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Runner2: Still very much the Bit.Trip you know and love - Destructoid

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BIT.TRIP Presents: Runner 2, Future Legend of Rhythm Alien  




Runner2: Still very much the Bit.Trip you know and love photo
Runner2: Still very much the Bit.Trip you know and love

2:00 PM on 02.19.2013

Jogging your memory


Four years ago, a colorful Pong-like rhythm game came out of nowhere to become something of a surprise hit on Nintendo's precarious WiiWare service. A gem hidden in the most unlikely of places, the title garnered a cult following thanks to charming retro aesthetics, an infectious soundtrack, and seductively challenging gameplay. A sequel arrived shortly thereafter, followed by another. And then three more! 

In two short years the series had reinvented itself time and again. So, when the series came to a stunning and bittersweet conclusion in Bit.Trip Flux, I found myself wondering what trails the designers at Gaijin Games would find themselves blazing next. As it turns out, none. Perhaps fittingly for a studio with one foot firmly planted in yesteryear, they've instead decided to tread familiar ground. 

Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is a continuation of the concepts and themes first explored in Gaijin Games' fourth title, Bit.Trip Runner. And while it may look a little different than you remember, prepare to cast any fears and aspersions aside. This is still very much the Bit.Trip you know and love.

Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (Mac, PC, PlayStation Network, Wii U eShop, Xbox Live Arcade)
Developer: Gaijin Games
Publisher: Aksys Games
Release: February 26, 2013
MSRP: $14.99

When I first laid eyes on Runner2, I was a little skeptical. The retro-style visuals were a large part of what made the Bit.Trip games appealing in the first place. It seemed like an odd choice to eschew something so characteristic of the series in favor of a new graphical design. It's not like I thought the new style looked awful per se, but it was a far cry from the nostalgia-laden aesthetic that had won me over years ago.

That said, it didn't take long for Runner2 to win me over. I had a very different reaction when I sat down to play the game rather than just looking at screenshots or video. It's difficult to fully explain, but the colorful new look really grew on me. And sometime over the course of the eight hours it took me to leisurely jog through Runner2's campaign, I came to prefer its vibrant and cartoon-like visuals over that of its predecessor. 

More than anything else, though, the change brought the other parts of the equation to the forefront. The gameplay is as solid and engaging as it ever was, perhaps a tad more so, and fans of the original will be pleased to hear that the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Commander Video is still set in constant motion and requires the player's help to overcome the obstacles that have been placed in his path. Platforming is more nuanced this time around, as there are new and different aspects of the game's various environments that help keep things fresh and interesting. 

Of course, like any Bit.Trip game, the music is still the star of the show. Runner2's soundtrack is similar to the chiptune-inspired beats of the original Runner, but it's not without subtle enhancements. Each of the game's five worlds has a distinct theme and the music very much corresponds to them. Perhaps the most notable example of this is the title's second world, where the songs take on a very Caribbean vibe. It's a nice touch that really goes the extra mile to nail that beachy atmosphere.

The entire package just feels like a very natural progression for the series. Runner2 is familiar and inviting, but it definitely takes things to that next level. I'm excited for more players to experience its warm embrace when the game releases next week.





Runner 2 plays exactly how you would expect on the Vita photo


Runner2 releasing on Vita in less than a week photo


Gaijin Games releases iOS version of Bit.Trip Runner2 photo


Runner 2 'Good Friends Pack' hits 360 and Wii U this week photo


New Bit.Trip Runner2 characters like disco apparently photo


Portal, Spelunky characters join Bit.Trip Runner2 cast photo


CommanderVideo runs free in new Bit.Trip browser game photo


Review: Bit.Trip Presents Runner2 photo


Runner2 first on Wii U and Steam, other versions dated photo


This Runner 2 trailer will have you sprinting to play it photo


BIT.TRIP Presents: Runner 2, Future Legend of Rhythm Alien Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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BIT.TRIP Presents: Runner 2, Future Legend of Rhythm Alien



5:15 PM on 12.19.2013
Runner 2 plays exactly how you would expect on the Vita

Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien launched very early on in the year for just about every platform under the sun. We reviewed it, and really liked it. Not long after that, Gaijin Games announced that R...more



11:15 AM on 12.12.2013
Runner2 releasing on Vita in less than a week

The PlayStation Vita keeps proving itself to be a serious contender for independent games, with titles like Terraria, Rogue Legacy, and Spelunky either already on the platform or in the works. To add to that list, Gaijin...more



12:00 PM on 10.31.2013
Gaijin Games releases iOS version of Bit.Trip Runner2

Commander Video is trotting onto the iOS App Store today in Bit.Trip Run!, Gaijin Games has announced. Bit.Trip Run! is the mobile version of the marvelous musical platformer Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of R...more



6:30 PM on 08.14.2013
Runner 2 'Good Friends Pack' hits 360 and Wii U this week

Although the Good Friends Character Pack for Runner 2 has hit the PS3 and PC platforms, it's been absent from the Wii U and Xbox 360 versions of the game -- until this week, that is. Straight from the developer, the 360 will ...more



2:30 PM on 07.12.2013
New Bit.Trip Runner2 characters like disco apparently

Yes, that's Commander Video getting down on the dance floor with Cave Story's Quote. Bit.Trip Presents Runner2 is pretty cool like that. Gaijin Games released a downloadable character pack for its rhythmic pla...more



7:00 AM on 07.11.2013
Portal, Spelunky characters join Bit.Trip Runner2 cast

Gaijin Games has unveiled the final trio of characters joining the colorful cast of Bit.Trip Presents Runner2 as downloadable content. Atlas of Portal 2 fame joins the roster as a Steam exclusive, whilst the eponym...more



5:00 PM on 07.04.2013
CommanderVideo runs free in new Bit.Trip browser game

The Bit.Trip series' heroic protagonist has made the leap to browsers in the eponymously titled CommanderVideo. Heralded as "quite possibly the longest game in history," Gaijin Games' latest effort is a free endless runner re...more



2:00 PM on 02.28.2013
Review: Bit.Trip Presents Runner2

By the time Bit.Trip Runner burst onto the scene three years ago, Gaijin Games had already established itself on WiiWare with a trio of some of the best games on the platform. The retro-inspired rhythm series shared certain c...more



3:00 AM on 02.26.2013
Runner2 first on Wii U and Steam, other versions dated

Gaijin Games has put out some proper release dates for the various versions of Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien. Up first are Wii U and Steam (Windows, Mac, and Linux), with those launches happening to...more



8:30 AM on 02.25.2013
This Runner 2 trailer will have you sprinting to play it

Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is nearly here, and Gaijin Games has a new launch trailer to celebrate. Taking us through a brief history of the original Runner, the video kicks off with around a ful...more





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