Review by CelloFiend

"A departure from the series ... and not in a good way."

In 2009, Bit.Trip Beat arrived on WiiWare, introducing a world filled with epileptic explosions of color and zany, upbeat music. Its sequel, Bit.Trip Core, followed the same pattern; a different control scheme, sure, but a wholly entertaining blend of color and sound. The third installment in the series, Bit.Trip Void, was stripped of its bright colors and fun music, to be replaced by a game that is a mere shadow of the other Bit.Trip games.

Bit.Trip Void retains the bit-collecting mechanism and tricky patterns of bits, with yet another intuitive control change. In this game, you control a pixilated vortex called the void, which you move around the screen with the analog stick on the Nunchuk. A new feature in this game is a "bank" system: collecting black bits give you points and increase your multiplier, while also causing the void to grow, sometimes to massive sizes. At any time, you can "cash in" the points you've collected by pressing the A or Z button, shrinking the void back to its original size. Naturally, the more bits you collect before shrinking the void, the more points you get. White bits, on the other hand, will not only shrink your void, but will cause you to lose all the points you have collected thus far. Another new feature of the game are the three checkpoints in each level, which allow you to continue from that point if you lose.

And that is the extent of Bit.Trip Void. The familiar many-colored bits of the last two games are gone, replaced by the monochrome black and white bits. The background graphics in Void have also suffered; instead of the confusing but delightful pictures of the previous games, the backgrounds consist of varying shades of a single color, forming ambiguous but uninteresting patterns. Gone too are the exciting music tracks of Beat and Core, which developed as you progressed through each level. The music in Void - if it can be called that - consists of a persistent, repetitive bass thump, with a few rhythm tracks overlaid, containing absolutely no melody whatsoever. Whereas the music in Beat and Core accentuated the gameplay, the music in Void adds nothing to the gameplay, and actually got tiring after only a few playthroughs.

Bit.Trip Void does add an interesting gameplay mechanic to a familiar series, but after stripping away the color and music that defined the first two games, Void seems like it doesn't belong as part of the series. In fact, Void seems to live up to its name in that, unlike Core and Beat, it seems to exist solely for the gameplay, and is completely void of the Bit.Trip personality that we have come to know.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 01/19/10

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

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