Wii

North America

Bit.Trip Fate

by Neal Ronaghan - December 1, 2010, 11:23 am PST
Total comments: 7

7

The penultimate Bit.Trip game is fun but disappointing.

Bit.Trip Fate, the fifth game in the Bit.Trip series, is a rhythm-based, side-scrolling, twin-stick shoot-'em-up. Now, let's break that down. Like the rest of the games in the series, Fate is based around chiptune music that is altered as you play the game. This entry is a shooter in which you guide the heroic Commander Video along a line while attacking enemies and avoiding their fire.

The Commander can only move on the line from left to right, but the line doesn't always follow a straight path as it moves across the screen. Aside from that quirk, Fate controls like many other modern horizontal shooters. The Classic Controller employs a twin-stick mode where you control your character with one stick, and fire with the other. Meanwhile, the Wii Remote and Nunchuk method uses the analog stick on the Nunchuk to control Commander Video, and the Wii Remote's pointer to aim. Personally, I prefer the Classic Controller because of the familiar twin-stick setup, but both methods work fine.

The game moves at a brisk pace, especially since the levels automatically scroll. However, the enemies are the antithesis of the quick pace. Each enemy is a bullet sponge, requiring numerous bullets to defeat. It makes the act of firing your weapon unrewarding, because you have to be fixed on an enemy for so long before anything happens to them. Luckily, dodging is challenging and fun, making you maneuver on curvy lines to steer clear of enemy fire and other hazards. The power-ups add another layer to the game. They come in the forms of characters such as Meat Boy and give you typical shooter power-ups such as a super-powerful shot and a spread gun.

Each of the game's six stages ends with a boss. Most of the time, you'll die the first time you reach the boss because the patterns are tricky to figure out and require a lot of precision. That would be OK if death didn't take you back to the start of the level. In general, the game isn't as frustratingly hard as some of the other games in the series, but the bosses are tough to master.

The music, while good, feels more like background music than music you're interacting with. You feel like you're adding to the music in earlier Bit.Trip games, but in Fate you just feel like you're playing a level with dubstep chiptune music in the background. That doesn't mean the music is bad – it's very good, especially when combined with the visual style – it just feels less interactive than past games.

Bit.Trip Fate is, sadly, one of the weakest entries in the Bit.Trip series. It's an enjoyable experience throughout, but there are a number of issues that hold it back, the worst being the amount of bullets it takes to defeat enemies. Fans of the Bit.Trip series will still dig this game, and twin-stick shoot-'em-up lovers will probably enjoy this novel take on the genre. If you don't fall into either category, you'd be better off skipping Fate.

Summary

Pros
  • Dodging is rewarding and tough
  • Great presentation
  • Interesting twist on the twin-stick shooter genre
  • Solid controls
Cons
  • Bullet sponge enemies
  • Frustrating boss encounters
  • Lack of gameplay/music interaction

Talkback

Pixelated PixiesDecember 01, 2010

Pretty much agree with everything stated.

Enemies are total sponges. There's a disconnect between the actions being performed and the music (which is odd for this series). The music is less memorable that in previous installments. It's by far the easiest of the 5 games so far. The power-ups, while interesting, are under-utilised, and generally it plays like a very slow and plodding 2-d shooter.

The only interesting aspect of the game for me was the fixed wavey rail that Com. Video uses to progress through the levels. Having to take into consideration verticality each time you want to move horizontally was a fantastic idea, but again it wasn't fully utilised.

While not the worst entry in the series (which for my money was Bit.Trip Void), it is certainly a dissappointment after the excellent Bit.Trip Runner.

Right on, man.

If I had to rank the series at this point it would be... Runner, Beat, Core, Fate, Void.

I like Void a whole lot more than Core; the latter is like a Game & Watch set to better music. All you do is point at the incoming dots, except the directions are twisted to make it confusing. Void has risk/reward gameplay and more interesting pattern recognition challenges, not to mention more free-form control.

Pixelated PixiesDecember 02, 2010

@ Jonnyboy117 - Core is actually my second favourite, only second to Runner. In my opinion core has the best music and the rythm elements are by far the most cohesive. I also think that it's the most well designed in terms of difficulty, as all the patterns you require to beat the bosses are actually provided to you throughout the levels, you just need to put them together. The core concept (pun very much intended) is simple, but that's what the Bit.Trip series has been about.

Runner > Core > Beat > Fate > Void - Just in case you're wondering.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 02, 2010

I really liked Void and Runner was pretty good save for the checkpoint issue. I haven't played Core but I really liked the demo to Beat.

vuduDecember 03, 2010

Quote:

The music, while good, feels more like background music than music you're interacting with. You feel like you're adding to the music in earlier Bit.Trip games, but in Fate you just feel like you're playing a level with dubstep chiptune music in the background.

This is what kills the game for me.  Without that interaction the game loses so much of its appeal.

Quote from: Pixelated

While not the worst entry in the series (which for my money was Bit.Trip Void), it is certainly a dissappointment after the excellent Bit.Trip Runner.

I liked the game play in Void, but again, the lack of any real interaction with the music made me lose interest quickly.

FZeroBoyoDecember 19, 2010

I played the demo for this game earlier today and I must say, I like what I've played. I figure I'll get this one as soon as I get more points.  :D

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Developer Gaijin Games

Worldwide Releases

na: Bit.Trip Fate
Release Oct 25, 2010
PublisherAksys Games
RatingEveryone

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