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Bit.Trip Core

by Neal Ronaghan - August 17, 2009, 6:20 am PDT
Total comments: 8


This iterative sequel changes up the gameplay, but it is still just three 15-minute levels.

The second in Gaijin Games' music-based Bit.Trip series, Bit.Trip Core, is a great follow-up to the first game that retains much of the same style, ideas, and issues, but is played in a completely different way. Whereas Beat was based on Pong, Core is unlike anything else I've ever played. You hold the Wii Remote on its side and direct your shot in one of four directions with the D-pad, and when a beat goes past, you press the 2 button and shoot it.

This gameplay style doesn't take advantage of the Wii's capabilities and is not analogous to another game, but it is easier to control because of the concrete button-pressing. Instead of having to deal with the sensitivity of tilting the Wii Remote (like in Beat), you only have four directions to deal with. You can also launch a bomb once per level that wipes out everything on the screen. It's not a huge gameplay addition, but it does help tone down the difficulty a bit.

That's the biggest issue in the game: it's unforgiving. The three levels are 15-minute affairs, each with creative boss fights that don't skimp on challenge. It's a good amount of content for a WiiWare game, but it could stand to be broken up into smaller chunks. There is nothing more frustrating than working your way through one of the levels and then failing in the final minutes, especially since there are no checkpoints.

To alleviate this brutal difficulty, the cooperative mode comes to the rescue. Two players can team up and play the game simultaneously. Unlike the multiplayer mode in Bit.Trip Beat, which arguably made the game harder, Core's co-op mode actually helps you survive the levels.

Core also introduces different power-ups and challenges. The power-ups give you boosts such as multi-beam, which allows you fire off two beams in opposite directions at once. The challenges task you with clearing sections with a handicap, such as rotating the D-pad controls. The challenges are extremely tough, and unless you're gunning for the top of the (offline) leader boards, they're better off left alone.

The art style and music remain similar to Bit.Trip Beat, and this game continues the story of the intrepid, two-dimensional Commander Video. The story is a bit unclear, but it is rife with trippy visuals and awesome chiptune music that changes as you progress through each level. The visuals are oftentimes too busy, though, and can distract you from the gameplay.

Bit.Trip Core is another solid entry in the Bit.Trip series, but it maintains most of the issues of its predecessor (long levels, difficulty, busy visuals). If you loved Bit.Trip Beat, getting this is a no-brainer. However, if you weren't sold on the first game, Bit.Trip Core isn't going to change your mind.


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
8.5 9.5 9 8 7 8

The simple graphics and old-school style make it a unique and engrossing experience.


Featuring songs that build and grow as you play through levels, the chiptune soundtrack is fantastic and zen-like.


In a difficult game like this, it's good to have the controls be easy to use and work without fail.


It's a fun experience that keeps on introducing new beats in every level, but the length and difficulty of the levels is almost game-breaking.


There's a lot of content despite the fact that there are only three levels. However, the levels are brutally hard, so you might not want to replay them over and over unless you master the game. The cooperative multiplayer adds to the fun, though.


Bit.Trip Core is a beautiful game, even though it's so challenging. People who like their games old-school and difficult should have already downloaded this game. If you're not up to the challenge, you're better off looking the other way. Let's hope that next time, Gaijin Games breaks up the levels into more digestible chunks.


  • Fantastic art style and music
  • Great co-op
  • Distracting visuals
  • Long and difficult levels
Review Page 2: Conclusion


Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusAugust 17, 2009

"The story is a bit unclear"

I think the point is that the developers want gamers to try to interpret the story.

Quote from: Flames_of_chaos

"The story is a bit unclear"

I think the point is that the developers want gamers to try to interpret the story.

Point schmoint. It's still unclear.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusAugust 17, 2009

An unclear story can be easier for a person to use their imagination to interpret it. If it was defined and convoluted then you would have a Braid moment :P.

KDR_11kAugust 17, 2009

I think it's supposed to become clearer when more games in the series come out.

Quote from: KDR_11k

I think it's supposed to become clearer when more games in the series come out.

I imagine so, but as it stands, I don't know what the hell is going on in this game storywise. I enjoy it, but it is just a hodge podge of weird 8-bit imagery.

I think "a bit unclear" is being very generous. Bit.Trip has less story than Pac-Man.

KDR_11kAugust 18, 2009

Well, I wouldn't know, I haven't beaten level 2 of Beat yet and won't touch Core.

broodwarsDecember 02, 2009

I'm not usually one to revive old threads, but I did pick this one up today after really loving BT Beat the past week or so.  I'm actually rather proud of myself for getting through the first level after only a couple tries at it, even netting a high score.  Like Beat, Core is a very good game as well...but it has some issues.  For one thing, this is a game I wish had either Classic Controller or Nunchuck support because the Wiimote D-pad is a little small for my thumb to handle like this comfortably.  Also, as expected this game is just as brutally difficult as Beat, but in a different way.  Because I have some musician experience, I find the game a little easier to handle than Beat since it's very rhythm based.  I can usually guess what the pattern will be without really having to look at the screen, just based on the beat.  However, if you lose the beat it's very hard to get it back (as nearly proved to be fatal against the Level 1 boss), and if you have no talent for rhythm you don't have a chance in hell of getting far in this game.  I have to wonder why the developers keep making these Bit Trip games so difficult, since it's really disheartening to know that I'm probably not going to get beyond Level 2 in Core (just as I haven't in Beat).

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Genre Rhythm
Developer Gaijin Games
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Bit.Trip Core
Release Jul 06, 2009
PublisherAksys Games

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