Saturday, July 20, 2013

Contemplations on BIT.TRIP.RUNNER (PC & 3DS)

I've been playing a lot of BIT.TRIP.RUNNER recently, mainly because during the Steam Sale, I purchased BIT.TRIP Presents. . . Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien and played through the stages on the first level.  The fact that the game contains a continuing storyline that takes place after the first game (somewhat unlike the previous games in the BIT.TRIP series) compelled me to attempt to finish Runner.  I should also mention that in both the PC and the 3DS version of BIT.TRIP.RUNNER, I initially became stuck on 3-1 Paradise Lost.

The third area of the game takes place in a city that's apparently under constant construction, which is perfect for a rail-platformer set to ever developing music.  The problem that I initially had was that I couldn't tell what was an obstacle and what was part of the background, especially when CommanderVideo dipped below street level or right when you come up from below ground..
Oh, you mean that pipe is an obstacle and not part of the scenery?
For level 3-1, I probably spent a good 30 minutes trying to figure out the music, pattern and how to not die/trip every fifteen seconds.  Maybe it didn't take half-an-hour, but it sure felt that long with all the restarts that I had to go through.  Eventually I did make it past that bastard of a level, which renewed the belief that I infact do not suck at video games and don't necessarily belong back in the kitchen making sandwiches and having babies.

So I began to progress through the third world/level and as is the case with most levels, I could get to a certain point, "tripped" then passed the previously tripped section before immediately tripping again.  And then this level happend:
Thankfully this pain-in-the-ass section happened at the beginning of the level 3-9, aptly named "The Gauntlet."  I must have easily spent about two hours on this one stage, not all in one sitting mind you, before finally passing it earlier yesterday (Friday 7/19/13) afternoon.

Then, I went to the airport with Conklederp to fly down to SoCal, which is where I'm at for the next couple of days, and I brought along my trusty 3DS (aka: why don't more people have these in airports so I can meet more Mii's!?!).  And, since I have a copy of BIT.TRIP.SAGA, I popped that sucker to give the third world another go on a smaller screen.  This is when I first experienced any kind of lag in the game and noticed some loss is graphics.

The lag was really noticable when I had the 3D slider turned on.  Even the slightest bit and if felt like the game was skipping frames, which really isn't what you want in this kind of a game.  I turned the 3D off and it was barely noticeable.  Did I feel that the game was unplayable because of this?  Nope, I was still able to beat a handful of levels and on one particular level (3-5 Congestion) I collected 14/15 gold bars and I know that I missed the same one in both PC and 3DS versions.  The loss in graphics isn't noticeable either unless you know what it is that you're looking for.  On the 3DS, I never would have noticed this little bit of graffiti that is legible in the PC version:
Is that Meat Boy jumping out of a taco?

Knowing it's there is funny, but not knowing what the words say in the 3DS version isn't going to kill you.

The point is, BIT.TRIP.RUNNER is still a very fun game even if some levels (3-9 & 3-10) are a god damn pain in the god damn ass, but it's really the music that keeps me playing.  I'll even sometimes trip myself up if I miss a powerup that develops the music, but only if I'm replaying a level.  Until I pass a level, I don't care what I miss, I just have to pass it first then worry about all the gold bars, power ups and total points not earned.

The ultimate question then should be, "If I beat either the PC or 3DS version of the game first, will I beat the other one as well?"  We'll just have to see how the rest of 3-10 and 3-11 go.  Oh, and I would also like to point out that 3-10 has a section of the damnable dots (exactly like in the second picture) IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STAGE!  It's now just a waiting game now to see who cracks first. . .me or the jump button on the controller.


1 comment:

  1. Bwahahahaha!! Now you know the TERROR of the Gauntlet, or as we call it, the 'doodley doots.' I remember all too well, my first encounter, and subsequent repeated encounters with those infernal dots.

    I had the luxury of passing the controller to my friends Zor and... umm, I'll call her Dorothy. Ultimately, it was Dorothy (who I should mention is a Guitar Hero WIZ) was able to beat the second round of doodly doots. Man, I need to give those two a call. And play all their video games.

    I actually encounter some of the frame skipping on my PC playing Bit.Trip.Runner. It is still playable, but pretty tough. There's just so much precision timing. I'm really impressed that you can handle the third world with less than perfect framerate. I struggle with the first.

    Anyhow, I Love love love Bit.Trip.Runner, and I'm thrilled that you know the Joy and the Frustration, the Sound and the Fury, the Peanut Butter and the Jelly, of Commander Video. I also think it's hilarious that such a goofy game would have a continuing story. There's a plot? Does it involve trees wearing glasses?


    P.S. I think that is Meat Boy. I'd like to mention that commander video is a secret character in meat boy.