We’ve finally made it to the end of the BIT.TRIP saga, with the final game of them all- BIT.TRIP FLUX. It’s quite the game to end on as well, as it’s easily one of the best in the series and a great rhythm game overall.
As the final game in the BIT.TRIP series, you might expect BIT.TRIP FLUX to be yet another radical change of pace, but it’s actually more of an evolution of the first game in the series, BIT.TRIP BEAT. That is to say, that you’ll be playing single-player musical pong again, but this time from the other end of the screen and with a much harder difficulty.
Previous BIT.TRIP games have had stories hidden within their gameplay, and FLUX is no different. FLUX represents the passing of Commander Video after the events of FATE, which is why it’s so similar to the first game. Much like the other entries, there’s a lot that can be taken away from the story of each game, but if you’re just here for the chiptune beats then that’s okay too.
I will say this though, the last few minutes of FLUX made me surprisingly emotional considering I’m new to the series. I can only imagine that it’s actually very effective for those who were following the games from release to release.
Like I said before, FLUX is essentially a direct sequel to BEAT but with some changes here and there. For starters, you hit beats from the right side of the screen now, which honestly doesn’t feel like much of a change but can take some getting used to if you’re marathoning them like I did. The other changes are more significant, as we now have many of the changes that the other games have made reverse-engineered into this one. For example, there are now much higher levels for the player to reach in gameplay, such as EXTRA.
That means that if you’re successful you’ll be hearing even more variations of the music, and you’ll also have more chances of avoiding the nether and failing altogether. There are also a bunch of different blocks and power-ups that are a little bit more challenging to deal with, such as circles that you have to avoid altogether.
Beyond that, FLUX is very much more of the same thing but updated to improve the overall experience. The very same death-defying balance of trying to get to the next level whilst avoiding dropping down in score is here, and the same frustration after you miss ten beats in a row is here too. FLUX is also a bit less demanding of players than BEAT was, as it finally features checkpointing within levels, which makes it very hard to go back to the other games.
FLUX is also the prettiest game in the series, with some wicked particle effects and graphics when you’re doing well enough. The music is as fantastic as you’ve come to expect too, although I wish the game was a tiny bit more lenient so I could hear more from the higher levels.
That signature BIT.TRIP difficulty is here to stay too, as I found it plenty challenging even after playing it through on easy. There are some people out there that can do the higher difficulties, but I’m definitely not one of them.
That being said, this is very much a game for fans of the series, and it feels like a send-off in many ways. For those people it’s arguably one of the best, with some incredible music and challenging gameplay that’s been made that little bit fairer.
BIT.TRIP FLUX is a fantastic final entry in the BIT.TRIP games, and a real treat for newcomers like me who were just rhythm-game fans, and fans of the series itself.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by QubicGames