BIT.TRIP SAGA (Nintendo 3DS) - Review by Andrew
Wii owners have been enjoying the various Bit.Trip titles for some time now and not only are they available as a boxed product but also as WiiWare downloads. Don't be put off by first impressions though as it would be easy to simply write off these games due to their lack or rendered environments, Hollywood style plots or classically composed soundtracks. The fact is these games have become 'must haves' for most Wii owners and the news that a whole collection was making it's way to the 3DS was greeted with much excitement but, what's all the fuss about?
Inserting the cart into your 3DS presents you with an underwhelming interface featuring six icons and if, like us, you like to approach things logically you'll attack these from left to right and up to down. Well, that's what we did when you played them but for the purposes of this review, we're going to mix things up a little. Bit.Trip Beat and Bit.Trip Core are very similar indeed although you'll probably work this out before you even play them as they share the same icon. These will be very familiar to anyone who happened to be around at the dawn of the video game age with each of these taking inspiration from the classic bat and ball game although here you are creating rhythms. Miss too many of the balls and you'll be forced into a black and white world where you must attempt to recover you composure before returning to the main game. Fail to do this and it's all over.
Bit.Trip Void and Bit.Trip Flux are the weaker entries of the collection and both of these challenge the player to collect or shoot orbs. Void is particularly difficult as you'll require pixel perfect accuracy in order to create the rhythm. The highlights here are Bit.Trip Fate and Bit.Trip Runner with the latter so strangely addictive it should come with some type of health warning. This is a side-scrolling platformer with your character always running right whilst having to avoid all manor of obstacles. This requires not only split second timing but also the ability to pull off the right move at the right time. Do you jump, kick, duck, slide? Bit.Trip Fate is a fixed path shooter and while this sounds simple enough actually racking up those points will have you replaying this one over and over again.
Each of the six games here has a different input and while they are all very simple you'll still get a quick run down of exactly what to do before each one starts. Unusually, most of them require both the touch-screen and a face buttons although some do allow you to select one or the other with the hope that one will suite your requirements.
The visuals here are so basic in their design, it's like travelling back in time some 20 years. Thankfully they fit the games style perfectly and the added combination of the small screen and 3D effects means that they look even better on the 3DS than the ever did on the Wii.
As this is a rhythm game you'd expect the music to be good and, it is. In fact this is one of those titles you'll really need a decent set of headphones for to plug in and block out the rest of the world. Each of the games here is accompanied by a collection of simple compositions so don't expect the kind of high-end audio experience you'll get from your average console title. It wont be too long though before you'll be tapping your foot to dance, chill-out and dubstep inspired soundtracks.
We've already mentioned that the control system uses a combination of face buttons and touch-screen but it's the use of the stylus, which really separates this from the WiiWare version. This makes some of the games much easier to control and where the console version had you twisting and turning the Wii Remote this is all a simple matter of swiping you stylus across the touch-screen.
Six games in one! How much more Special do you want this to be? To be honest we generally talk about the 3D content here and while all of the games on offer here can be viewed in the third dimension it's all a bit hit and miss really. The problem is with the framerate and while some games run perfectly well as you push the slider from 2D to 3D, other take a noticeable hit in the speed department. It's not always the ones you'd expect either although, as a rule, the simpler games fair much better. The mystery here, of course, is the fact that we've seen far more complicated games running fine in 3D and we can only assume the developers didn't leave enough time for testing.
While the overall package suffers from no new content there's no doubting that Bit.Trip Saga is perfect for gaming on the go. The stylised visuals and infective soundtrack will have you continually coming back for 'just one more go', a quality missing from a great deal of recent releases. You're not going to be enamored with all six games here with Bit.Trip Core being a notable low point of the collection. Fortunately, Bit.Trip Runner more than makes up for this and, in our humble opinion, is worth the price of entry alone. If you have a 3DS, you're really going to want to see this game out. You won't be disappointed.
Pro: Simple Engaging Gameplay, Lots of Replay Value.
Con: No New Content, Some FrameRate Issues in 3D.
Final score: 8.2
|Publisher:||Rising Star Games|