Review by Archmonk Iga

"A beautiful conclusion to a fantastic musical journey."

The time has come, fellow Bit.Trippers. Commander Video and company have entered the final chapter of their musical, old-school journey, and our friends at Gaijin and Aksys Games bring us back to how it all began… for the most part. Bit.Trip Flux is essentially Beat's mirror, with some very obvious changes, and I think I speak for everyone when I say the Bit.Trip series could not have ended on a better note (literally).

Okay, so people who have played these games all have their own theories. Me? I'll just be up front and admit that I always have and always will have absolutely no idea what Commander Video's adventure is all about. There are hints here and there about life, death and rebirth and whatnot, but then again… who the hell knows? Flux is as zany as ever, but at the same time it does a great job of reminding you that this is indeed the final chapter. There are no words, only images, but you are constantly getting the feeling that you are in the final moments of your Bit.Trip.

In some ways the visuals in Flux are similar to Beat—colorful backgrounds that demand your attention with simple shapes and beautiful designs. At the same time, there is an overall sleeker look to Flux, making the game feel fresh and smooth. It's also interesting that the beats are no longer multicolored—they are all purely white. It's a very clever idea, making the game that much trickier and making the art style that much more original.

The music in Flux is much different from most of the other Bit.Trips, Beat included. Rather than blips and bloops of different notes that match the gorgeous background music, the beats are rather more chimey, having almost a glasslike sound to them. Actually, they sound far less like they were made from a computer program from the 80's and more like a blend of real life percussion and current music-making technology. It does a great job of evolving the Bit.Trip sound while still keeping us comfortable with one of the series' most important attributes.
SOUNDS: 10/10

If you have seen the screenshots, then the first difference you probably noticed between Beat and Flux is that your paddle is on the right side rather than the left side. It's pretty much the same idea as before, only you're on the opposite side.

There are many other changes too, however. As I said before, the beats are ALL colored white—so now it's harder to know what type of beat is coming at you, adding some serious challenge to the game. There are also two new types of beats to make the game that much tougher for you. The big, circular beats are actually BAD beats, meant to be avoided by your paddle. Think of certain parts of Void where you had to avoid the white dots, and it will make more sense. The other new type of beat is the bonus beat, a grayed out dot that is usually hard to get to without screwing up. Both of these beats are great updates to Bit.Trip, and really help add to the challenge.

Some Bit.Trippers may be turned off by one aspect that actually makes this game far less challenging—the large amount of checkpoints in each level. Don't get me wrong, this game is VERY tough in more ways than Beat. But at the same time, it's far easier simply because we never have to restart a level. I suppose whether or not this is a good thing is up to you, but there's no doubt some people won't feel as challenged as they wanted to feel.

Nonetheless, Flux is simply another version of Beat, and that's definitely a good thing. If you have played Beat, then you will immediately be engrossed in the musical mayhem of Flux.

Now that I have worn out all my friends with Beat (and some of the other Bit.Trips), I think it's time to wear them out with Flux. Sadly, Flux only supports two players instead of four, so people will have to wait their turns. Myself, I beat this game within two days, but I'm still going back to it to better my scores and listen to the beautiful music. Plus, the game is fun as hell as usual. There are still no online leaderboards, which at this point is ridiculous. The creators are darn lucky this game is so fun, so it doesn't matter too much anyway!

If you are like me, then you have spent a mere $36 on the entire Bit.Trip series. The final six dollars is perhaps the most well-spent of the group, just because it is is our final chapter of this amazing adventure. It saddens me to end our Bit.Trip, but I am eternally grateful to have been a part of it. I will be bit.tripping balls for the rest of my life.
OVERALL: 8.3/10

Thanks for reading =)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/11/11

Game Release: Bit.Trip Flux (US, 02/28/11)

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