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.