Review by SMBSuperShowFan
"A Pretty Trippy Beat"
Bit.Trip Beat is the first endeavor of Gaijin Games. Their goal is to make retro games chronicling the life of videos. Bit.Trip Beat uses the Wii remote as if it was a pong paddle, which was the birth of video games. The sequel, Core, uses the d-pad, which is similar to consoles like the NES, then future titles will use the analog stick, and then the final one using the Wii remote exclusively. One important similarity Bit.Trip Beat shares with many retro games is challenge. Bit.Trip Beat is a VERY challenging game and it'll be next to impossible to complete the game in one try. The challenge may not be for everyone, but it's one thing that gives the game a lot of replay value. The game plays very similar to that of Pong, but with a rhythmical twist. You don't play against an opponent, all you have to worry about is hitting the oncoming pixels. You hold the Wii remote NES style and you tilt it up and down to control the paddle. As you hit each pixel a note of music is played, thus making up a song as you hit each pixel. For every pixel you hit you begin to start a combo, after you hit ten consecutive pixels the combo will be recognized and it will be added to the amount of points each pixel is worth. For example, if you hit 50 consecutive pixels you would have earned 150 points for hitting that pixel(times your multiplier). There are two bars, one at the top of the screen, and then another one at the bottom of the screen. The top one will go down as you hit the pixels, while the bar at the bottom decreases as you miss notes. The top bar will act as a bonus bar, and the bottom acts as your health bar. When you deplete all of the top bar you will enter a mode that raises your score multiplier. When you enter this mode your multiplier remains one, but each time you deplete the top bar again you're awarded a higher multiplier. However, when your bottom bar is fully depleted in this mode, you enter back to the regular mode. When you're in the regular mode and your bottom bar is fully depleted you enter a black and white mode where there is no background, and no music or sounds save for generic noises when you hit the pixels. In this mode you are awarded no points and cannot increase your combo. If you fully deplete the top bar in this mode you are returned to the regular game. If you fully deplete the bottom bar however, the game is over, and you must start from the beginning.
There are three levels present in Bit.Trip Beat. The first level is Transition, the second level is Descent, and the last level is Growth. At the beginning of each level is a short cut scene that carries the story along. It has been said that all the games in the Bit.Trip series will be connected in story line, so while you may not understand something now, it'll make more sense later on in the series. In the stage there will be various types of the pixels, they will differ in shape, size, and color. The different variations will also make different beats, making the variety in the song vast. They also come at you from various angles, different speeds, and in different amounts, so it's in your best interest to always be on your guard and be ready for anything. Some pixels will even grant you power ups for a limited amount of time, one will make you larger, another will give you two paddles, and another will make you smaller. The one that makes you smaller also typically activates a challenge in which you must hit as many pixels as you can in the allotted time. This usually racks up big points, especially in the first level. At the end of each level is a retro looking boss. At the end of each level your total score will be submitted. Unfortunately there are no online leader boards, but one thing that will definitely add to the replay ability of this game is the fact that if you didn't break the leader boards the game will not save. So if you beat Transition with only 490,000 points(believe me it's happened before) and move on to Descent, it will not be saved next time you access the game. While I'm not a big fan of this move it has helped me come back to the game to play it more and try my best to get the high score, so whether it was intentional or not, it worked in some way. The soundtrack of this game is very retro and works very well with this style of game, it doesn't sound like an Atari game, but it definitely sounds like a retro games, with retro beats. The game features a multiplayer mode, but unfortunately I haven't had the chance to try it with anyone yet so I can't really comment on it.
Bit.Trip Beat gets an eight out of ten for being a creative idea that is executed well. It's a really interesting concept, similar to how Mega Man 9 tried to be retro in look and control(using the NES style control) this game takes it a step forward by adding an even more retro feel to it be emulating the paddle feel. The soundtrack is engrossing and when you enter the black and white mode it really feels punishing because it takes you away from the experience that is Bit.Trip Beat. The game costs only a mere 600 points which could be compared to a Guitar Hero or Rock Band downloadable song. In those games each track typically runs you about 300 points each, this game consists of three songs, so it's basically the same, except in the long run I believe they will offer you more enjoyment than the downloaded songs. While in comparison it is a good deal, it's still leaves you wanting more songs and that's a shame since each Bit.Trip game will play differently.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/08/09
Game Release: Bit.Trip Beat (US, 03/16/09)
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