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United States

Tue 17th Mar 2009

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Jared commented on Review: Bit.Trip: Beat (WiiWare):

After playing last night, I originally thought this game deserved an 8. But then I began reconsidering.

My first criticism of the game was that the file size is large for the Wii. We all know storage is a problem on this platform, so 312 blocks eats up a bit (pun unintended) of real estate. Of course, the size is no doubt from the high-quality track and sound samples. Taking this into consideration, more levels would have increased the game's size even more.

In the end, the high-quality audio wins out over the largish file size. As the game is all about audio (which makes me wonder if the future Commander Video adventures will be based on other senses?), this game would have suffered if the audio quality was any less. Tracks are stellar and catchy, and it is hard not to nod to the beat at times. So I could not bring myself to fault the game over its size.

The other criticism I had was that the backgrounds at times were too distracting. The best background visual I liked so far was the sequence in the second level when it suddenly turns red. It's not just a solid color however, as there is some subtle texturing in the background. It's just the fact that my brain is making my eyes quite literally strain to keep up with all the beats, complicated by poor contrast during some of the stages. It doesn't hurt my eyes, but they were certainly straining.

Unfortunately, there is no remedy for this and players will just have to deal with the eye strain. I think if they took a moment during development to remedy this by ironing out some of the busy visualizations, it would have easily received a 10. This could have been implemented purposefully to increase difficulty, but I don't feel that visual strain should be a valid method of increasing difficulty.

Aside from pressing the buttons during the game, another neat subtlety was the rumble in the Wiimote to the beat of the music. I thought this was fantastic, although totally not required. It seems like it will help players keep with the rythym.

So, my rating also coincides with the 9 as assigned by the writers here at WWW. It's pros, inluding the $6 price point, outweigh the few cons this game has. A great introductory game to the series, leaving me looking forward to replay as well as further games.

I think Gaijin set a reasonable level for themselves, but not so high that they can't improve or focus their creative energies into future games. I hope that they will note concerns with this game (Eye strain - can I say it enough? Also let's see if the next game's size can come down a bit too) and really hit it home with their next release.