News Article

First Impressions: BIT.TRIP SAGA (3DS)

Posted by Corbie Dillard

BIT.TRIP goes 3D!

To say that the BIT.TRIP series has been a highlight of the WiiWare service would be a gross understatement. Their simplistic design and wildly playable nature have made for some of the most engaging gaming experiences on the service and continue to be among the most popular titles in the catalog. Now, the folks at Gaijin Games are taking the complete series and remaking them all for Nintendo's new 3DS system complete with a full 3D visual makeover and new play control schemes.

From the moment you begin playing BIT.TRIP SAGA that familiar playability springs to life. The same old-school charm is completely intact and while the visual makeup is very similar, the addition of the 3D depth really takes things to a whole new level. The games show a great degree of depth and it makes following the beats that you need to bounce back much easier to differentiate from things off in the distance.

Since the controls of the 3DS are quite a bit different from those found on the Wii, there are obviously going to be quite a few changes to the play control schemes. In games like BEAT and FLUX, the paddle is now controlled via moving the stylus up and down on the bottom touchscreen, although you can use the Circle Pad if you prefer it. While these stylus controls might sound a bit odd at first, it's surprisingly accurate and took no more than a couple of minutes to begin feeling as natural as tilting the Wii Remote.

For the titles that feature a more standard control method like RUNNER and CORE, the D-pad and buttons worked like a charm and were easily the most familiar of the package. I was blazing through RUNNER in no time, still taking time to admire how amazing the visuals looked in 3D along the way. And given the level of polish in CORE, it was great to see how well Gaijin Games were able to adjust the varying layers of depth to make the beats stand out from the other visual touches in the levels.

Given the limited time I had with the package, I was only able to play VOID and FATE for a couple of minutes, but they too featured all of the classic gameplay and unique visuals of the WiiWare originals. VOID has you moving around via the Circle Pad and FATE uses the Circle Pad to move along the rail, while using the stylus to control the direction of your cannon fire. Much like the other titles that use the touchscreen, it only takes a short amount of time to become acclimated to the control differences.

All of the classic chip tune musical tracks make a return, as do the many unique sound effects that have become such a staple of the series; of course if something works, why mess with a good thing? In truth the 3D makeover was enough to give the game's new life and the ability to take the games on the go is yet another fun bonus.

It was difficult to imagine what the BIT.TRIP games would look and control like on the 3DS system, but it didn't take more than a few minutes to see that the developers at Gaijin Games knew exactly what they were doing. The games really came to life on the 3D screen and the new controls were as tight and intuitive as ever. Whether you already own the titles on WiiWare or not, this is definitely a package that deserves consideration and really has to be seen in action to be fully appreciated. Gaijin Games continues to amaze with their creativity and ingenuity, and BIT.TRIP SAGA is yet another shining example of that.

A special thanks to Alex Neuse and the guys at Gaijin Games for taking time out of their busy schedule to allow us to take BIT.TRIP SAGA for a spin.

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User Comments (34)

theblackdragonAdmin

#1

theblackdragon said:

mmmmmmm, bit.trip goodness... i can't wait to be able to carry this around with me~

also, thanks for the clarification re: how beat/flux are controlled! after trying beat on an iPad, for some reason i had it in my head that beat/flux would be controlled the same way (e.g. the game totally shown and played on the touchscreen). i was really dreading my finger/stylus getting in the way of the game, but what you're saying sounds like it'd be perfect :3

bezerker99

#2

bezerker99 said:

Aaaah, still no release date! Nevertheless, this is going to be EPIC when it arrives!

Dodger

#3

Dodger said:

Might pick this up despite the fact I can't beat any of the demos.

I still wish they had included Bit-Trip Pizza Party or whatever it would be called. D:

pixelman

#4

pixelman said:

RUNNER was the only game in this series that I really liked. I'll pass on this.

Knux

#5

Knux said:

Considering the only Bit Trip I played was Beat, this is a steal for me. :D

GameLord08

#6

GameLord08 said:

Never tried BIT.TRIP before. Maybe this'll be my first, and what more, it's a compilation of all four games.

zeeroid

#7

zeeroid said:

I'm so excited about this! For whatever reason they all eluded me on WiiWare... definitely not going to allow that to happen with Saga.

McGruber

#8

McGruber said:

A compilation of all of the Bit Trip games?! None of which I bought! Definite buying thiss!

