hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Downloadables: A Bit.Trip in flux

7:30 PM on 07.26.2011 // Kyle MacGregor

[Today's promoted blog comes from Cadtalfryn, who tells us why he enjoyed Bit.Trip Flux. Downloadables promotions will continue all week -- make sure you get your Motion Control blogs posted before the deadline next Monday! -- JRo]

Nintendo’s WiiWare service is an often overlooked downloadable platform. Mismanaged, plagued by shovelware, and outcompeted by XBLA and PSN, the Wii’s online store limps forward delivering a game or two a week to the Nintendo faithful. Once in a blue moon something compelling will land on the service, only to go largely ignored and underappreciated by an audience that either doesn’t know it’s there or simply doesn’t care.

Over two years ago I happened upon a colorful Pong-inspired rhythm game that would soon spawn a series of its own. The distinctive retro aesthetic and catchy chiptune-inspired soundtrack won my heart almost immediately, while the challenging gameplay kept me hooked. Just a few months ago Gaijin Games completed that series with the release of Bit.Trip Flux. It’s tragic that few outside a hardcore following have heard of the game, as it’s one of the best games on the system if not the entire generation.

To the casual observer, Bit.Trip Flux appears to be Bit.Trip Beat in reverse. While that is correct to some extent, it’s also a massive oversimplification. Flux and Beat both share rhythm-based Pong-inspired gameplay in which players must repel waves of blocks with a paddle. As with the other titles in the series, success in the game will correspond to changes in the game’s music and visuals.

The core gameplay is still as addictive as the day I first bought Bit.Trip Beat on WiiWare over two years ago. So addictive that, much like how I spent the night prior to Bit.Trip Core’s release determined to defeat Beat’s final level, I played Bit.Trip Flux’s final level for eight hours straight, glued to my couch until I achieved victory. After spending such an extensive time about the game I began to realize what Bit.Trip Flux actually was. Upon deeper examination, I found something much more intricate than a rehash of Bit.Trip Beat in reverse.

Behind the retro visuals and chiptune soundtrack Gaijin Games has woven a subtle narrative surrounding series protagonist, Commander Video. The plot is ethereal in nature, laid on so thin that only players actually looking for the story behind the games will be able to find it. Commander Video, having died in Bit.Trip Fate, now looks back on everything that has happened, everything he’s done, everything we have experienced in the Bit.Trip series. Bit.Trip Flux is but a moment, the time between life and what lies beyond. All that Command Video has ever done is condensed into a matter of moments as he slips away from this world, a time for reflection of the entire journey.

Bit.Trip Beat symbolized the time before birth, a time when Commander Video having his entire life to look forward to. The tables have turned, explaining exactly why Bit.Trip Flux is Bit.Trip Beat in reverse. Now in death, Commander Video has nothing left to look forward to, no life left to live, only memories of the past. It is fitting then that Bit.Trip Flux does nothing particularly new, instead acting as more of a highlight reel or “Greatest Hits” of the series

While Bit.Trip Flux most closely resembles Bit.Trip Beat, in truth all of its predecessors play a role in shaping the experience. Whether it was a dash of bullet hell gameplay or even just simple things like checkpoints, playing the game for the first time there were a thousand “A ha!” moments as I recognized something from a previous game that was blended seamlessly into the Beat formula.

In its entirety, the Bit.Trip series has one of the best soundtracks in recent memory. Even separate from the game they’re something I frequently enjoy, allowing me to relive Commander Video’s journey even when I’m away from my Wii. The fact that the Bit.Trip games feature such strong soundtracks has been a main draw for the series, but no title more so than the series’ epic conclusion.

In that “Greatest Hits” fashion, Bit.Trip Flux’s soundtrack is composed of remixed, beautifully blended versions of Gaijin Games and their chiptune artist companions’ previous work. It’s an incredible thing to hear a few measures of a song only to get a rush of nostalgia for a game that is barely a couple years old. Being able to experience the Bit.Trip series all over again in a single package is Bit.Trip Flux’s main draw. The title is so wonderfully familiar, yet completely unique at the same time. It’s this beautifully reflective narrative and self referential fan service that hardcore Gaijin enthusiasts will absolutely eat up, endearing the game and the series as a whole into our hearts.

Kyle MacGregor, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidKyle Tips
World-renowned selfie photographer. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Jiraya avatarJiraya
Gonna have a date tonight ? Here's a song for you. [youtube][/youtube]
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
[youtube][/youtube] And yes, this is video game related!
Nathan D avatarNathan D
"Everlasting. True love. I am yours." -Rule of Rose T^T
Shinta avatarShinta
MGO's pretty fun! I suck at it though. I mostly hang back and just mark enemies and get the occasional sniper kill. It's pretty fun to be semi-useful with a very hands off role like that. Love my avatar character guy too.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Fuck Insecticons
nanashi avatarnanashi
they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I have been accused of the greatest of crimes - cookie snobbery.
KyWii avatarKyWii
Rock Band 4 is really fun...takes me back to my teenage days of high school. Also reminds me of all the hours I wasted on a plastic guitar instead of getting better on a real one xD
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Team Fortress 2 just got a massive community-made Invasion update. SFM short, reskins, cosmetics, and 4 brand new maps?!?! God, I love this game and its wonderful community so, so much. [youtube][/youtube]
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?
Super Mario Maker, the announcement of Sonic Lost World for Steam, and remembering all of the mods that got made for the PC version of Sonic Generations makes me wish SEGA/Sonic Team would make their own dedicated Sonic level creation game.
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey, is your fridge running? You better catch it. I mean, it has all your food, and without food, you die. Like, forever. You don't wanna die right? If you die, how will you watch The Good wife with your favourite bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Go.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
My local Best Buy is drowning in Marth & Dark Pit amiibo
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Spooky yet totally true gaming fact: the bushes and the clouds in Super Mario Bros are the same exact shape. #Spooky
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
It is coming fast AAAAAAH
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The newest PS4 update finally got rid of that bug where I'd get the "you can customize your power options" message every time I turned on my console!
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Should I just pass on MGSV? I haven't really liked any of the games after Snake Eater, and it's being used as a money sink at the moment.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
[Youtube][/youtube] All the episodes are on youtube now. Also I never knew they got to do a season 3. Pretty cool. Now back to Transformers. Scored a gc to my favorite thai place too. Pad ahoy bitches. It's been too long.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -