The BIT.TRIP series is finally available on the Nintendo Switch, and after reviewing all of the games individually, I thought I’d put together a fun little ranking to sum up my thoughts on the saga as a whole,
To be completely up-front, all of the BIT.TRIP games are totally worth playing on their own merit, and work even better by playing through all of them together like I did. Although I’m definitely more fond of some games than I am of others, they’re all good fun and have fantastic soundtracks and visuals. This is just a fun way of highlighting my personal take on the best and worst of the BIT.TRIP journey.
Before we begin, I’d also like to say that Runner2 and Runner3 won’t be a part of this list, since they aren’t technically a part of the BIT.TRIP SAGA, and also because I haven’t played them yet. Let’s leave that for another day!
The only BIT.TRIP game that I didn’t really enjoy is BIT.TRIP FATE, also known as the on-rails musical shooter. It’s not bad by any means, it’s just the low point in a fantastic saga.
There’s definitely stuff to like about FATE, and I wouldn’t go as far to say that some people won’t enjoy it, I just didn’t find the on-rails gameplay to be much fun and I don’t think it advances the main idea very much throughout its levels.
That being said, it’s also one of the most interesting games in the series thematically, so if you’re on the BIT.TRIP ride already, you’re probably going to enjoy it for that alone.
Putting BIT.TRIP BEAT this low on the list hurts my soul a little considering how much fun I had with it, but as the most simplistic game of them all it does lack a certain level of finesse that the other games have because of it.
BEAT is Pong taken to the ultimate level, with awesome visuals and music to accompany it. It’s a fantastic start to the series, but it’s also very clearly the start of something that would later become much greater.
It’s also important to note that BIT.TRIP FLUX is essentially a reworking of this concept but with so much added to it that this one was bound to slip down a few levels. Sorry BIT.TRIP BEAT, you’re still fantastic.
BIT.TRIP CORE really surprised me when I played it and when reflecting back on the series I found myself wishing there was even more to it.
The core (see what I did there) concept here is simplistic yet satisfying, and the music in CORE is probably in the top three of the saga alone. I also found it to be one of the more forgiving games of the series, which is always a plus with how hard things can get.
Much like with BEAT, I feel like this one falls down a little bit just because it was so early on in the saga that it doesn’t have things like checkpoints or many score levels. BIT.TRIP CORE 2 when?
Did you think BIT.TRIP RUNNER would be higher? Me too!
As the only game in the saga that I recognised before diving in, and with a gameplay style that I’ve enjoyed in the past, I really did think that RUNNER would be an easy choice for my top pick.
That’s evidently not the case, but RUNNER is great in its own right and easily recommendable to rhythm game fans. It’s also got some of the best music and visuals for sure.
I think the main thing that holds RUNNER back ever so slightly is its need for perfection. Sure, it feels great to get each level down to a T, but it also takes many failed attempts and muttered swearwords.
I love you RUNNER, but I also hate you.
Another big surprise for me is that BIT.TRIP VOID is one of my personal favourites of the whole bunch. Much like CORE, I really didn’t think much of it before starting, and then instantly realised it was awesome.
VOID has you controlling a big black void and avoiding white beats whilst trying to collect the black beats. It’s most akin to a bullet hell, but as you collect the right beats you’ll grow in size and need to deflate yourself to avoid the white beats.
It’s really the gameplay twist of having to deflate yourself that makes things special, as it turns what could be very simple into something much more interesting and unique.
Out of all of the BIT.TRIP games, I think this one melds music, gameplay and story the best to create something truly memorable.
BIT.TRIP FLUX was the first game in the saga that I actually fully finished, and that’s because it’s easily the best game in the series.
This is especially surprising considering it’s basically a remake of the first game, but it’s because it takes that proven formula and manages to improve upon it that makes it so special. BEAT was great, but FLUX is even better.
It really does feel like a send-off to the saga, and the perfect encapsulation of everything that BIT.TRIP is- fantastic music, fantastic gameplay, great visuals and interesting background themes.
It doesn’t get better than FLUX. What a way to end a saga.