Friday, February 25, 2011


Your goal.
Nothing can stop you.
Believe in yourself
and you can do anything.
Take up the challenge
and continue your BIT.TRIP.

It's time for more BIT.TRIP madness! As a part of our review series, this time we will play BIT.TRIP VOID and BIT.TRIP RUNNER. You can grab both on the Wii Shop Channel for 600/800 Wii Points. And it seems RUNNER for your computer at home is not far away.

Hey guys. What's up.
So, we've been following CommanderVideo for quite some time now, and now it's about time he gets social. Meeting others, finding friends, etc. Sadly, the Commander is doing it completely wrong at first.
The story is being told mainly in the cutscenes this time, and the occassional text appearing shortly in a stage. The background doesn't become less awesome, though.

Popping the void is a good idea
in this situation.
VOID doesn't limit you to the Wiimote this time. You can choose beetween using your Nunchuck or a Classic Controller, both of which work equally well. You can move your void around using the stick, and pop your void using a button.
The game goes after the classic R/R system. In case you are not familar with this, here's a quick explantation. R/R means risk/reward - there is a special goal you can only reach by taking a risk. Let's take Super Mario as example. There's a 1UP hanging right above a pit. The risk is losing your life, the reward getting a life.
The blog of Super Meat Boy has a quite nice analysis, go check it out.

How much will you risk to get
a good score here?
Now how is R/R implemented in BIT.TRIP VOID? Easy - you move around with your void, collecting black beats. For chaining black beats the value for each best increases, the multiplier grows and you get more points stored in your void. The catch is: with every beat your void grows, which makes it slower and thus it's harder to avoid white beats, which reset the beat value. Thus you have to pop your void after some time, and that's when the points in your void are added to your real score.

The R/R system brings a whole new dimension to the game, as you now can't get a highest possible score anymore. That keeps the competition up - sadly, due to the lack of online leaderboards it's hard to compare all scores.
note to myself: make an online portal to post your scores to. Would be awesome, I guess
The new checkpoints sure make the game easier than BEAT and CORE (that may be a good or bad point depending on your skill). The soundtrack is one of the best in the series, and the new backgrounds are awesome. While not being the best game, it comes pretty damn close to it. A great start for new BIT.TRIPpers who are not too sure if they have enough skills.

Now that the Commander has gotten some social skills and new-found friends, it's time to go on. He is living life to it's fullest. Nothing can stop him now. It's time for the TRIP in BIT.TRIP. It's time for BIT.TRIP RUNNER.

RUNNER features 3 zones with 11 levels,
11 retro challenges and a boss.
First thing you notice, the game title has 6 letters as opposed to the 4 letters of any other game. Why? I don't know, but it's worth noting.
Second thing you notice, the gameplay can be compared to the free flash game Canabalt. Holding the Wiimore horizontally, press 2 to jump over pits, rocks and other stuff. But as opposed to the flash game, you can do various other moves you learn while running through the 3 zones, which include sliding, using springs, kicking and getting your paddle from BIT.TRIP BEAT to block beats aiming for your head.

If you reach the highest mode, you
leave a rainbow trail. Double
Rainbow all the way!
As you jump, slide and kick your way through 69 (!) 2-minute-long levels, you must not fail. The NETHER meter from the older games is absent. One hit, and you're out. Back to the start, score set to 0 and mode reset to HYPER. RUNNER takes an idea from Super Meat Boy here - CommanderVideo will start running again just 3 seconds after your death.
But even though you just take one hit, RUNNER is by far the easiest of the pack right now.

And this is just the first part
of the level.

Why, you ask? Well, let's take a look at BEAT and CORE, where a death in one of the three levels would result in a restart of the entire level. In VOID there were 3 checkpoints per level, but you had to have a credit left, thus keeping the difficulty up.
Now let's imagine RUNNER's three zones were levels. You would have 11 checkpoints per level, free to use, and 11 challenges in front of each checkpoint as the only thing you can truly fail at. Also the bit-sized levels make it way easier to get a PERFECT.

That doesn't mean it's bad, though. In fact, this is - right now - the best BIT.TRIP game. Due to the short levels you can play this game for a short time while you wait for another game to finish loading, and it feels way more likely to get a perfect score, thus motivatnig many players to try what they haven't in the other BIT.TRIP games. And since it's the easiest game right now, other players with less skill can also quickly success. This is a must-buy, if you have a Wii.


You may ask why I didn't give a full 5 of 5. Well, it's because there's still room for improvement, since the final game is coming tomorrow. BIT.TRIP FLUX, the 6th part, will was released in Europe today and the USA get it on Monday! Get your Wii Points ready to complete the final chapter of your BIT.TRIP.
But before we review the final duo BIT.TRIP FATE and FLUX, we will take a look at what is most likely one of the most successful indie games of all time, being still in beta and has sold one million copies, though. If you still don't know what we're talking about, here's a final hint:
It's about working in mines and crafting.

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