a NintendoFuse game review by Steve (hattrick)
Game – BIT.TRIP COMPLETE
Version – Wii
Rating – E for Everyone
Obtained – Review Copy from Aksys Games
When Gaijin Games released BIT.TRIP BEAT game in 2006 for WiiWare, fans of retro and rhythm games were pleased with end product, despite its difficulty. In fact, it eventually ported to iOS, Windows, and MacOS. Five other titles eventually came out under the BIT.TRIP header, and they chronicle Commander Video’s adventures. From BEAT to FLUX, these six titles have moved from WiiWare to a full disc retail Wii release.
Story & Plot
The BIT.TRIP games are said to take players are a journey with Commander Video from the beginning of life to the end. While the developers make this claim, most players will not catch this philosophical stance. Instead they will see six different games that have strong similarities but, typically, different gameplay. So, in terms of a story and plot, BIT.TRIP does not have much of one. However, there are over 25 cutscenes that help you understand a bit more about Commander Video’s adventure.
In terms of critiques, there is not much to say, except that the story is not forced. Many might say this is a good thing, but I view it as a positive. For those that do not care, they have no problem jumping right into the game. On top of all this, there are some bonus levels included in COMPLETE, as well, for those who beat the originals. This has little to do with the story, but they are worth mentioning, especially for those who have already played and beaten the WiiWare versions.
Gameplay & Controls
Almost every game in the BIT.TRIP COMPLETE functions and plays differently. Because of that, I feel it is important to look at them all separately.
The basic idea is to use a paddle on the left side of the screen to hit bits that are traveling at you from the right side. Think of this as a one-sided Pong game with some rhythm aspects. You will turn your Wii Remote sideways and use the D-pad to control your paddle, and that is basically it. BEAT is fun, but it is also quite challenging.
In a time when rhythm games were focused much on hitting the right button at the right time based on a note-highway (i.e. Guitar Hero) or something similar, CORE took this idea in a different direction. Your goal is to use the D-pad to hit up, down, left, or right in connection with the 2 button each time a bit passes in that direction. Trust me… It is just as complicated to play it than it is to explain it. If you are really into rhythm games, you will enjoy this. Others will quit and move on to something else.
This time, you can a black void around the screen in eight directions. Each black bit increases your size, while the white bits shrink you. Your goal is to finish each stage by collecting and cashing in your black bits. You will use the control stick to move the void, and you can tap A or Z to shrink back on your own. Yet again, this is tough, but it will keep you coming back.
In a departure from the previous games, RUNNER allows you to control Commander Video in a side-scrolling rhythm platformer. As he is constantly running, you must control his jump, slide, kick, spring, and block with different buttons. As with BEAT and CORE, this is very rhythm focused, which helps you know the timing of each move. It feels very comfortable, and I see no problem with the controls or gameplay. RUNNER is my favorite out of the entire collection, because of the style, genre, and addictive nature of the game.
Moving back to Commander Video’s ship, FATE puts you in a side-scrolling somewhat rhythm-based shooter. However, in contrast to something like R-Type or Defender, you are attached to a rail that guides you through each level. The only reasons I can find for this are that it simulates the idea of fate, and it makes the game more challenging. While you fire with the A or B buttons, you will control with the Wii Remote as a pointer to move. This works very well. In fact, if you have a Wii Zapper, you may want to try it on this game.
Returning to the BEAT-style of gameplay, FLUX also moves your paddle to the right side of the screen. However, this is not the only change. FLUX combines several aspects of the other games (i.e. avoiding some bits, higher leveling up). All in all, it is a quick and frantic game with much going on. Similar to RUNNER, you do not see a “game over” screen, as you will just start that level over again right away. Because of this, FLUX has a similar addictive nature that keeps drawing you back in for more.
Graphics & Sound
One of the highest praises the BIT.TRIP series has received is based on its interesting use of graphics and sound. The games basically look just as good as they did on WiiWare, so COMPLETE is also great. Even though they take a retro look, they look crisp and clean for today’s gamers.
Sound is where any rhythm-based game must succeed. Fortunately, BIT.TRIP provides a solid soundtrack. Similarly to the visuals, the sounds and music have a retro edge about them. It is definitely more than just a couple bleeps and bloops, as you can easily get caught up in the music. There is a reason why they have included the soundtrack CD with the package.
SCORE: 5 out of 5
BIT.TRIP COMPLETE is a great game. In fact, it is a great set of games. Further, there is very little critique. Fans of the WiiWare titles and those who have not even played a BIT.TRIP game should check into BIT.TRIP COMPLETE for a fun challenge, as it is all the goodness of the WiiWare titles, but now on one disc with bonus levels.