Wii

North America

Bit.Trip Complete

by Andrew Brown - October 7, 2011, 5:56 pm PDT
Total comments: 12

9

It's a bit trippy, but completely awesome.

If you've already read about the Bit.Trip series here on Nintendo World Report, there's not a great amount to talk about that hasn't already been said. Because of this, I'm not going to give individual reviews of the games. But if you want to find out exactly what this collection is all about, read on!

Making its debut as a collection of WiiWare titles for the Shop Channel, Bit.Trip covers the evolving journey of CommanderVideo on his pilgrimage through space, facing various challenges and situations that make up an odd metaphorical representation of life itself.
There are six games in the series; Beat, Core, Void, Runner, Fate and Flux.
While each game is vastly different from the last, all six follow the same style with square, dot-pixel graphics emulating the look of the Atari 2600 generation of games (in fact, there are several subtle references to games from this era, such as Pitfall and Space Invaders), with an appropriately beepy soundtrack to match. Even 3D environments are modeled in this same blocky style that pops out from the 2D elements of the game while staying true to its retro arcade feel.

The other major connection between each game is that no matter what you're doing, all the action is timed to precisely follow the music beat, which helps players follow along with the rhythm when it comes to timing actions, but also allows for crazy difficulty in later stages.

Each game has an entirely different play style, using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in different ways. They're simple concepts; for example, Beat and Flux are both Pong-style games that make you rotate the Wii Remote to move a panel up and down, deflecting pixels as they fly across the screen. Bit.Trip Runner sees the Commander dashing endlessly across the land, making you jump over, duck under and kick away obstacles of various kinds with precision timing while holding the Wii Remote sideways, NES Virtual Console style. The games are extremely easy to pick up and play, yet quickly become nail-bitingly difficult, testing your reflexes to their utmost limits by the end of each game.

It is this quick progression from teaching you the moves to throwing a maddening onslaught of peril at you that provides much of the difficulty. Obstacles will suddenly change speeds or trajectory, often changing the way they behave as you interact with them, all while the backgrounds try their hardest to distract you with a psychedelic display of flashing lights and animated scenery. This can get pretty frustrating when you fail a level within the final few seconds, only to have to repeat the whole thing from the beginning.

Fortunately, as crazy as the action gets, it's all on a preset pattern. Nothing is randomized, so with enough practice and determination, it is possible to completely learn the entirety of each of the six games and be ready for each new challenge as it appears. The rewarding feeling of finally overcoming that one tricky patch that was giving you trouble and finishing the level is something special.

The games themselves are identical to the WiiWare versions, with the same controls, the same graphics and music. So what's new in the Complete package?

First of all, a brand new Challenge mode adds 20 new levels to each of the games. These levels consist of some of the harder obstacles that you come across throughout each of the six games, and must be completed flawlessly to count as finished.

The main games now also contain three difficulty settings, which increase or decrease the amount of times you can mess up before failing the level, or in Runner, the amount of gold to pick up in each stage. What's more is an online leaderboard for each game has been included, allowing you to see just how you stack up against the world's best.

One of the coolest extra features is that the game comes packed in with a bonus soundtrack CD, featuring all 18 full tracks from the games' main levels. Some of the tunes can be quite catchy and the disc really adds to the overall presentation and value of the package.

Furthermore, there's a considerable list of unlockable bonuses. By completing the games' levels on different difficulties, unlocking and passing the Challenge trials and besting the high scores, you can unlock a gallery of concept art, the original WiiWare trailers and cut scenes for each game, and a series of letters from the developers, explaining some of the metaphorical references and themes behind each of the games.

Finally, a collection of additional music remix tracks can also be unlocked in-game, rounding out the experience quite well and giving you a lot to strive for. With the added modes and a reason to strive for the high scores, the games now have much more replay value than they did as mere download software.

Overall, this is a series that must be experienced, especially if you were a fan of Atari or arcade games back in the day. Rhythm and musical game fans should also get a kick out of it. This collection nicely compiles some of the best that WiiWare has to offer in one neat package with a lot of great new features, but all of that comes with a few big ifs.

