By Louise Yang . August 9, 2009 . 10:45am
Remember in the old days of the NES when you’d play for hours despite the stabbing pain in your thumb thanks to the awfully sharp NES d-pad? Well, those days have returned thanks to Gaijin Game’s Bit.Trip Core, their latest game in the Bit.Trip series.
In Bit.Trip Beat, players control a paddle in a colorful and rhythmic game of pong. In Bit.Trip Core the paddle is replaced with a crosshair. Players hold the Wiimote in a horizontal position and by pressing one of the four directions on the d-pad at the same time as they press button 2, they can zap beats that fly toward zap zones. This sounds confusing on paper, but believe me, it’s simple.
But wait, that doesn’t mean the game is simple. No way. The game is brutal not just on your thumb because of the Wiimote’s dpad, but brutal in general difficulty. Like the shmup games of yesteryear, pattern memorization is key to getting further into the game.
During my first half our of the game, I was struggling to make sense of the movement of the beats as they appeared on screen. They would move in one way during one duration, then move in a completely different way the next. It didn’t dawn on me until after my third game over that the beats don’t always follow the same movement paths. As I said, pattern memorization is key.
Once that was squared away with, I found myself zoning out to the game. Being able to just let your mind go and let your fingers take over makes the game multitudes less frustrating. There were times where I wasn’t even thinking of what I needed to do, yet my fingers were still doing the right things. When the game “levels up” and more of the music comes through, it feels pretty groovy. Oddly enough, when I’m doing badly and the game de-evolves into simple black and white, it still feels good.
Bit.Trip Core is a fantastic addition and level up to the series. From what I’ve seen in videos of Beat, Core is more difficult but also more rewarding. Fans of the first one will certainly enjoy this game. Players who are new may feel lost at first, but just let go and give the game time click.