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Gaijin Games Reveals First BIT.TRIP RUNNER Details

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Dozens of stages, new characters and a special musical guest

Gaijin Games is anything but lazy. Their acclaimed BIT.TRIP series is nary a year old with three entries under its WiiWare-shaped belt. Not ones to rest on their laurels, the Santa Cruz developers are hard at work on the next entry in their retro metaphysical saga: RUNNER.

On the latest episode of our chip/game music podcast NLFM, Gaijin's Alex Neuse not only brought along some of his favorite game music but also exclusive first details about Commander Video's next journey.

What we're trying to do with RUNNER is make a rhythm platform game. That genre, if you will, really only has one other entry as far as I know.

That entry being the original PlayStation's Vib-Ribbon, which reached Japan and Europe around the millennium but fell short of a North American release.

RUNNER is closest to BEAT in terms of player/music interaction, Neuse said, being that you traverse the environment to the beat of the music and interact with the music in a more passive manner than the on-beat precision of CORE or the looseness of VOID. And while you have always been in control of Commander Video, this marks the first time his corporeal body is directly in your hands.

Past TRIPs have sent players through a gauntlet of three stages each, but RUNNER has its sights set higher. Much higher, in fact, as Neuse revealed that the game would include 50+ stages of musical platforming loaded with fan art. But Gaijin isn't stopping there:

We're going to be adding a lot more to this game. There's going to be multiple characters – not playable characters, but we are going to introduce some new characters into the franchise.

Series star Commander Video will be making a playable appearance in Team Meat's highly anticipated WiiWare release Super Meat Boy, complete with floaty Princess Peach controls. So what are the odds of Meat Boy appearing in RUNNER?

It would be fair to expect, although we certainly haven't built him yet. And if for some reason we don't, you can expect him in the next game.

Each "episode," if you will, has included musical contributions from chip tuners such as Bit Shifter, Bubblyfish and Nullsleep. This time around, Neuse said, Brooklyn chip punk band Anamanaguchi will be lending two tracks of theirs to the commander's outing.

With development around 2/3 of the way done and lots of polish left to apply (the HUD in the screens is not final, we're told), Gaijin are currently eyeing a Spring release. Stay tuned to Nintendo Life for more on Commander Video's adventures, and in the meantime you can pore over the first in-game screenshots while listening to Neuse's musical influences on NLFM.

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User Comments (46)

nintendogamerftw

#6

nintendogamerftw said:

ME WANT!
I can't wait for this game. This just jumped up to, almost, the top of my anticipated Wiiware games. :)

pixelman

#7

pixelman said:

Hmm. The graphics look almost messy, and the Commander Video sprites look odd. Still, I have high hopes for this one. I haven't bought a Bit.Trip game yet, and this'll likely be my first.

V8_Ninja

#8

V8_Ninja said:

Hmm......I'm not sure if this will guarantee a purchase from me. I can't really get into the "looseness" of most of the games.

bro2dragons

#14

bro2dragons said:

this sounds amazing! gonna be day one for me! so excited! bit trip is one of my favorite franchises now, and i've only beaten one of the games (CORE is HARD and VOID just hasn't had enough time invested in it... yet)!!!

accc

#15

accc said:

Isn't the recent Wiiware release Tomena Sanner sort of like a rhythm platformer? At least that's what it seems like, based on what I've seen of it.

vakama94

#18

vakama94 said:

wow 50+ stages in a Bit trip game its a lot!, well i hope the story is clearer than the other games since i want to understand what the games are trying to say, also i hope they get the core soundtrack finished before this game is released

CommanderVideo

#23

CommanderVideo said:

@HadesGigas - That game doesn't count, because I didn't think of it.

NAH! I'm just kidding. That game looks awesome! Please tell me it's coming stateside. DO WANT!

Aronos

#24

Aronos said:

Well, seeing that I bought all the previous Bit.Trip games, and really liked them, plus I really love platformers too, this game is a must have for me.

theblackdragonAdmin

#25

theblackdragon said:

the graphics look a little funny at the moment, but there's plenty of polishing that can be done before spring. hooray, spring! :D

Odnetnin

#26

Odnetnin said:

I will probably get this and VOID soon, but the graphics seem to be all over the place, so I'd like to see video before making a final decision.

Adam

#27

Adam said:

I am going to miss the abstract look, but this looks cool, too. Bit Tip can do no wrong.

Gavin_Rozee

#31

Gavin_Rozee said:

I'd buy VOID, if whoever is responsible for releasing it bothered to release it in the UK/Europe.

JakobG

#33

JakobG said:

@pixelman: BIT.TRIP never used actual sprites.
The shades couldn't be achieved by old consoles, and the pixels have a different resolution.
Just look at the 3D-pixelface, the pixels use different scales.

nasachi

#34

nasachi said:

nice :)

i love Bit.Trip, probably the hardest games on any console this gen, nearly destroyed my wiimote ^^

pixelman

#36

pixelman said:

@JakobG: Commander Video definitely looks like a 2D sprite to me. The way they have him animated looks very odd, though hopefully it looks better in motion.

BrickleBrack

#38

BrickleBrack said:

@pixelman I hear all the BIT.TRIP games are made in %100 3D. They talk about it in an Area 5 CO-OP video. Those screen shots also look like a full 3d world to me. Just my thoughts.

MuljoStpho

#40

MuljoStpho said:

Beat was ****ing impossible, but cool. I really liked Core. It was tricky in parts and the 2nd level took forever to get through, but I think it was the most interesting out of the first three games. Void... Void's kind of weird. It seems pretty tough so far too, but I haven't been putting a lot of time into it.

Runner sounds neat so far and it'll be interesting to see how this plays out. And holy **** at 50 levels. I thought that had to be a typo when I first read it in the previous article about this.

motang

#45

motang said:

I am with @WhoKnew, I tired the other Bit.Trip games but I couldn't get into them, I really don't like rhythm games. But this one might be different.

Namo

#46

Namo said:

They're getting Amanaguchi in on this? Now all they need to do is get Kulor in on it too! (http://8bitcollective.com/members/kulor/)

Then I can have a nerdgasm.

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