Those who already downloaded the Shop Channel offerings of any or all of the titles might find little reason to buy the whole series again, and because each of the games are so different, some might not appeal to certain people as much as others. While my personal favorite in the series is Bit.Trip Runner, I can find enjoyment and merit in playing all of them as one big unified experience, and it seems clear that this is the way they were meant to be delivered to the public from the get-go.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: if you want all the extra content, or the convenience of having all the games together on one disc rather than taking up a large chunk of the limited space on your Wii's hard drive, get it. If you've seen trailers or played demos and find yourself bopping to the beat, get it. If you're completely new to the series, get it. If you already own one or more of the titles, or the style of play isn't really your cup of tea, this set might have trouble winning you over.

Summary

Pros
  • A great challenge made even greater with new features
  • Generous price point for such a complete package
  • Retro, funky gameplay and graphics
  • Soundtrack CD and bonuses galore with even more to unlock
Cons
  • May not be worth it if you already bought them on WiiWare
  • Sudden difficulty ramp can get very frustrating
  • The main games are rather short in hindsight

Talkback

broodwarsOctober 08, 2011

The more I see of Complete, the more I have to ask why Bit.Trip Saga should exist.  As I already purchased all the WiiWare versions when they released, $40 is a pretty steep price for me but not entirely an unattractive one considering all the new content.

Out of curiosity, how is the CD Soundtrack handled?  Are they the "Extra" versions of the tracks that you would hear if you were just awesome at each game, because listening to the songs in-game some of them are pretty dull by comparison at just the default "Mega" mode.  I'm especially curious about Runner's tracks considering there were so many variations on those 3 basic themes depending on the obstacles in a given stage.

Quote from: broodwars

The more I see of Complete, the more I have to ask why Bit.Trip Saga should exist.  As I already purchased all the WiiWare versions when they released, $40 is a pretty steep price for me but not entirely an unattractive one considering all the new content.

Out of curiosity, how is the CD Soundtrack handled?  Are they the "Extra" versions of the tracks that you would hear if you were just awesome at each game, because listening to the songs in-game some of them are pretty dull by comparison at just the default "Mega" mode.  I'm especially curious about Runner's tracks considering there were so many variations on those 3 basic themes depending on the obstacles in a given stage.

Essentially the tracks are slight remixes of the originals, just enough to showcase the entirety of the song without it going into an endless loop, with a few game sound effects included here and there. Given how unpredictable the tunes get with the placement of obstacles and such they can't, say, show every level variation from Runner, but they get the job done and it feels like a solid soundtrack.

My only gripe is that it doesn't contain the title screen music from Runner, though I'm fairly confident that is one of the 8 unlockable soundtracks on the game itself (the first three are remixes and I'm still working on the mind-numbingly difficult challenges to see what the last few are).

8bitsdeepOctober 08, 2011

Could you describe the additional levels more?  Are they really all new, full length levels?  Because 20 additional levels for each game sounds like an insane amount of new content and would make me buy this in a heartbeat, despite owning the entire series on WiiWare.


Does BEAT, for example, really have 23 levels now instead of just 3?  *drools*

Quote from: 8bitsdeep

Could you describe the additional levels more?  Are they really all new, full length levels?  Because 20 additional levels for each game sounds like an insane amount of new content and would make me buy this in a heartbeat, despite owning the entire series on WiiWare.


Does BEAT, for example, really have 23 levels now instead of just 3?  *drools*

While they are levels, yes - they are little snippets of single challenges.
Like, remember the little orange bits in BEAT that bounce back after hitting them the first time - one of the levels consists of hitting one of those 50 times without failing.
Some of them throw a huge amount of enemies at you at once. The runner challenges pick one particularly hard maneuver from the levels, and then focus on doing that a lot of times in quick succession.

Some of them are possible with a little patience, some of them take hours of concentrated training to overcome. I don't see myself being able to complete them all, but the unlockables incentive makes it very tempting to try.

Any word of its status in Europe? Last I heard, Gaijin Games was still looking for a publisher. For a decent sum, I wouldn't mind having all these games in one place.