WolfRamHeart

#9

WolfRamHeart said:

I bought all of the Bit. Trip games on WiiWare so I seriously doubt that I will be picking this one up. It doesn't seem to add anything new to the experience besides 3D visuals and a different control scheme. Pass.

Ren

#10

Ren said:

Wow, this is the perfect collection for portable and 3D. I never got through the first one, it got so hard, and I'm one who won't play things out of order, but this is a great excuse for me to get them all and finally get through it. 3Ds is really looking like it's going to have the best games (soon), and it'll be perfect to pass the time until WiiU and keep people interested in Nintendo.

pntjr

#12

pntjr said:

I've played all of them, hated them (exept runner) so i probably won't pick this one up. I hope they will eventually release the series in individual cartrages so i can pick up Runner!

ueI

#13

ueI said:

I didn't get any of the Bit Trip games because I was afraid I wouldn't like them, but I'll be getting this. With six games, I'm bound to find one I like. Unfortunately, I have a habit of only liking one game when I buy a compilation.

komicturtle

#15

komicturtle said:

Never played these before. May consider this, though. Then again, there are other games on my priority list and this one isn't on it :3

FonistofCruxis

#16

FonistofCruxis said:

I was expecting beat and flux to be controlled with gyro controls but its good to hear that the stylus works well with them. I don't get why the circle pad isn't used when the analogue stick was used in void and fate so why not on the 3DS versions?

CorbsAdmin

#18

Corbs said:

The analog stick might be available for use in some games, I just stuck with the D-Pad. I was a bit pressed for time as this game wasn't on my schedule originally, so I had to squeeze it in at the last minute. Thankfully Alex was very accommodating. :D

UPDATE: Just spoke to Alex and VOID and FATE use the circle pad and BEAT and FLUX can use it if you don't like the stylus controls, although Alex says the stylus controls on BEAT and FLUX are far superior.

FonistofCruxis

#20

FonistofCruxis said:

Its good to hear that the circle pad will be used for void and fate but I'll stick with the stylus controls for beat and flux.

Wheels2050

#21

Wheels2050 said:

@SoulSilver_19: Thanks for that, I hadn't come across that news yet! I've already bought all the Bit.Trip games from WiiWare, but I think I'd like to get a disc as well (after playing games for 20 years or so, I have trouble relying on downloads only...).

Still feels like a waste of money to buy things twice, but hopefully it'll be cheap!

Arcanum

#22

Arcanum said:

I only got BEAT and I could not beat the second level....THIS IS PERFECT FOR ME!!
BTW is this gonna be a retail release or is it gonna be up for download? I would prefer it be a DL but I wouldn't mind if it was retail.

CorbsAdmin

#23

Corbs said:

This is a retail release, as is the BIT.TRIP COMPLETE for Wii.

ueI

#24

ueI said:

It's coming out for wii? Forget the 3DS version then! I'll be getting the better version.

Retro_on_theGo

#25

Retro_on_theGo said:

^What makes you think it'll be better? If it's just a compilation like this one they'll probably be equal or the 3DS version will be superior because of the added polish of 3D. These are all Wiiware games so it's not like the 3DS can't handle the graphics or music.
I'm definitely getting this for the 3DS! :D can't wait.

theblackdragonAdmin

#26

theblackdragon said:

@Retro: the Wii retail compilation isn't supposed to be the same as the 3DS retail compilation, though — i read it's supposed to have extra levels added as well as artwork, a special commentary from Alex, and probably a couple other things i'm forgetting off the top of my head.

CorbsAdmin

#27

Corbs said:

Des is right. There will be a lot of new levels and bonus content. Alex called it "the definitive BIT.TRIP collection" while he was showing the 3DS SAGA game to me on the show floor. That being said, I think after seeing the 3DS version, I'm more excited about it due to the 3D visuals and the portability. :D

wanderlustwarrior

#31

wanderlustwarrior said:

I haven't been checking the site much as the E3 front page is nearly breaking the site on my phone, but info on the collection coming to wii:

indiegames.com/2011/06/e3_2011_bit_trip_complete.html

If it was already on this site, ignore me.

daznsaz

#32

daznsaz said:

havent played these would like to see an ingame video to see what its like dont fully understand what it is might get it

Deviant_Mugen

#33

Deviant_Mugen said:

That Wii compilation sounds interesting. Depending on the price, I might add it to my list. I want to see what all the fuss is about with this series...

TheGreenSpiny

#34

TheGreenSpiny said:

@25: I can tell you right now the Wii version will be better because of the tilt controls for Beat and Flux, and the pointer controls for Fate.

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