Many developers have been going darker with the tones of stories lately. It's time we stop asking definitively if this is a good or bad thing and consider the artistic value at hand.
Bit.Trip Presents: Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien Review: On its Way to Being a Legend Today
Bit.Trip Presents: Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is the latest in a long line of games that have you playing as a character that moves non-stop. Music is your sweet reward. Runner 2 continues that tradition, being a rhythm game that doesn’t require the player to actually have any rhythm.
Our hero in Runner 2 is Commander Video (the other members of his crew are unlockable). The goal is simple: run towards the end of the level while dodging obstacles and enemies, all while collecting gold bars along the way. Commander Video never stops moving, and as the game builds more moves will be added to your arsenal. You’ll dodge, hop, dive, kick, throw, slide, etc. You can also dance for bonus points and style. The early stages prepare you for how crazy the levels can get. And there is a lot of re-playability in Runner 2 because as you get more moves, you can go back and play levels over to access new sections. Runner 2 is simply just a fun game. The game isn’t trying to tell a story or convey morals. It’s merely comprised of music, gameplay, and visuals.
So what’s a rhythm game without music? Well, Runner 2 has a great soundtrack, and what makes it so satisfying is that every action is synced to the soundtrack. Every time you successfully dodge, kick, or slide etc new notes are added to the music. As you continue running to collect gold bars and symbols along the way, the soundtrack will build, and the sensory reward always put a smile on my face. I went back and played levels multiple times because I had missed something and wanted to hear the complete track.
Of course the game itself helps motivate you, and you can’t die per se in Runner 2. If you fail the level, you’ll either get thrown back to the start of the level or respawn at the mid-level checkpoint. The checkpoint however is optional, and I must admit that I avoided it on purpose to see the reaction of the character next to it. Skipping the checkpoint will give you both bonus points and the satisfaction of seeing the character next to it shake its fist at you. Later on I did go for it, and trust me, it’ll save you a lot of frustration.
There’s a total of five worlds in Runner 2, and all of them have different mini-levels similar to a Mario map. Take some time to actually look at the backgrounds because there are some surprises there. Runner 2 also doesn’t really resemble the other Bit.Trip games. But that’s not a bad thing. The colorful background, the mountains, and the faces all do a great job of sucking you in. In some cases the tributes in Runner 2 are better than the games that they reference. And there are a lot of references.
Like I’ve said, there’s a lot of re-playability in Runner 2. Optional paths in the levels, online leader boards, secret areas and different difficulty settings make it easy to come back over and over again. I spent hours of my life on this game. Hours I will never get back playing this game. But I was determined to succeed and get the music right. It takes some practice, but Bit.Trip Presents: Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is definitely worth the effort.
(Note: Bit.Trip Presents: Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien was reviewed after 15 hours of gameplay on the PlayStation 3 and is also available on the Wii U, Xbox 360, and PC. Soon to come to IOS devices, and PS Vita. This copy was purchased by the reviewer).