Review by Mike Ibarra

Game Review: BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (PC)

Game Review: BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (PC)

BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is the newest entry to the BIT.TRIP series, but it is also the first sequel to a BIT.TRIP game. The first Runner is a pretty simple game - you run and collect gold bars while evading enemies to the rhythm or beat the music. It was quite notorious for being quite difficult and making nods to the old days of gaming, not to mention having a great soundtrack. But what does Runner2 have to offer that the previous game already gave us?

The story in Runner2 begins right after the events of the first game. After Commander Video defeated the final boss, he is transported to an alternate universe. Now, he has to run through 5 different worlds and around 100 levels and evade all the obstacles to get back where he belongs.

Is Runner2 any different from Runner?


The game mechanics are basically the same; Hit a button or move the pad or stick to either evade or hit the enemies. However, some new things were added since the game has evolved its retro look. Now, it is all 3D graphics (well besides the retro stages) and because of that, everything was expanded, literally.

Didn't I say this game was weird?
Didn't I say this game was weird?
The stages now offer more challenges and can be quite as difficult as its predecessor. Not only that, you can also go through different paths in most of the levels to unlock costumes or extra levels. This game can be a nightmare for people with OCD. I wanted to breeze through the game and beat as soon as possible but I saw myself getting "Perfects" in each level to unlock stages or retrying levels more than once to get all the stuff I could have missed. Not to mention pleasing the achievement whore in me.

Luckily, you can retry levels over and over again since there are no "lives" or things like that. So, if you suck a lot, you can just try the level again and learn the pattern to beat it; Though this was something that really angered people in the first game, since you were brought back to the beginning of the level rather than the closest point possible. Runner2 fixes that - you now have a “Checkpoint” at the middle of the level. So, if you miss a jump or get hit by an enemy in the last part of the level, you will not get brought back to the beginning, making this a lot less frustrating. For those who think that lessens the difficulty of the game, you can be bold and brave by jumping over the “Checkpoint” and continue with the level. You also get a juicy point bonus if you manage to beat the level that way.

Retrotastic!
Retrotastic!
Speaking of difficulty, like I said at the beginning of the review, Runner is notorious for being really difficult and Runner2 is no different in that sense. But if that turned you off the first game, you can now choose the difficulty in the game. "Quite Easy" is well… quite easy! There are barely any enemies and you can just enjoy the game with little to no hassle. Also perfect for people that only want to get unlockables after already beating the level in a higher difficulty. "Just Right" is for those who are already played the previous Runner game and want the challenge of that game without the frustration. "Really Hard" is the highest difficulty and it puts your reflexes to the test.

As you can see, the game improves vastly over its predecessor and fixes most of the problems it had. It is a whole new game while the mechanics for the game remain almost unchanged for the most part. While there are flaws in the game, they do seem insignificant or can be fixed with the options offered within the game. It is easy to miss stuff or get hit by something with the things that are happening on the screen because of the pseudo 3D elements (like depth perception) and the background mixing with stuff in the level itself.

GIMME GIMME
GIMME GIMME
Another flaw this game has is the incentives for getting all the treasures. While I said that this game is a nightmare for people with OCD, the treasures you get in this game are mostly costumes for your characters. While some of them are really great (LOTS of references to the 80’s), there’s nothing more to it. It makes it feel somewhat tedious too to replay a level 2 or even 3 times to get all the secrets, though it does help its replayability.

Is the game worth it?


Despite the flaws Runner2 may have, the game is fun! Frustrating at times, but still fun.

The game offers a truly expanded universe that the first game lacked, and it is more newbie friendly while giving you a truly great challenge while playing it. And while you probably won’t play it more than once or maybe twice, you will get your money’s worth considering how much there is to play, even without trying to get the unlockables.

Acquisition Method: Purchased on Steam for $14.99.

Our Grade:
B
Your Grade: B+
(Based on 2 grades)
The Good:
  • Expanded universe
  • Looks great
  • Difficulty settings for newcomers and veterans
  • Lots of unlockables
  • Lots of references
  • Somewhat addicting and fun
The Bad:
  • Can feel tedious
  • Graphics issues
  • Unlockables may not be all worth it, other than for sake of competition

Mike “deft” Ibarra is a staff writer for the VOG Network. You can follow him over at Twitter at @act_deft

Review by - 3/1/2013 2:45 PM365 views

Your Responses

Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: B
I got the game for free a few months ago from PlayStation Plus and I have been picking it up to play it every so often since then. It's fun to play after taking a long break because you need to learn all the movies again. I am glad they stopped adding new moves for the last two areas, because it was getting ridiculous having to remember so many different ways around obstacles. I do think the boss fights are a highlight, and my kids get a kick out of watching me play which is always a bonus.
See 1 More Concurring Opinion
skie
skie
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: A-
(Wii U Version): Agree mostly with deft's review. The online leaderboards are a good motivator for replaying levels for me. It's too bad this version has a couple bugs, but overall a must own for fans of the first game. Visuals are a real step up and little big planet inspired, though sometimes the effects are a bit much (the flying "kick" boards are irritating). Wii U simply copies gameplay to second screen, but game plays great on it.

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Comments

Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
5/30/2013 9:13 AM

0 0

Reply
I played Bit.Trip Runner for the first time since getting it ages ago as part of a humble bundle because my 2 year old son was bored of the games I usually play and I know he likes games with simple graphics and fun chip tune style music. He loved it so much that I downloaded the demo for the sequel on PS3 and he loves that as well, so it looks like I may be buying it if it goes on sale. Thanks for making me aware of it with your review, deft!
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