Monday, 29 July 2013

Bit.Trip Fate Review (PC)


Bit. Trip Fate was highly popular on the Wii’s download service and now, a few years on, the fifth game in the Bit. Trip series has made its way onto the PC via STEAM. Like the rest of the series the game takes a simple idea and enhances it with quirky, retro-style, visuals and music to create something vibrant and fun to play.

This time Commander Video is tasked with traveling along a set path and shooting his way through a set of weird and wonderful stages while dub step inspired 8-bit tunes blast away in the background. A shooter on the surface the game also has a number of similarities to games such as Vib-Ribbon as you are locked into your path and have to react to things as they fly and shoot at you.

Shooting enemies fills up a bar which when full upgrades Commander Video to a more deadly state. This continues to grow until you hit ‘Giga’ and turn into a fully-fledged death dealing machine. Every time you take a hit you drop back to your last form. When you only have one hit left the screen loses its sound and everything begins to become entangled in static. Again, players of titles like Rez will be in familiar territory here and it’s a system that works well for this style of game.

Along the way Commander Video can pick up power ups which enlist the help of some his friends - such as Super Meat Boy or CommandGirl Video. For a limited time these characters then circle our hero and grant him extra powers such as changing his bullets to lasers or one giant blast. It all helps to add to the fun the keep the game ticking along. 

Controls are now handled with a combination of keyboard and mouse and they more than match the twin stick control options of the Wii version. The mouse is used to aim and fire while keys control movement left and right along the linear path. It’s simple but effective and allows players to concentrate on building up their high score and keeping Commander Video in his Giga state for as long as possible.

The game isn’t going to last you forever in terms of how long it takes to beat but it does get punishingly difficult as it goes along. When you die you return to the start of the stage and have to go through the whole thing again. This includes if you die while taking on the boss creature at the end of each level so you have to remain alert at all times. As with all the best score attack games though you will likely be drawn back to beat your score again and again.

This brings us onto the only minor issue we really found with the game. Some of the stages just seem to go on for a bit too long to be sent all the way back to the beginning. If there were a few more stages but shorter in length then that might have hit the sweet spot dead on. That said, it’s a minor issue for what is a charming and good natured game.

Bit. Trip Fate is going to provide bite sized chunks of fun for PC owners who need something to play when they have the odd half an hour free. It’s as great now as it was on the Wii when it came out a few years ago and is well worth your time. We can’t help but feel its natural home would be somewhere like the PS Vita but then we are more than happy to play it on any system really.

Overall, it’s a fun and colourful game with a quick witted personality and it will make you smile far more than many other games out there. It’s always fairly safe hands when getting any of the Bit. Trip series and so it remains with this. If you haven’t played it already then you really should be heading off to have a look at it right now.

8/10

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