of the unlock grinding and made importing custom songs a bit easier.
  • Wannabe Line: In front of the Paris dance club. The canon male hero is turned away at the door after implausibly presenting himself as a "friend of the owner" and resorts to a diversion to get in, quickly resulting in a huge fight in the club. Later, the canonical heroine walks past the same line accompanied by admiring comments and is immediately beckoned in by the bouncers. Promptly subverted; the bouncers recognized her as "that troublemaker's partner" and club security is waiting in ambush inside.