MagicCow64October 09, 2011

Got this in on Gamefly last week after having been curious about the series since its Beat debut. It's worthwhile, but Beat/Runner really outshine the other four games. Flux is just a rehash of Beat's game play with checkpoints added. Fate is kind of terrible. Core is okay, but my brain just can't handle the spatial organization. Void is also kind of terrible, with the additional problem of having a broken checkpoint system. The checkpoints don't work, and you can't jump to the second or third level after dying, even if you've "unlocked" them multiple times by starting form the beginning. I wanted to at least beat all six games on easy, but Void's glitch makes this too cumbersome.

broodwarsOctober 09, 2011

Quote from: MagicCow64

Got this in on Gamefly last week after having been curious about the series since its Beat debut. It's worthwhile, but Beat/Runner really outshine the other four games. Flux is just a rehash of Beat's game play with checkpoints added. Fate is kind of terrible. Core is okay, but my brain just can't handle the spatial organization. Void is also kind of terrible, with the additional problem of having a broken checkpoint system. The checkpoints don't work, and you can't jump to the second or third level after dying, even if you've "unlocked" them multiple times by starting form the beginning. I wanted to at least beat all six games on easy, but Void's glitch makes this too cumbersome.

Ugh, that sounds an awful lot like the original bug in the WiiWare version of Beat where you could not unlock new levels and keep them if you didn't earn a spot on the in-game leaderboard for each stage.  That was eventually fixed with a new iteration of Beat on the Wii Shop, but if that's going on with Complete there's no way to fix it now.

Mop it upOctober 09, 2011

Would you say this collection is worth it if someone just wanted one or two of the games? I liked the demo of Runner, and I thought Fate and Void were okay, and I didn't like the rest. I don't own any of them, I've just played all the demos. Is the extra content worth the higher price, or would I be better off just buying the WiiWare version of Runner?

CericOctober 10, 2011

Because of the two Skus I'll probably not buy any of the series now.  Indecision means a non-purchase from me.

UltimatePartyBearOctober 10, 2011

Which of the three difficulty settings is equivalent to the original difficulty?  If they only added two higher difficulty settings, then most of the game will be unreachable for me.  I like the spectacle, but I just can't be bothered to practice at my entertainment enough to overcome some challenges.

Quote from: Mop

Would you say this collection is worth it if someone just wanted one or two of the games? I liked the demo of Runner, and I thought Fate and Void were okay, and I didn't like the rest. I don't own any of them, I've just played all the demos. Is the extra content worth the higher price, or would I be better off just buying the WiiWare version of Runner?

Probably not worth the full collection, in that case. Like I said in the review, some of the games just don't appeal to everyone, and Runner was arguably the best anyway.

You'd end up saving yourself money in the long run. Even though the main games are fairly short, the challenges are even shorter. The only major drawback is that you'd be missing out on the complete story, abstract as it is. There's also the matter of the WiiWare games taking up a lot of harddrive space, but if you're running them from SD card anyway that's another purpose defeated. The soundtrack is an awesome extra but if you don't like the music from the other games in the set then there's also little point behind that. That said, give the other demos another shot and they may grow on you - I'm a collector and completionist and having them all in one pack was a big deal to me.

Quote from: UltimatePartyBear

Which of the three difficulty settings is equivalent to the original difficulty?  If they only added two higher difficulty settings, then most of the game will be unreachable for me.  I like the spectacle, but I just can't be bothered to practice at my entertainment enough to overcome some challenges.

Normal (which is the default when you turn on the game) is the same as the WiiWare versions. Easy mode allows you to mess up more before dying, and in the case of Runner it completely removes the gold to collect, which takes away major distraction and allows you to focus solely on the platforming.

Funny also - I noticed the glitch in Void when I continued after dying and twice started over from the very beginning, but for some reason I thought I'd simply pressed the wrong menu option by mistake. Anyway, since it's the same pattern every time you could always just practice until you remember where to go and when, how to avoid this or that etc - eventually you'd be able to finish the game, and without dying the whole thing can be done in a matter of an hour or so anyway.

Mop it upOctober 12, 2011

Thanks, this sounds like something I can wait and get when I find it on sale. The added easy mode actually might make the other games a little more appealing, although something like removing the gold in Runner might be too far.

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Bit.Trip Complete Box Art

Genre Rhythm
Developer Gaijin Games
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Bit.Trip Complete
Release Sep 13, 2011
PublisherAksys Games
RatingEveryone

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