Bit.Trip Core (WiiWare)

Bit.Trip: Core is the second in a series of retro-inspired titles by indie developer, Gaijin Games. The series’ retro-vibe returns but the gameplay as changed, further exploring the original game’s unique brand of rhythm gameplay.

Bit.Trip: Core looks identical to the original game and the same 8-bit graphics and the same 8-bit sound effects. “The same” would be a quick way to describe Core and for many that would be enough, either way. For those that enjoyed Bit.Trip: Beat, this game is almost an automatic buy, and for those that hated it, it’s almost an automatic pass.

To put it simply, the game, and the series thus far, is about gameplay over graphics and storyline. Right now, there are message boards debating the significance of CommanderVideo’s Bit Trip and what exactly the game is about, so if you’re going to spend any sort of time with this game, it will be so for the gameplay as opposed to the graphics or the storyline, which could possibly help buoy a game that may be lacking in the gameplay department.

Fortunately for people who choose to invest the $6 in this game, Bit.Trip: Core can flaunt its gameplay with pride. As with the previous game, gameplay is simple. Where in the previous game you had a paddle to prevent pixilated balls from flying off your side of the screen, this time your avatar, the titular, plus-shaped, core, is in the center and you must fire off lasers in the four d-pad directions to stop square balls from getting by.

Possibly Core’s biggest weakness, especially in comparison to Beat is the difficulty of the gameplay. Both games are hard, but with targets flying at you from four directions, it is much more difficult to wrap your head around what direction you need to shoot and when. This can easily make the less patient much more frustrated but for those that find challenge entertaining will certainly enjoy the gameplay.
That said, there’s no denying that some of the novelty has been lost from one game to the next. As stated earlier, the two games look, sound, and play incredibly similar to one another and its difficult to expect that the same elements would be just as exciting the second time around. The art style, the music, and the graphics all look fine, exactly the same as the ones that were so exciting in Bit.Trip: Beat in fact, but we’ve seen them, and while the game is entertaining, it’s not a breath of fresh air as the first one was.
Bit.Trip: Core is another solid entry in the Bit.Trip series and a great value on Nintendo’s WiiWare service. That said, the game is a bit more complex which definitely lessens the appeal from the first game. As the second game it is second best, but not second-rate. The game is challenging, but enjoyable with superficially simple gameplay hiding mind-straining complexity all set to a funky chiptunes soundtrack.