iPad Game Review: Bit.Trip Beat HD Reviewed by Abisco
Originally released for the Wii, Bit.Trip Beat is an enjoyable 2D game in the spirit of pong, in which you move a paddle up and down across a screen to stop the square pixels from passing your paddle, all the while advancing through different stages. The game is currently priced at $6.99 and available for sale by Namco. The newest version also allowed for the other 2 of the 3 modes to be unlocked on start up, as opposed to having to unlock them through beating the first mode (Transition).
Bit.Trip Beat HD for the iPad has 3 different type of game modes, the main one being Transition, where you follow through with an endless battle against the many "Beats" (Square pixels). The beats fly at you from the right hand side of the screen and it is the player?s job to ensure they do not pass. Every Beat you hit provides a different sound, so getting them is quite rewarding and when achieving a long string of Beats hit, you are granted a very awesome techno beat. The other two modes follow the same formula with different acting beat (Some flash, others zig zag, some stop and move later) which really mixes up things a lot, but the differentiation between the 3 modes really isnt all that noticeable, so if you don?t like transition mode, don?t expect to be wowed by the other ones.
While going through with the game and hitting many beats, the bar at the top tells you how far you are from getting to the next level. The bar at the bottom on the other hand tells you how many you have missed and how far you are from dying. Though the concept of the gameplay is incredibly simple, Namco managed to make the game very enjoy and exciting to play. Also knowing when you will be going to the next level is pretty exciting, and makes the accomplishments seem that much more tangible.
There is just one thing that might kill your groove in the game. When playing for a very long string, if one happens to lose they will have to restart all the way from the "Monotone" (in comparison to the later levels) beginning. Though this is only a minor set back and like Tetris, this game is made to be "survival-style" game. Included also are leaderboards via Namco's very own service. Another great thing about the game is achievements, though when IOS 4.2 comes out, we can only hope for Game Center to be used to streamline the achievement process.
The game features some very pixelated graphics, which really set it apart from today?s current games. Everything is retro stylized which really gives you that "Old-School" feeling, while at the same time providing some really awesome 3d backgrounds in game. So if you are retro game seeker who loves to relive the golden oldies, then you will love the retro style graphics in Bit.Trip Beat. One thing though that I really loved about the graphics was how different the game feels based on the stage, when in the Nether zone, which is the zone right on the brink of death, everything goes black and white while the sound cuts out to mere "pong" sounds. It really makes you feel like "Oh crap, I really gotta hit that beat!" which is a great feeling.
While retro graphics do wonders for creating the old school gameplay, the pixelated text is a bit hard to read, especially since in game everything is moving fast. When in the heat of bit battle and quickly checking the score I would really not want to have to squint or think about what exactly it says.
Included within the game are 2 different control schemes, both flawed in their own ways. The first control method is touch, which is pretty self-explanatory, in which you place your finger anywhere on the screen and slide up and down to move your paddle. The mainly flaw with this is that you must move your finger all the way up, or all the way down to move the paddle across the screen. This creates a big problem in terms of blocking something which is directly across from the paddle since your fingers must be either across the paddle or on top of it. Although this is something you can get used to, it can be annoying and cause some unnecessary misses of beats. The other control method is tilt. While it does not block the screen, is way to sensitive to allow for the harder levels to be played efficiently.
One of the greatest parts of this game is the music. Hitting the beats really gives awards in the awesome music within the game, the techno beats really helps make the game enjoyable and never really feels repetitive since the beat changes based on what beats you hit. It also really gives you the feeling that "One more time" is worth it due to the amazing electronic beat. Few games can achieve this, Bit.Trip Beat does this with such a grace.
For those that enjoy games with amazing electronic soundtracks, some awesome retro graphics and pong style gameplay, they will find a true gem here. For $6.99 this game is a great choice for someone looking for the next "Tetris" Despite the cumbersome controls and sometimes ineligible text style, I recommend those who enjoy retro games to pick this one up!
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.0 - Some awesome retro pixel graphics, unfortunately the text suffers from this and makes some parts hard to read. Sound: - 5.0 - Amazing techno beats, I couldn't ask for more in terms of sound from this game! Controls: - 3.5 - The two control methods get the job done, but aren't that great, one is accurate but blocks a big part of the screen, the other totally inaccurate. Gameplay: - 4.0 - Fun game, with that "just one more try" factor. The game modes aren't too different.
Playing Hints and Tips:
This game is all about trying again and again. So the more you play, the better you will get, and in return, have an all around much more of a fun time!