Welcome to a very special end of the world edition of Flashback Fridays. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what’s going on here, please refer to previous articles for more information. Today we are going to take a look at something that proved that quality experiences don’t necessarily have to have high resolution graphics in order to be awesome. The title that I am talking about put the Nintendo download market on the map in a big way, and it goes by the name of Bit Trip Runner for WiiWare.
Now as you most of you may know, the big N’s downloadable services had a rough outing for the most part back in the day. Seems like on almost a weekly basis another unimpressive, boring, and very ugly looking title kept hitting the console. All hope seemed lost for quite some time, but lone and behold, Gaijin Games was there to save the day. In 2009, these developers started the Bit Trip series, a quirky, yet very nostalgic franchise that focused on rhythm based gameplay, and it was an instant success. Many sequels followed, and in 2010, Bit Trip Runner graced my presence, a platformer revolving around specific timing, and it changed my perception of how hard games can be to this very day.
The setup is about as simple as it gets. You take control of a character named Commander Video, and it’s up to you to get from one of the stage to the other without dying. Along the way, a number of different obstacles and enemies will try to impede your progress, so be sure to try to avoid them at all costs. If this wasn’t bad enough, the commander can only take one hit before having to restarting a stage completely, so the player needs to think on their toes if they want to survive. Gameplay mainly focuses on pressing buttons at very specific times to the background music to dodge obstacles, open doors, and so on. Sounds simple right? Well, let met put it like this, the idea is easy to understand, but hard to master. Can’t spell it out for you better than that.
So what did I think of the game? It’s frustrating, rewarding, and nostalgic all at the same time. The control scheme is very easy to get a hold off, the graphics were simplistic but beautiful in their own way, and the music was delightful, especially since it was incorporated into the game in such a unique way. Toss in an epic level of difficulty, along with some memorable boss encounters, and you have the makings of something incredible, enough said.
Bit Trip Runner was an extremely fun adventure that kept me up at night, but it was totally worth it in the long run, and is definitely something you should consider checking out.
That concludes my story on Bit Trip Runner for WiiWare, but if you have any fond (or bad) memories of this game please feel free to share them with us in the comments below.
Here is a video that I found for the game, Enjoy!