Wii

North America

Bit.Trip Void

by Pedro Hernandez - November 29, 2009, 2:54 pm PST
Total comments: 14

8

A great mix of simplistic gameplay and inspired presentation.

It's kind of ironic, in a time when gaming has advanced so much in terms of technology and design, that some gamers are clamoring for games that look and play like the classic games of yesteryear. Gaijin Games has been working hard on delivering this, creating unique gameplay experiences exclusive to WiiWare in the form of the BIT.TRIP series. BIT.TRIP VOID is the third game in the series, continuing its tradition of simple gameplay with a fun presentation.

In BIT.TRIP VOID, players control a pixelated black void. The goal is to collect tiny black dots that fly across the screen while avoiding the white dots. The more dots you collect, the bigger the void becomes. This is important to note, because if your void gets too big it controls more slowly, and you might accidentally collect a white dot due to its size getting in the way. In order to prevent this, a press of the A button will shrink the void, collecting the points you have accumulated in the process.

As simple as the game sounds, the level of challenge is substantial. There are many dots flying on-screen, forcing the player to carefully maneuver the void around them and learn their flight patterns in the process. If the player misses too many black dots, hits a lot of white dots, or does too much of both at once, they are sent into the netherworld, a black and white version of the level with no music or sound. This gives players the chance to get back into the game before it's game over.

BIT.TRIP VOID's simplicity is both its greatest strength and biggest weakness. Its simplicity allows players to enjoy the game in short bursts, and the challenge along with the appeal of getting the highest score possible also makes it addictive. But players expecting to do more with the game will be disappointed, which limits its overall replayability. The scoring system may also be an issue for some players; in true arcade fashion you are allowed to continue the game, but this is at the cost of your score. In other words, the player is penalized for continuing. While this is meant to replicate the old scoring systems of yesteryear, some players are likely to consider this unfair.

VOID offers a four-player multiplayer mode. Up to four players control the void, and all the dots the players earn go towards the final point tally. There are no other additional modes in the game, which is a shame because the concept is solid enough. It would have been nice to have seen more modes based on the main game.

The BIT.TRIP series is one that relies on its presentation in order to complete the package. The retro style featured in the previous games make a return in VOID. They won't impress - after all, the main animated aspects are black and white dots - but the backgrounds provide some funky colors that change according to the beat of the song that's playing. The background colors are too dark, making it hard at times to notice the black dots; considering that collecting dots is vital to the gameplay, the backgrounds should have been less obstructive.

The game's sound fares much better. Composed by Nullsleep, BIT.TRIP VOID features a chiptune-inspired soundtrack that is catchy and dynamic. Every time you collect a dot a bit sound is made, allow the player to add to the rhythm of the soundtrack. It makes the experience even more memorable, tying the player to the game moreso than other titles.

Overall, if you loved the first two BIT.TRIP games, then BIT.TRIP VOID should please you. It retains about the series' penchant for easy and accessible gameplay wrapped in a retro package. Its simplicity and lack of additional modes could harm long-term enjoyment, but BIT.TRIP VOID is brimming with creative ingenuity that shouldn't be missed.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
7 9 9 8 5 8
Graphics
7

It's simple, but that's how it's meant to be. The backgrounds, however, can be distracting and tend to obscure the view of the flying dots.

Sound
9

BIT.TRIP VOID wins in this area easily. The chiptune music is dynamic and complements the gameplay very well.

Control
9

The game uses a Wii Remote and Nunchuk scheme that works just fine. The Classic Controller can also be used as an alternative.

Gameplay
8

The BIT.TRIP games have always been about simplicity, and VOID is no exception. There's a deep level of challenge to be found underneath its simplicity, but its only downfall is that there isn't enough to do, and the concept grows old sooner than it should.

Lastability
5

With only a few stages to play though, you will see everything BIT.TRIP VOID has to offer in a few minutes. For fans of high scores, this is a great game for them. But for everyone else, the experience is rather short-lived.

Final
8

Gaijin Games does it again with BIT.TRIP VOID. The gameplay is very simple and unique, using every asset to its strength. It's worth trying out if you like the other games in the BIT.TRIP series, as long as you're mindful of its limited number of modes.

Summary

Pros
  • Easy-to-learn concept
  • Great for gaming in short spurts
  • Great soundtrack
Cons
  • Background graphics can interfere with gameplay
  • Not enough game modes
  • Unforgiving continue system
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

I believe all three Bit.Trips have gotten an 8.0 on this site - each reviewed by someone different.

There should be a new award for the series as "Most Consistent Series Ever"

Bit.Trip Beat got a 9, Bit.Trip Core got an 8.

Good series overall.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusNovember 30, 2009

Quote from: NWR_Neal

I believe all three Bit.Trips have gotten an 8.0 on this site - each reviewed by someone different.

There should be a new award for the series as "Most Consistent Series Ever"

Wrong, I gave Bit.Trip Beat a 9.0 when I reviewed it for NWR.

