A Second Trip – Bit.Trip Core
Bit.Trip Core is the second entry in the Bit.Trip franchise and the sequel to Bit.Trip Beat, which was awesome due to its retro style of gameplay and unmistakably old-school difficulty. While this second entry falls under a different category of game when compared to its predecessor, there’s no denying that this is still a Bit.Trip game.
Bit.Trip Core Gameplay (4 out of 5)
Core has all of the fundamentals that made its successor so much and so difficult at the same time. The game is still rhythm and timing based, and the same breed of high-pressure gameplay that keeps you wide-eyed and clench-jawed is still there. But rather than controlling a paddle on the left-hand side of the screen and deflecting beats, you assume the role of a plus sign that’s placed directly on the middle of the screen.
As the game’s music plays, beats appear across the screen. Your task is to shoot them all and rack up points. You can shoot in four directions: up, down, left, and right. Beats appear at different times and in different patterns, and you must concentrate in order to shoot them in the correct order. At times, it seems that multiple beats appear at the same time, but if you focus, you should be able to tell which beat popped up onscreen first. Noticing the order the beats appear in is key to succeeding in Core, and the further you get in the game, the more necessary it is to miss as few beats as possible.
Meters return this time around, and they’ve been upgraded from the last game. Miss too many beats, and you’re sent to black-and-white Nether territory, which means it’s game over if your Nether Meter fills up here. Successfully blast beats, however, and you enter Mega mode, which is proceeded by Hyper mode. While Mega mode makes for some serious point-tallying, Hyper mode multiplies your points by insane amounts and adds a more bizarre appearance to the onscreen action.
Letting Core Pull You Into Its World
If you’ve played Beat, then it may take a little while for you to really get into Core. This is because the game is so different that it requires you to forget any conceptions the first game may have put in your head. Because Core is a game of observance, you really have to keep your eyes open to make sure you don’t miss anything. While the aforementioned requirement may turn off some gamers initially, it should be noted that once you get into Core, you won’t be able to put it down.
Controls (5 out of 5)
You hold the Wii Remote horizontally in Core, but unlike Beat, there are no motion controls in the game. Instead, you aim with the D-Pad and shoot your targets with the 2 button. You also have access to a single bomb per level, and this little explosive can be detonated by pressing the 1 button at any moment. Like Beat before it, the controls are extremely intuitive and responsive.
Graphics (4 out of 5)
Core is right on par with its predecessor in terms of visuals. The game retains the pixel-based look found in Beat, and backgrounds are purposely erratic like before. The one major change is the fact that everything onscreen gets even crazier when you enter Super mode. It is during these moments that the game projects an even more artful look than usual.
Sound (4 out of 5)
In addition to its shoot ‘em up design, Core is a rhythm game, so sound plays a pivotal role in the way the experience is fleshed out. Every beat you shoot adds to the game’s highly enjoyable soundtrack, and every beat you miss takes away from it. Compared to Beat, the way you play effects the sound a lot more. So while missing a few beats in the first game didn’t completely mess up the music in the game, that’s not entirely the case here. Miss too many beats in succession, and you can hear the game’s soundtrack taking a hit, which only encourages you to play as best as you can.
Lasting Value (3 out of 5)
Like the first game, Core only features three levels that last roughly 15 minutes. It may seem like this is a rather small game, but Core is deceptively long-lasting. While the amount and length of levels may be small, they are all very difficult. It takes several tries to clear each level, and even after you’ve done that, the game is compelling and addictive enough to warrant multiple play sessions. Going back to each of the levels and trying to attain a higher spot on the game’s leaderboard is a huge part of what makes the experience in Core so enjoyable.
Bit.Trip Core Review – CommanderVideo’s Second Flight (4 out of 5)
Bit.Trip Core is a perfect example of retro gaming in the modern age; though the game has the difficulty of a game from an older generation, it has the potential to appeal to new gamers as well. That’s what makes it such an incredible title. Its mix of rhythm and shoot ‘em up gameplay blends so well that it’s easy to recommend this game to anyone. At 600 Wii Points, this one’s a steal.