Bit.Trip Collection – Review
Follow Genre: Rhythm game, action game
Developer: Choice Provisions
Publisher: Qubic Games
Platform: Switch, PC, PS4
Tested on: Switch

Bit.Trip Collection – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Timeless gameplay with fantastic music
Bad: Downloading the entire collection is a hassle
User Score
9.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

The arrival of the Bit.Trip games on the Switch eshop came as a bit of a surprise as there has been very little in the way of announcement beforehand. What’s equally surprising is that the six titles are presented as standalone titles, whereas they’ve been bundled together on other platforms. Although the Switch ports are separate releases, we’re looking at them as a collection, since there is quite a bit of overlap when it comes to visuals and sounds. Given that these games are well over 10 years old at this point, we wonder how well they hold up to today’s standards. 

Story

Although the Bit.Trip saga spans multiple games, and has a protagonist in the form of Commander Video, there is no story content to be found here. As such, there is no set “order” to play them in either, as these titles are all about delivering gameplay. 

Graphics

It’s been over 10 years since the Bit.Trip series debuted, on WiiWare, and it’s satisfying to see just how well the graphics hold up. This is for the most part due to developer Gajin Games (now known as Choice Provisions) capitalizing on 8-bit retro aesthetics and clever choice of colors. The result is a visual style that is instantly recognizable as well as timeless. Of course, the visuals aren’t “true” 8-bit, as there is plenty of vector-esque imagery going on in the background. This creates a unique visual identity that enhances the singularity that can be felt in every aspect of the Bit.Trip world. 

Sound

Given how Bit.Trip is all about rhythm, it’s no surprise that the games feature fantastic soundtracks. We’d argue that picking up the games is worth it based on the music alone, but they are all available as separate releases as well. Each of the games has distinct tunes, and the collection spans multiple electronic genres, including chiptune and dubstep. The music is integral to the gameplay of course, and the fast-paced beats never fail to get your heart racing, especially during the trickier levels. 

Gameplay

Each title in the series provides a different style of gameplay, although each game is based around rhythm in one way or another. Bit.Trip Beat, the first game released, plays like a mix of Pong and a rhythm game. Here, you’ll need to move your paddle up and down to catch or bounce back objects that are flying towards you on the beat of the music. Bit.Trip Core tasks you with shooting lasers in order to destroy blocks that move across the screen, again in sync with the beat of the music. Bit.Trip Void instead puts you in control of a void that you’ll need to grow by gobbling up black squares and avoiding white ones. 

The fourth game in the series, and perhaps the most well known, is of course Bit.Trip Runner. In Runner, you’ll need to guide Commander Video through over 50 levels, dodging obstacles by jumping and sliding. It’s one of the best runner games out there, and if you’re going to pick up just one of the Bit.Trip games on Switch, we highly recommend that you choose this one. The penultimate title in the series is Bit.Trip Fate, which is an on-rails shooter and rounding out the collection is Bit.Trip Flux. Flux is perhaps the game that best encapsulates the Bit.Trip games, as it returns to the gameplay of Beat but also integrates gameplay elements from the other games, hence the title. 

Let there be no doubt about it: while we do feel Runner stands out as the best game in the series, we suggest that you look at each and every one of the Bit.Trip series’ titles. They are all fantastic games, and although your mileage may vary on which title suits your own preferences, there is so much gameplay variety in them that we’d be surprised if you didn’t find one of them appealing. Overall, you’re getting a hefty amount of content here, but you have to keep in mind that these are for the most part bite-sized affairs. While they can be challenging in their own right, don’t go in expecting deep gameplay.

We would’ve preferred seeing the full series released as a bundle, rather than six standalone releases. Interestingly enough, once you’ve bought one of the games, you’ll get a hefty discount on the others. If you’re thinking of picking up the entire series, don’t let the advertised price fool you as you’ll end up paying considerably less. We’re nitpicking here, but if there’s one thing we can fault with this collection then it’s that downloading the games is a bit of a hassle. After all, if you’re picking up just one, you’re probably going to want all of them. Of course, we have to name the elephant in the room: no matter how good these games are, they’re still over a decade old and they’ve been made available on a variety of platforms, from WiiWare to Android to PS4. As such, we have to wonder whether this Switch release was really necessary, even if the content is high quality. If you already own these games on any of the other platforms, you’re not getting anything new here.

Conclusion

If it wasn’t clear by now: each and every one of the Bit.Trip titles are worth your attention. When these games were re-released as a collection originally, they were $40. Picking up the entire collection now will cost you less than half of that. Of course, the re-release included a bunch of extra content and while we don’t have a copy of the previous bundle to compare, we have no reason to assume that this content isn’t included with the standalone releases. Either way, you’re getting a fantastic deal here. 

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Bit.Trip Collection - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
SebastiaanRaats


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