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

by Stephen Heller Featured

2 Comments 14 Votes 17329 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

Favourite 2014 game so far?

Favourite 2014 game so far?

19/06/2014 Polls 23 39
Shangri-La rules: Far Cry 4 steps up the insanity

Shangri-La rules: Far Cry 4 steps up the insanity

Gryllis 2 days Articles 0 4
Metal Gear Collection 2014 revealed, but it's not what you expected

Metal Gear Collection 2014 revealed, but it's not what you expected

Tano 2 days News 4 8
Watch The Evil Within's TGS trailer, if you dare
Gryllis 3 days News 3 5
What does it mean to The Crew to be social?

What does it mean to The Crew to be social?

Gryllis 3 days News 0 3
ZiNG Pop Culture Stores open around Australia

ZiNG Pop Culture Stores open around Australia

Leasha 3 days News 13 11
Don Bradman Cricket 14 updated to v2.5 on consoles
Gryllis 3 days News 0 11
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 'will speak for itself'

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 'will speak for itself'

Tano 3 days News 2 5
Watch Dogs’ Bad Blood DLC is worth hacking into

Watch Dogs’ Bad Blood DLC is worth hacking into

Gryllis 4 days Articles 1 7

Community Content

ZiNG Pop Culture Stores open around Australia

ZiNG Pop Culture Stores open around Australia

Leasha 3 days News 13 11
Awesome Gaming Stuff Of Tomorrow, Today! Vol. 3

Awesome Gaming Stuff Of Tomorrow, Today! Vol. 3

02/09/2014 Blog 10 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

sjt333, CybaCowboy commented on ZiNG Pop Culture Stores open around Australia

sjt333 6 hours ago
Username

clo89 is now Level 4!

clo89 6 hours ago
Username

commented on Watch The Evil Within's TGS trailer, if you dare

stonecold 8 hours ago
Username

CybaCowboy is now Level 15!

CybaCowboy 10 hours ago
Username

crazynites just unlocked the Socialite achievement!

crazynites 1 day ago
Username

SBravo just unlocked the Welcomed achievement!

SBravo 1 day ago
Username

K4ZMA, Matrix6 commented on ZiNG Pop Culture Stores open around Australia

K4ZMA 1 day ago
Username

commented on PES 2015 trailer takes it right up to FIFA 15

Hugo 1 day ago