Bit.Trip Complete Review
In the two or so years since I first purchased my Nintendo Wii, the thing has done little more for me than collect dust. I own perhaps six or so games for the poorly-supported console, and knowing that Nintendo is too busy trying to turn the 3DS and upcoming Wii U into winning brands, it seems likely that Zelda: Skyward Sword will be the system's last hurrah. Truly, there were few good things that came out of this casual-gaming console, and yet it did have a few surprises, one of those being Gaijin Games' spectacular Bit.Trip series.
What the Bit.Trip series was take some of the gaming world's most base concepts: the platformer; the space shooter; pong; and re-imagine them as rhythmic arcade titles, complete with brilliant graphics largely inspired by old-school Atari and Activision games. Their first release, Bit.Trip.Beat, perhaps sums up the theme of the series perfectly. You play as the left half of a pong board, a single paddle facing off against an onslaught of incoming pixels. The key again is in the rhythm of the game, as the approaching pxiels arrive in time with the beat, successfully deflecting them creating an electronic musical note which contributes to the stage's background music. It's a simple idea but one that is well executed, and this element of working to maintain the beat throughout each stage is what really define each game.
Though previously only available as seperate Wii Ware releases, all six titles have now been compiled into two separate collections, Bit.Trip Complete for the Wii, and Bit.Trip Beat for the 3DS (look for our complete review of Bit.Trip Beat sometime next week). At just $40, the Wii collection is an obvious bargain, containing all six games, a slew of extras and new difficulty options, as well as an awesome soundtrack CD, something series fans have long been demanding. With six games to choose from, gamers are sure to find a favorite.
I personally find Bit.Trip Runner to be the most polished title among them, an incredibly addicting rhythm platformer which requires some absurdly quick reflexes, with series protagonist Commander Video rampaging through each stage at breakneck speed, the player forced to jump, slide and kick their way past a variety of obstacles. Also great fun is Bit.Trip Core, where players command a stationary cross shaped ship, firing lasers at passing blocks; as well as Bit.Trip Flux, the essential evolution of the original game, with Commander Video's paddle now on the right side of the screen, symbolizing the nearing end of his journey.
As stated, the Bit.Trip series is definitely one of the high points among the Nintendo Wii's library, and any fans of a singular entry in the collection, or just rhythm games in general, will be happy to add this one to their collection. That being said, there are some rough spots. Later games in the compilation stand out as having greatly improved graphics are compared to the dated earlier entries, and though all of the game concepts are novel, some of the games just aren't as enjoyable as their brothers, with Bit.Trip Void a bit too abstract for my liking, and the rail-based shooting action of Bit.Trip Fate not enough to quench my desire for bullet hell. That being said, this is a solid release, a great bargain, and a great addition to the Wii's otherwise disappointing selection of games. Definitely worth picking up.