Having not played the original Bit. Trip Runner, I didn’t really know what was going on. If I’m honest, the only reason I decided to try out Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien was because of the unlockable character in Super Meat Boy, Commander Video. Thankfully the game started up instantly by giving me a basic backstory of what happened in Bit. Trip Runner, which was good because it made it easier for people like me to pick up and understand without having to play Its predecessor. The game was already off to a good start.
As I loaded up the first level, one thing became apparent quickly; the character ran. Boy did he run fast. He didn’t stop unless he hit an obstacle, in which case the player would be sent back to the start of the level or the last hit checkpoint. At first, it’s pretty simple. Collect the gold, jump over some enemies and up some slopes. But then it adds a slide which allows you to slide under low hanging enemies and walls. Okay, two buttons, not that hard, right? NO! Add a kick to knock down weak walls before you faceplant them, add a block button to block some...blocks, and a button to spring off some springboards. This gets very hard to control when you have to deflect some blocks flying towards you, then duck under some magma balls, then jump to get gold, kick down a wall and quickly throw your hand over the keyboard to the spring button to launch off that springboard otherwise you find yourself falling and having to do that whole segment again. Oh and a dance button because sometimes you just want to boogie.
From what I’ve seen from Bit. Trip Runner by watching gameplay videos, it was 8-bit, retro and 2-D. Runner 2 completely changes that. The path is still 2-D, but the background is a quite nice, detailed 3D landscape. Also moving away from the 8-bit side of things there were pretty detailed characters and obstacles.
The music is fitting - a relaxing song that get’s more upbeat the more power ups you collect and the more you dodge, jump, block, kick, and slide to get past obstacles. The level design is also very well done starting off with simple puzzles which truly made me believe ‘How can this get hard?’. Adding all the different controls did this. Whilst it was annoying to control sometimes, it’s what stops this game being too easy. Something I wasn’t too sure about was the end of the world. No, not a zombie apocalypse or Legend-of-Zelda-style-moon-falling-to-the-earth end of the world. No, I mean the last level of each world. I expected just a very difficult level, similar to the Brownie ‘Boss fight’ from Super Meat Boy. I believe they pulled it off quite well, except for one thing. There’s a massive plane shooting bombs at you and trying to run you over and the same relaxing song is playing from when you were jumping through the clouds without a care. I found myself putting my own music on because it really didn’t make me feel like this was a boss, and more like it’s just a level with a lot of obstacles, not a level where a plane is trying to blow you up.
By dodging obstacles, collecting gold and power ups, you earn points. This is used in a leaderboard system once you beat the level. By collecting all the gold and power ups, you get to go in a cannon and shoot yourself at a target to earn a few extra points. Dancing also earns you a few additional points so you can brag to your friends about your amazing score.
Overall, Runner 2 is a decent game that is perfect if you're wanting to kill a few hours but, after a while, it can get a bit repetitive. It's well worth checking out but may not appeal to everybody’s taste. So don’t expect to find yourself playing this for a long time.
- Hard, in the good way
- Good level music
- Good bosses
- Gets difficult to control in later levels
- Unfitting boss music
- Not one you can play for too long