Wii

North America

Bit.Trip Flux

by Neal Ronaghan - March 14, 2011, 11:01 pm PDT
Total comments: 6

8.5

The final verse is similar to the first.

Gaijin Games have efficiently started and finished a six-game series on WiiWare in a two-year span with the release of Bit.Trip Flux. The game, which is the culmination of the intrepid Commander Video's tale, is very similar to the initial game in the series, Bit.Trip Beat, but it brings about a lot of new twists and improvements that make it better than the company's 2009 debut.

In case this series passed you by, Bit.Trip Flux, like Bit.Trip Beat, is similar to Pong. You control a paddle on a side of the screen and bounce back blocks, called beats. The game is also based around music, and as you hit the beats, you play the music.

The mechanics of the game are simple, but addictive. The layout of the beats is interesting for the visuals and the gameplay, and since the beats are all one color, it's much easier to follow their movement, which was an issue in earlier games.

The biggest difference between Beat and Flux is the fact that your paddle is on the right side of the screen instead of the left side. While it seems to have a story-related purpose, from a gameplay perspective, it's a little more confusing. We've been trained look game worlds left-to-right, and Flux's small alteration makes the experience a little more difficult and frustrating.

To combat the difficulty, which is quite high, there are numerous checkpoints. While the game is broken up into three levels, each level has multiple checkpoints that, when you fail, you restart from. It works, actually, in a similar way to the restart system in Bit.Trip Runner, though there is more of a delay between restarts. While this does alleviate difficulty, it doesn't throw it away. The checkpoints are still spread apart, and unless you're a Bit.Trip savant, you'll likely get stuck on one section for a while. Luckily, you won't have to restart the entire level every time.

Flux also adds in a few new mechanics. There are beats you have to avoid, which is a concept that Gaijin Games introduced in Bit.Trip Void. Additionally, Flux eschewed the four-player co-op from Beat, instead focusing on a less-confusing two-player experience.

Bit.Trip Flux is greater than the sum of its parts, though. It might be very similar to Gaijin Games' first title, but it shows growth - both in the character arc of Commander Video and the evolution of the series. It's a deliciously devious game with interesting level design and addictive mechanics. If you enjoyed Bit.Trip Beat, you'd be foolish to not get Flux. Every game in the Bit.Trip series is fun and intriguing in its own way, and Bit.Trip Flux lives up to that.

Summary

Pros
  • Awesome chiptune music
  • Checkpoints!
  • Good level design
  • Interesting gameplay mechanics
Cons
  • High difficulty
  • No four-player co-op

Talkback

OblivionMarch 15, 2011

Why 8.5? Certainly deserves a 9 to me. Extreme difficulty has always been a staple to the Bit.Trip series. In fact, Flux is the easiest of them all! I beat it in two hours. Doesn't seem like a justified con to me, but that's why you're the paid reviewer, I guess.

And also: four player co-op? Really?

Quote from: Oblivion

Why 8.5? Certainly deserves a 9 to me. Extreme difficulty has always been a staple to the Bit.Trip series. In fact, Flux is the easiest of them all! I beat it in two hours. Doesn't seem like a justified con to me, but that's why you're the paid reviewer, I guess.

And also: four player co-op? Really?

I personally know a lot of people that are turned off by the difficulty of Bit.Trip games. They're still awesome, but I wouldn't necessarily call high difficulty a perk, though this game does do a lot to combat that Bit.Trip trope. And four-player co-op, while slightly superfluous, is still a feature that was in a similar game that isn't in this one. Does it damn the game? No, it doesn't, but it's still a downer, or a con. I legitimately had a moment where I had a third person that tried to enter the game and couldn't.

And we can argue a half point until the end of time. It's all in the eye of the beholder. My 8.5 could be your 9. That's cool. We're different people. :)

CalibanMarch 16, 2011

Quote from: Oblivion

that's why you're the paid reviewer

lolz

OblivionMarch 16, 2011

Quote from: Caliban

Quote from: Oblivion

that's why you're the paid reviewer

lolz


Nice reply. And yes, it was a joke.

For the record, we don't get paid, Oblivion. We do this all volunteer. The perks are that we get games provided for us by PR companies, and while that's awesome, a lot of work goes into all of this.

OblivionMarch 17, 2011

I know. It was part of the (failed) joke. I know all the woes of being in this industry all too well.

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Bit.Trip Flux Box Art

Genre Rhythm
Developer Gaijin Games
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Bit.Trip Flux
Release Feb 28, 2011
PublisherAksys Games
RatingEveryone
eu: Bit.Trip Flux
Release Feb 25, 2011
PublisherAksys Games

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