Bit.Trip. A series of rhythm games that originated on the Wii. As a result, the collection of games haven't really gotten the attention they so rightfully deserve. For what their simplistic controls and Atari style aesthetic hide is a treasure trove of unparalleled immersion and emotion.
Bit.Trip Beat is the beginning of the Bit.Trip Saga. The opening cutscene reveals that the mascot has been born and...well it's very abstract. Needless to say, It's the gameplay that is unique. At first glance, it appears to be pong. Just a paddle on the left and blocks coming from the right. But if you hit that block (called a "Beat"), the game makes a tone that actually goes in time with the music. And once that beat hits the right side of the screen, another tone is made, also in time with the music. Okay, this is pretty cool, I thought as I maneuvered the paddle up and down with the mouse to hit the beats back. And then I hit enough to rank up. The beats changed tone, they were more crisp and less chiptune and more electric. I "leveled up" into what is apparently Mega. The game has three modes of play: Hyper, Mega, and Nether. Hyper is where you start, and is where you start in every bit.trip game. Mega is one step higher with a less chiptune sounding aesthetic and more flashy animations. Miss enough beats and you will enter back into hyper. continue to miss beats and you will enter nether, a black and white realm that sound like the heart rate monitors in hospitals. if you miss enough in Nether, you lose and you have to restart the level. And for levels that last roughly 15 minutes and NO checkpoints, it is quite devastating to lose. But you just want to get back! That is the allure of Bit.trip. they are all difficult, but they are so much fun to play. When you enter Nether, you start to race. Feeling lost as if you are slipping. Few games can get this kind of urgency but this game, as well as its sequels, master this.
As you play, you start to think you mastered the game. but then, the game just decides to throw in a new beat that you've never seen before. I personally like the final level. Some of the things that happen in that stage are pretty cool and I'll let you guys find out. All in all, this game is certainly worth the price tag. Get the soundtrack with it as well, you won't regret it.
Posted: February 23rd, 2014