Headline Images

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
(Available on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U (reviewed), PC (also reviewed), and PS Vita (Summer 2013)

When I reviewed BIT.TRIP Saga for the Nintendo 3DS, I stated my love for the series, so when BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien was announced, it should be no surprise that I was pretty darn happy.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about the new aesthetics of the game, but I knew that the game play would still be solid.  I got even more excited about it when the developers said that the Wii U version was the best console version of the game.  Could the game ever dream to live up to my lofty expectations?

BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer:  This is the best game in the BIT.TRIP series by far.

Yes, the main game music isn't isn't chip tune anymore.  Yes, the graphics aren't "retro" any more.  And yes, the game will still frustrate you.

BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

The music in the game still plays an important role.  Every time you avoid an obstacle or collect an item, it adds the music.  And the music, while not being chip tunes, is still outstanding.  And it still retains the familiar feel (or sound, whatever) of the other games in the BIT.TRIP series. 

The game also got a more modern overhaul visually, and it works just as well as the music.  Again, even though it is updated, it still fits perfectly within the game's established universe.  Especially when you get to World 5.  No spoilers, but visually, World 5 is my favorite.

BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

As for the game play, this is where we got the best improvements.  Not only are there three levels of difficulty that you can choose from, but each level has an optional checkpoint.  These checkpoints can be useful, but if you jump over them instead of activating them you earn bonus points.  On top of the difficulty changes, there are also some new moves that get added to your repertoire.  My most hated maneuver now is the slide jump.  I just can't seem to get the timing down as good as the regular jumps.  I'm not sure why that is, exactly, but it trips me up every time I went to a new level.  My favorite new move is the dancing.  When you have a spare moment between jumping or kicking, you can bust a move for additional points.  And every character has unique motions!  Yes, there are now multiple characters to choose from.  You start out with two, and unlock more as you play.  My favorite is the Reverse Merman.  He is a fish on top, and human on bottom, and has something that swings around between his legs.  My son says "it looks like the things that Rusty (our new dog) just had his surgery to take away".

BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

Now, I have been playing the game on both the Wii U and Steam, and I am going to echo what the developers said about the Wii U version: It is the best version of this game.  That could simply be due to the fact that the Steam version was built with playing using a controller in mind, and playing it with just a keyboard is not as good.  However, even if I still had a controller for my PC, I would still prefer playing it on the Wii U.  It doesn't run any better, but I freaking love the ability to play games on the Gamepad screen.  And much like with the other games that I own on the Wii U, the Miiverse community for Runner 2 is a hoot.  Yes, I said hoot.

The bottom line is that this game is well worth the fifteen dollars, no matter the system.  I have friends who have the game on the PS3 and on the XBox 360, and they love it too.  If you are at home and reading this, download it now.  If you are at work and reading this, GET BACK TO WORK! And then download it when you get home.

Overall Score: 9/10

No comments:

Post a Comment