BIT.TRIP Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien review

by Stephen Heller Featured

2 Comments 14 Votes 17762 Views 13/03/2013 Back to Reviews
What Runner2 Got Right
  • + Simple mechanics that just work
  • + Great visuals that really pop
  • + Unlike any other puzzle game, ever
  • + Tonnes of extras to discover
What Runner2 Got Wrong
  • - Backtracking can be a little annoying

When Gaijin Games launched the BIT.TRIP series on Nintendo’s WiiWare service all those years ago, who would have thought their particular brand of retro gameplay would become a cultural hit. Spawning six games across multiple platforms, including mobile devices, Gaijin have returned with Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien. Dropping the pixel art style for something with a little more substance, can they pull it off again and win another marathon, or will they be left panting at the first mile marker?

Runner2 is exactly what you would expect from the BIT.TRIP heritage; an unforgiving, stage-based runner that has players jumping, sliding, blocking and dancing throughout a multitude of highly detailed levels. The difficulty curve is absolutely perfect with the first world acting a tutorial of sorts, slowly introducing each new mechanic and giving you a chance to test them out in the wild.

Things really ramp up after the first world however, almost to a point where you will often throw your controller in frustration as you failed to slide, jump and block through a particularly tricky section. It becomes an exercise in memorising where the enemies are places, how to avoid the obstacles and make your way to the end of the stage.

Many of the levels have two viable paths to explore. The easy path just takes you to the end of the level without any bonuses, yet the hard path will often lead to locked sections which harbour hidden “retro zones” and costumes.

These locked areas present one of the few issues I found with the game – backtracking. In order to find the key to unlock the paths, you need to have finished the level at least once. Then you need to playthrough it again to grab the key, and then head up the locked path to grab your special items. It’s not game breaking, but it can often feel like a chore, especially when you go through all the trouble to discover that a particular locked path doesn’t harbour any exciting goodies.

Another new feature making its way into Runner2 are checkpoints, which were frustratingly missing from the original game. Those who prefer a hardcore challenge can simply jump over the checkpoint without triggering it, which activates a nice score boost which will surely see you rise in the leaderboards.

The most noticeable change from the original game however comes through the art style. First impressions left me with feeling of LittleBigPlanet meets Adventure Time, and while I’m sure a number of Runner purists out there will miss the lo-fi graphics, I personally loved the new style. It runs silky smooth on all the consoles, while still maintaining a little flash that makes it pop from your screen of choice.

Completionists out there will find Runner2 is packed with awesome characters and accessories for each one, hidden levels, tonnes of gold bars to collect and 25 “retro zones” to find and complete. There’s certainly enough content in here to keep you busy for quite some time.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Runner2 is a fantastic sequel that takes all the good parts from the original, tweaks them and throws in a new art style to create something that is familiar, yet different enough to offer fans a reason to come back. If you’re after a fun yet sometimes frustrating game, and you don’t mind backtracking for those hidden zone and costumes, Runner2 is well worth your time and money.

By Stephen Heller

Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

Platform: PS3 / Xbox / PC
 
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

BIT.TRIP Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien review Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
Hmmmm, looks nice.Gonna pick it up on steam.
Consider yourself treated ;)

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook

Recently Read

Featured PC Content

Most Anticipated September Game

Most Anticipated September Game

2 days ago Polls 2 7
Disney Infinity 3.0 + Twilight of the Republic review

Disney Infinity 3.0 + Twilight of the Republic review

Gryllis 2 hours Reviews 0 2
Crown Casino to host CS:GO ESL tournament

Crown Casino to host CS:GO ESL tournament

Tano 7 hours News 2 4
Lara Croft GO available now on mobile devices

Lara Croft GO available now on mobile devices

Tano 8 hours News 0 0
Rocket League sales on Steam top 1 million

Rocket League sales on Steam top 1 million

Tano 9 hours News 1 2
Lawbreakers on console? 'Hit up Microsoft and Sony'
Tano 9 hours News 0 0
Mad Max map size 'has no finite limit'

Mad Max map size 'has no finite limit'

Tano 9 hours News 0 4
NBA 2K16: The best new features in this year's game

NBA 2K16: The best new features in this year's game

Tano 1 day Articles 5 4
Gears of War creator reveals new game, LawBreakers

Gears of War creator reveals new game, LawBreakers

Tano 1 day News 4 1

Community Content

What's it really like going to E3?

What's it really like going to E3?

12/06/2015 Blog 5 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

Tano, Morgan_H commented on Melbourne's Crown Casino to host Counter-Strike: GO ESL tournament

Tano 4 hours ago
Username

Leasha, Tano, Mobe1969 commented on The latest Hitman movie looks to be a stinker

Leasha 4 hours ago
Username

Tia, L0cked1089, Lo33 and other 3 users commented on Win Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on PlayStation 4!

Tia 21 hours ago
Username

Robert643, stygiaN_, cianor and other 5 users commented on Win Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on PlayStation 4!

Robert643 1 day ago
Username

commented on Until Dawn review

Adwag82 1 day ago
Username

Seanybruz, Mickyt888, luke_skip, Blob commented on Win Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on PlayStation 4!

Seanybruz 1 day ago