Bit. Trip Fate Review

Posted by Scott Bristo 0 Comment

Bit. Trip Fate

By Scott Bristo

Bit. Trip Fate has finally slide-kicked it’s way on to the Steam library this month (and can be yours today for a whopping 33% off!), which may lead you to ponder why you maybe never noticed this game on it’s 2010 Wii-Ware debut. Possibly because Fate was released in the same year as Limbo, Super Meat Boy and around the time Minecraft really started to pull its weight as one of the most popular games of the decade. Maybe you were too busy playing Fallout: New Vegas? Or most likely your Wii was collecting dust in a box full of old scart cables at the far end of the attic, alongside your Wii Fit balance board and a menagerie of golf club and light gun attachments – still neatly wrapped in their packaging.

fate 2 final

Gaijin Games have pumped new life into rhythm games, especially for a gamer such as myself who’s only real experience with the genre is failing miserably at the first level of Parrapa the Rapper, then cursing at the screen because I can’t follow the instructions of an anthropomorphic Kung-Fu onion. The exhaustively titled Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien successfully consumed almost 6 hours of my life in one sitting as I grimaced, twitched and grunted at the screen until I reached the eye-wateringly difficult, controlling-snapping final stages.

Despite having all the rhythm and expert timing of a drunk dad at a family function, I thoroughly enjoyed Runner 2, which led me to indulge myself in the other Bit. Trip games. Most games in the series have their own style of game play whilst some lend from other titles in the series more than others, but what attracted me to Fate was it’s unique premise. Fate is a shooter that takes the bullet-hell sub-genre’s basic concept but only allows the player a narrow, pre-determined path to gingerly edge your way along whilst avoiding a barrage of enemy projectiles (imagine, without attempting to tear out your own hair, a version of Ikaruga that will only allow you to move forward or retreat like the coward you are as enemies bombard you from all directions). Whilst this solid line that must be followed by the player could be seen to over-simplify the game, it arguably offers a new level of depth. Foresight and undivided concentration are needed to not put yourself in a compromising and possibly fatal position where it is impossible to advance or retreat without taking a hit.

fate 1 final

Although Fate is a simplistic game at it’s core, it still provides a measurable amount of astuteness. The plethora of power-ups and super friend bonuses keep each run fresh and diverse, whilst the boss battles add a passable level of menacing cruelty that are difficult enough to be challenging without being overwhelming. The game’s soundtrack and visuals mimic that of the golden age of Atari and Commodore 64, but still boast aesthetics that look extremely pleasing in high resolution. The soundtrack, as we have come to expect from the Bit. Trip series, is a blend of chiptune with added dubstep and industrial styles that match the game’s essence impeccably. Even the booming, digitized background voice adds to this charm, announcing “ULTRA” and “GIGA” when new modes are initiated by chaining together combos.

Whilst Fate is an excellent addition to the Bit. Trip family, it is by no means perfect. The shortness of the game has been criticized and depending on your own personal ability you may find yourself finishing this game within a couple of hours. That said, the game is well worth the asking price and worth a look on Steam for the added bonus of being able to use the (arguably superior) mouse and keyboard controls.

Overall, Fate is a game that oozes style and will keep your inner ‘shmup’ fanatic at bay.


Categories: Game Reviews

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