Review: BIT.TRIP COMPLETE (Wii)

Aptly titled

The BIT.TRIP titles have been wildly popular on WiiWare, but despite being able to purchase the games individually, fans of the series have been clamoring for a Wii compilation disc release since the series was completed. With the release of BIT.TRIP COMPLETE, fans not only get the collection they've wanted, but also a wealth of brand new challenges and bonus content to sink their teeth in to. But even with all of the extra content, does this package of WiiWare titles really have enough bang for the buck?

Anyone that's played any of the BIT.TRIP releases is familiar with the unique old-school influences they exude from the Pong-like gameplay of BEAT and FLUX to the side-scrolling platforming of RUNNER. Even FATE gives gamers a taste of a good old-fashioned shoot 'em up, albeit with a few twists along the way. And while the games feature the same simplicity so prevalent during the Atari 2600 era, there's certainly no shortage of engaging gameplay to go around.

To begin with, all of the six BIT.TRIP releases found in this compilation are true to their original forms. And while every inch of mind-numbing challenge remains intact for fans of the series to enjoy, the developers have been kind enough to add in both EASY and HARD difficulty settings to make the games as pleasant or challenging as you'd like.

As if having all six games in one package wasn't tempting enough, each game now features an additional 20 special challenges to tackle. And while these new levels aren't quite as lengthy as the originals, they are absolutely brutal in difficulty. The majority of these challenges force you to perfect the level from top to bottom and feature very little in the way of forgiveness. While a few of the challenges are unlocked from the beginning, you will have to complete the available ones in order to unlock more.

The multiplayer components are alive and well, but the addition of online leaderboards opens up a whole new level of competition on a worldwide scale as you attempt to beat scores from players around the globe. These leaderboards are even broken down into different difficulty levels and are present for each and every level throughout the game. That means that not only will you have the incentive to go back through the game and perfect the many levels, but you can also try to outperform other players across the globe.

To round out the collection, Gaijin Games has included a wealth of unlockable artwork, videos, audio tracks and special letters that tell a little story about each game. These include everything from gameplay trailers to special concept artwork that you can't see anywhere else. Of course, in order to view all of this additional content you're going to have to beat levels in the various games. Given the extremely high level of difficulty, it might have been nice if this content was available without the need to unlock it all, but at least you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you earned each and every piece of content if you're somehow skilled enough to unlock it all.

The BIT.TRIP titles have always featured extremely responsive and creative controls and you're going to need them when it comes to tackling the extra 120 diabolical challenges. All of the new levels are very well constructed and even with their insane level of challenge, they're all perfectly tameable for those who put in the time to tackle them all. You'll certainly never be able to blame the game for your failures, although there will be many times when you'll want to.

All of the old-school visuals and chip tune audio are firmly in place and even most of the new challenge levels feature the same musical tracks and visual elements, although there are some interesting twists tossed into the mix for players with a keen eye. Of course, given the amazing soundtracks and unique visual presentations the series has become so well-known for, it's no wonder the developers decided not to mess with a good thing.

Conclusion

It would have been amazing enough just to be able to own all six BIT.TRIP titles on one Wii disc, but getting 20 new challenges per game, not to mention a wealth of bonus content, makes this the definitive collection of BIT.TRIP goodness. If you're even remotely a fan of these games, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for you not to spring for this amazing compilation. BIT.TRIP COMPLETE truly lives up to its name and is a fitting tribute to one of the most unique and engaging video game series ever created.