Review by Archmonk Iga

"The Bit.Trip series advances from addicting rhythm gameplay to moving a ball around the screen."

When I first played Bit.Trip Beat, I was blown away. I played through it tons of times, I showed it to my other friends and got them hooked, and it has become my go-to game when all else fails. When I first played Bit.Trip Core, I was pleasantly surprised to see another new take on a rhythm-puzzle type game, and have enjoyed it thoroughly as well. That said, upon completing it I was really looking forward to the third installment in the series: Bit.Trip Void. While it certainly takes the series in a new direction, it is far from as endearing as both Beat and Core.

PRESENTATION:
Another six-dollar game, Void continues Mr. Video's odd journey. We're still confused, but we still don't really care. The cutscenes are just as wacky as before, and we welcome them. Void also brings in a brand new gameplay type, as well as a slight revamp of the look and feel of the Bit.Trip world. It looks fresher, but it lacks the uniqueness of the first two.
PRESENTATION: 7.5/10

GRAPHICS:
With Void, we cannot use the “rainbow of a game” description anymore. The color scheme has a more “sunset” feel to it, both in the background and foreground. The shapes are as simple as ever, which is nice, but the changed gameplay in Void demands less exciting graphics than before.
GRAPHICS: 7/10

SOUNDS:
I said that Core's music lacked the staying power that Beat's music had, though it was still excellent. Void's music, unfortunately, is by far the worst of the bunch. It is much less upbeat, and doing better while playing, unlike the first two, changes the music only slightly. For a series that relies on the music for the player to progress, Void is a slight misstep.
SOUNDS: 6/10

GAMEPLAY:
The paddle and the cross are gone, and are replaced by a big, black ball (the void). Using the joystick, you move the ball around the screen to collect black blips flying around. As you collect, the sound effects will be made in time with the music. Even if you don't connect with a blip in time with the beat, it will wait that extra 32nd note or so to keep in time. It throws you off only a little bit, but it still doesn't have the same effect on you or the music as Beat or Core. As you collect more black squares, the ball grows larger. And once again, there is a pattern for everything in Void—though to a much lesser extent than in Beat and Core, unfortunately.

You must be careful at all times, because along with the black blips flying around (good), there are white ones as well (bad). Not only will your score lower if you hit these, but you lose your chain and hear an unpleasant sound. You especially have to make sure your ball doesn't grow TOO large, because it moves slower and is harder to avoid the whites. If this ever happens (which it will, and many times), you just need to press the A button to shrink the ball back down to its original size. When you do this, depending on how big you got it, you can go into the better zone and the music gets (slightly) better. As I already said, though, doing well doesn't affect the music as much as we would like.

There are some extra goodies added in, too. First off, if you lose, you don't necessarily have to restart the level because you might have continues to use to begin at the last checkpoint. Also, as with before, there are challenges and bonuses to collect—including attracting blacks and repelling whites. The variety in Void is much, much less than in the first two—you only have black blips to collect and white blips to avoid, rather than the many different types from before. There are different kinds of blacks and whites, but they don't vary nearly as much.

And there you have it. Move a giant ball around the screen to collect little balls. I do not see this as either a step forward or backward for the Bit.Trip series—I see it as a stumble. The control doesn't take advantage of the Wii remote (why couldn't we control the ball by aiming at the TV, for example?), and the variety is very lacking. And anyway, what's so fun and exciting about moving a ball around a screen?
GAMEPLAY: 4.5/10

LASTING APPEAL:
Three more levels, only they are less fun than before. And with the option to continue from the last checkpoint, it will be even shorter. We STILL don't have online leaderboards, either. Multiplayer is alright if you can get (up to) three more people to play with, but let's be honest: you show your friends the first two Bit.Trips in addition to Void, and there is no way they'll pick it over Beat or Core.
LASTING APPEAL: 4.5/10

OVERALL:
The music isn't as good, the gameplay isn't as good—it just isn't as good. I understand some people liking it, but this Bit.Trip doesn't quite come together as a truly fun rhythm game.
OVERALL: 5.0/10

Thanks for reading =)


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 02/16/10

Game Release: Bit.Trip Void (US, 11/23/09)


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