My experience with the Bit.Trip series pretty much started and ended with Runner 2 on the 360 awhile ago. The game was fantastic; a mashup of automatic runner and rhythm game that I was addicted to for about a month before putting it down and never picking it up again. Maybe I got stuck, maybe I had more pressing matters at the time, but the memory of all the fun I had came flooding back when it was announced that The Bit.Trip would be coming to PlayStation.
The Bit.Trip is a collection of six games, Bit.Trip Beat, Core, Void, Runner, Fate, and Flux. They all pretty much run on the same mechanic of arcade-style gameplay and rhythm game, and each can be picked up quickly without too much thought, but I found some hold up better than others.
Bit.Trip Beat and Flux remind me of Pong, in that you must move a little paddle up and down the screen and deflect projectiles; Bit. Trip Void has you controlling a black hole, collecting black dots and avoiding white ones. Runner is an automatic runner with simple timed button presses, Core uses the directional pad and X button to blast dots along to the beat, and Fate is an on-rails shooter with bit of bullet hell thrown in.
I found out that this collection came out on the Wii much earlier, which explains one of the things I didn’t like very much about the gameplay of Beat and Flux – motion controls. I found them too sensitive, as it would pick up on even the littlest hand tremble, causing me to miss some projectiles by a hair. Over time I got somewhat used to them, but compared to the other games I found it less of a challenge and more so frustrating. I should also note that these games, though easy to pickup, get very, very hard. Even the easiest difficulty can be a challenge. This isn’t a bad thing in the least, and the PSN page even advertises its difficulty, but be prepared for lots of retries if you’re after a highscore on the game’s online leaderboards.
Every game also has a musical mechanic as previously mentioned, be it accompanying your gameplay or actively steering it. It’s what drew me to Runner 2 initially, and it works exceptionally here. The music itself? It’s a delightful soundtrack of chipmusic (with some dubstep thrown in there sometimes) featuring artists like Anamanaguchi, Nullsleep, and Bit Shifter, all of which can be heard on Gaijin’s bandcamp if you’re so inclined.
I quite liked the visuals overall, with pixelated elements for the things you control and fully rendered 3D elements for the background. When everything isn’t blocky and stylized like it was ripped out of a 8-bit game, its a colorful void of space and lights that remind me of old screen savers or music visualizers. It has a very modern-meets-retro charm that is easy to look at, and isn’t very distracting given the concentration needed for the game.
As six whole games in one package, I can recommend this title for those seeking something easy to pick up, but also teeth-grindingly challenging.
Have you picked up The Bit.Trip on PlayStation 4? Did you play the originals? Tell us your thoughts below!