The Average Gamer

Bit.Trip Complete and Saga Preview

The Bit.Trip series has been one of the more unique offerings on the Wii, with each new title offering a totally new gameplay experience. With modern twists on old-school gameplay, Commander Video goes on quite a journey across the six games, ranging from one-player pong to sprints across dangerous planes.

The six games have now been packed into a nice little bundle, giving players who have played maybe one or two of the titles, or even players who have never experienced the series, the chance to have them all in a nice collection, including over 100 new levels and challenges. Complete is neatly book-ended with Beat and Flux, with both offering a twist on one-player pong.

As a new player to Bit.Trip, what stands out most is the soundtrack. Every action in each game is tied to the game’s music, creating a beautiful sense of synaesthesia that sucks you into the experience. While these games definitely have a niche feel, the emphasis placed on simplistic gameplay and high scores, it can quickly become addictive. It’s so enticing to go back and try and beat yours or your friend’s latest feats, and time can fly by.

While each person will have their own personal favourites within the collection, the pick of the day was most definitely Bit.Trip Runner. This game was by far the most challenging, but it was also the most fun. Whizzing through level-after-level in which you have to jump and slide your way to the goal while collecting all the gold is great, and is a great game to play with a group of friends, passing the Wii-mote after each unsuccessful attempt.

The other titles are better played solo and use different elements of the Wii’s functionality. Beat and Flux use the Wii-mote’s motion sensor to navigate the bar to deflect incoming balls, whilst Void uses the nunchuk to navigate. Having played Bit.Trip Beat on the iPad, I found it difficult and a little frustrating adjusting to using the motion sensor to move the bar, knowing that I could do better had I been able to use the D-Pad instead. After a little while I developed a steady hand… but still sucked.

Bit.Trip Fate surprised me the most with its unique spin to a classic genre. Whilst very reminiscent of R-Type and other side-scrolling shooters, instead of allowing players to move freely around the level to dodge enemy fire, players can only move along a predetermined route, like a rollercoaster.

This completely changes the game, as now players have to make the choice of how to both dodge enemies, their fire, and keep up with the progression of the level. Players can also change character throughout the level, with each character offering a different style of attack, as well as all of the power-ups that are available.

Bit.Trip Saga is the 3DS version of the Bit.Trip collection, also featuring the six games. The 3D effect is nice but is a cosmetic change that adds little to gameplay. You have the option to control things with either the analogue stick or the stylus and touch screen. With the more Pong-like games, the stylus is definitely the easier way to get precise control, and you will need that to complete the insanity that is Flux.

Bit.Trip Complete and Bit.Trip Saga are due for release on 16th March 2012.