BIT.TRIP CORE continues the saga that started with Gaijin Games’ first release for WiiWare, BIT.TRIP BEAT. BIT.TRIP CORE for Wii definitely takes you on a trip in more ways than one. It has a retro feel and will remind you of the old Atari 2600 games you played back in the ’80s. Then it will make you think of modern rhythm games that make you press the buttons to the beat, such as, Space Channel 5, Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, etc. Fans of Sega’s game Rez that was released for Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, and Xbox 360 with its trippy graphics that have flashing rainbow colors and pulsing beats will probably also enjoy BIT.TRIP CORE. I have also heard BIT.TRIP CORE referred to as a shooting game and I guess that is true too. All I know is that BIT.TRIP CORE is a lot of experiences in one in a game that has a very simple concept and graphics style at it’s core (no pun intended).
BIT.TRIP CORE’s control scheme is simplistic and has you holding the Wii Remote sideways and using the directional pad to aim your laser beam up, down, left or right. Then you press the “2″ button to fire the beam at the correct time to the beat to blast the dots and lines off the screen. That is it! The controls work well and will also remind you of simpler days of gaming where you didn’t have to remember what all 12+ buttons on your Xbox 360 controller are used for while playing. This makes BIT.TRIP CORE very accessible, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.
Different levels made up of eight stages that include a boss battle for the last stage make up all of the BIT.TRIP CORE gamplay options. Each level takes you around fifteen minutes to complete and this is one of the parts of the game that I didn’t like. I understand that the game is supposed to be about the experience and making it through the whole adventure without dying, but having to start over again and again after making it ten minutes into the level and dying gets annoying after awhile. I wish they would’ve let you save between each stage of the level to allow you to focus on the one stage that is tripping you up instead of making you play all the stages over again. After you mastered all the stages then you could have gone back and played the game all the way through without stopping to get the full experience. Maybe they could have even allowed you to unlock something by doing this to encourage people to beat the game without saving. Maybe making you start over from the beginning of the level was also a way to extend the life of the game, but to me it just got annoying.
Beeps and boops from the Atari 2600 days with a modern techno mix added in make up the soundtrack of BIT.TRIP CORE. The music fits perfectly with the style of game Gaijin Games was going for in the Commander Video series. As you progress through the game the music will also change depending on how well you are doing. If you have hit every note and are doing well you will progress to the “Super” status and hear the full range of the musical score. On the other hand, if you are missing a lot of notes and about to die, then the music will start broadcasting out of the Wii Remote’s speaker in an off key sound with no background accompaniment. This is another experience that I would like to see more games do on the Wii, since they have the ability with the Wii Remote speaker.
Flashing backgrounds and colors trying to distract you from the Atari 2600 style squares coming across the screen that you have to shoot is what the graphics in BIT.TRIP CORE are all about. They are simple but also fit the style and theme of BIT.TRIP CORE perfectly. I think if they would’ve made the graphics more elaborate then they would’ve ruined the feel of the game. The blocky simple Atari 2600 graphics in the foreground mixed with the colorful trance inducing 3D background patterns work well together. Though, I will admit that sometimes the background patterns and movements make it hard to see the blocks coming across the screen. Is this something the developers purposely did in the game to mess you up or is it a design flaw? You will have to decide for yourself on that one.
Another thing that I haven’t mentioned yet about BIT.TRIP CORE is that it is a multiplayer game. It allows you and a friend to play at the same time like old shooter games and try to defeat the levels together. Both of you have laser beams on the screen that you control and you can tag team to try to beat the levels that are too hard for you in single-player mode. This added features was a nice surprise and something my wife, brother and I enjoyed when we played the game together.
BIT.TRIP CORE was the 100th WiiWare title released and clocks in at 600 Wii Points as of this writing. The gameplay style is simple and so are the graphics, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun. Having to start over if you mess up after playing for ten minutes or more got annoying, but besides that BIT.TRIP CORE is a solid game. If you were looking for a WiiWare title that has a retro, trance, and techno feel that is all about beating the levels and getting a high score, then look no further than BIT.TRIP CORE.
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