I also disagree with a couple of portions of the review.


The background colors are too dark, making it hard at times to noticethe black dots; considering that collecting dots is vital to thegameplay, the backgrounds should have been less obstructive.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterNovember 30, 2009

And why would I disagree about a typo? I fixed the mistake.

And I realize that the issue might not apply to everyone, but I felt the need to mention it since I kept missing beats because the screen got dark in the most inconvenient of moments.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusNovember 30, 2009

I guess that can be an issue if you are too focused on visuals. All the games in the Bit.Trip series always pulled that in order to test your memory since the patterns do repeat in each level.

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

Bit.Trip Beat got a 9, Bit.Trip Core got an 8.

Good series overall.

Aww man. That ruins my idea.
I guess that's what I get for not double-checking the review scores. :(

Still, this is a consistently good series.

I have to side with Pedro on this one; the backgrounds can get crazy distracting. Yes, it's part of the game and beat patterns do repeat, but to me it is kind of silly to have the background of the game distract you from the gameplay of the game.

That issues reminds me of Madden 2004 on GameCube (I played it this weekend. Don't ask). Occasionally, the little sports ticker (for other games in your season) will pop up at the bottom of the screen, and it blocks pretty much anything behind the quarterback. You can wait it out and let it go away, but you're still wasting time. That's part of the game, and it has a point to it, but it's still obnoxious.

No one else might see the coorelation, but I think it makes a tiny bit of sense, at least to me.

Regardless, this is an awesome game, and I think it's my favorite in the series in co-op. I still think Beat is the best, though.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusNovember 30, 2009

I guess no one corrected the Nullsleep issue as it still says Nullship in the review ;) .

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterNovember 30, 2009

Quote from: Flames_of_chaos

I guess no one corrected the Nullsleep issue as it still says Nullship in the review ;) .

It appears fine on the front page. Must be a forum issue.

Mop it upNovember 30, 2009

When I view this review from the forums I can see the tags. Is it like that for anybody else?

Void is my favorite of the series, so far. It feels much more sophisticated than the first two games.

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

It feels much more sophisticated than the first two games.

I'll agree to that. I feel like Beat and Core were made around the same time, and Void was the first one made after they heard feedback from the first two games. Thus, it's a stronger product.

broodwarsDecember 14, 2009

Just picked this one this morning, despite my better judgment after not really liking Core.  Overall, as with the other 2 Bit Trips I wish they didn't obscure the actual objective of the game with the trippy background animations.  This was fairly manageable in the re-release of Beat and Core since the beats were at least usually different colors than the backgrounds so if you paid attention you could still see them.  In Void, though, I've noticed a nasty habit of the game having black bits appear against black backgrounds, making them ridiculously hard to see.

Also, is it just me, though, or have the Bit Trip games gotten progressively worse musically from game to game?  The songs in Beat were fantastic (though I still can't get through the 3rd Beat song), but I haven't seen a song in the franchise yet that can come close to matching their energy and catchiness (for lack of a better term).  The songs in Void (I'm on Ego right now) so far sound fairly generic with a distinct "rave" feel to them with heavy bass, so the levels themselves just don't feel altogether interesting since it doesn't feel like I'm contributing to interesting songs.

On the upside, while this game is incredibly difficult it at least feels fair compared to its predecessors thanks to the checkpoints and the player's ability to control the size of the void and its position on-screen with a control stick.

vuduDecember 14, 2009

Quote from: broodwars

Also, is it just me, though, or have the Bit Trip games gotten progressively worse musically from game to game?

I haven't played Core, so I can't speak for that one, but I agree that the music on Void isn't as good as Beat.  The reason--as far as I'm concerned--is because the game play isn't as "exact" in Void as it was in Beat.

In Beat you could only move your paddle vertically.  Beats flew at you and would hit your paddle at a known time (assuming you moved the paddle to the correct spot).  Because of this, the game play and the music were very tightly integrated.

In Void, there's a lot of wiggle-room regarding when you hit the beats.  Since you have full control over your void you can hit the beats slightly earlier or later than the "ideal" time.  For this reason the music and the game play aren't connected any more.  If they were, everything would sound horrible if you were even the slightest bit off (which you certainly will be).

Try playing Beat on mute.  You can't do it (at least not well).  You need the music to quickly process how fast the beats are flying at you.  Try playing Void on mute.  Honestly, you don't lose much from the game.  This isn't to say Void is a bad game--I actually quite enjoy it--it's just not as unique at Beat.

MaxiDecember 15, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

When I view this review from the forums I can see the tags. Is it like that for anybody else?

Yep I can see them too.

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Genre Rhythm
Developer Gaijin Games
Players1 - 4
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Bit.Trip Void
Release Nov 23, 2009
PublisherAksys Games
RatingEveryone
jpn: Bit.Trip Void
Release Oct 27, 2009
PublisherArc System Works
RatingAll Ages
eu: Bit.Trip Void
Release Mar 05, 2010
PublisherAksys Games
Rating3+

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