Another week and another Steam Sale purchase completed.
This time it’s BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
I’m going to try out a new format for game reviews because my current one can be a bit of a struggle at times.
BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien Review: What Is It?
Bit.Trip is a series of rhythm based games following the adventures of Commander Video.
I must confess to not having played any of the older games in the series, but this one is the second side scrolling platform game effort in the franchise.
You control a character as he or she runs (usually) from left to right across the screen, picking up gold and red crosses along the way until you get to the end of the level.
There’s usually a checkpoint half way through, and in each of the five worlds there are bosses and unlockables to get along the way.
It’s like a deeper and flashier version of Food Run, which I reviewed a few months ago.
BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien Review: How Much Does It Cost
Though I got it for £7.49 in the Steam sale, it usually costs £11.99
The Breakdown: Graphics
While the rest of the Bit.Trip series – as far as I can see – utilises old-school 8-bit style graphics, Runner 2 is a beautifully designed, richly coloured game with modern style graphics.
It looks great so it adds to the gaming experience.
A run through on normal difficulty took me 8 hours.
Though there is a harder mode to try, and also the possibility of going back and collecting items I missed, I’m not entirely sure if I’d want or need to go back and play it again.
On the whole it’s a very slick gaming experience. The controls are easy to manage with an Xbox 360 Controller for Windows, it’s responsive enough and the variety of moves are not difficult to master.
What’s good about it is the learning curve. Even into the third world, there are more and more moves added that you have to learn, so while the first level is a basic “Jump over the enemy” style of play, it adds slides, long jumps, kicks, barges, low jumps, high jumps etc.
And so as the game progresses and the variety of obstacles increases, you have to be alert to all the different – and yet easy to remember – controls.
It’s also quite cool that you get to play with a variety of characters, including ones from other games like “Spelunky Guy” and the robot from Portal.
One More Go Factor
There are so many games that feel like a chore to get through; it’s as if you feel you have to keep playing out of a sense of duty to get it finished.
Runner 2 does not feel like that at all.
Though – as I say – I don’t currently feel a pressing need to play it again now that I’ve finished it, while I was still going through it I would happily play it for a few hours at a time, and replay levels until I got a perfect score on them. Yesterday, without realising it, I sank 3 hours into it without even a second thought.
So it does well on that front.
I’m not entirely sure about the Rhythm element. While I did feel I got into a slight sense of rhythm while playing, it wasn’t key to the game in the same way as it is to the likes of Beat Sneak Bandit or Guitar Hero. Indeed, while playing it yesterday I had the music turned down so I could listen to the radio.
Also, if I have a complaint about the game play it’s that when you occasionally go into the old 8-bit world (which you can enter to play an old style game for unlockables) it was annoying that after 3 lives you’d have to go back to the very start. That bugged me.
Oh, and one more criticism; I can’t stand “cooky” attempts at doing storylines in games.
I honestly couldn’t care about the cut scenes in this or listening to a hammy voice actor tell us the story of Bit.Trip Runner; I just wanted to play the game.
And what sort of name is “Future Legend of Rhythm Alien” anyway? It’s a bit wanky.
Thankfully that didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment.
BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien Review: Should You Play It?
I’d say yes. At a mere £12, it’s still a lot less expensive than the average 2D platformer you’d be expected to pay £40 for on the consoles.
And it’s certainly not of a lower standard; I’d far rather play this than something like Rayman or even the newer, stuck in a rut Mario games.
At less than £2 per hour played, it’s worth the investment