Sure, I’m bummed that we couldn’t be in Germany for Gamescom. XCOM multiplayer was on display and there was another chance to see Dishonored in action. But the big news for fans of smaller developers is that Zen Studios, who showed me two of their new games at E3, was peeling back the curtain even further on both KickBeat (Vita) and CastleStorm (Xbox Live Arcade).

First up, KickBeat is a fantastic take on the rhythm genre. The game puts you in the shoes of a martial arts master surrounded by thugs, as you thump their heads to the beat. Part of the 18-song track has been revealed (below), but the big surprise is that the game will feature a music analyzer that allows you to incorporate your own tunes into the game. Of course, that means you’ll need to put them on your Vita, but it’s a small price to pay.

  • Pendulum – Self vs. Self
  • Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People
  • Rob Zombie – Scum of the Earth
  • Voicians – The Construct
  • Shen Yi – War Dance
  • Celldweller – I Can’t Wait
  • Styles of Beyond – Nine Thou
  • Southpaw Swagger – It’s Showtime
  • Blue Stahli – Ultranumb

You can take a look at an intense trailer from KickBeat right here:


There is also new information on the castle-building, ballista-firing, physics-based destruction game. Whew. That’s a mouthful. You know what, just watch the game in action.

Based on their huge success working with Microsoft on Pinball FX 2 (the most brilliant platform that has ever graced the Xbox Live Arcade service), Zen will be teaming up with the publisher again to bring CastleStorm to Xbox Live Arcade first. No specific release date for either title has been announced, but we should expect them both sometime this fall.

The only problem I’m having is that I don’t know which makes me more excited. There’s a hashtag for that… right?