Game Review: Bit.Trip Fate (WiiWare)

There are quite a few of the Bit.Trip games on WiiWare now. They utilize retro styled graphics and sound along with retro themed gameplay for a challenging old school experience. Some of the games in the past have imitated Pong (Bit.Trip Beat) or a 2-D side-scrolling platformer (Bit.Trip Runner). The newest in the series, Bit.Trip Fate, plays like a horizontally scrolling 2-D shooter.

Play as the Bit.Trip mascot CommanderVideo as you move from left to right and shoot everything that moves. CommanderVideo travels across a wavy line that you can run back and forth on. It limits your movements a bit but you can still avoid most enemies and bullets. You can also shoot in any direction. After surviving waves of enemies, you’ll face a boss. There are about half a dozen levels for you to try and get a high score on.

Defeated enemies drop plus signs that you can pick up. Gather enough and you’ll level up and gain more firepower. You’ll also be able to take an extra hit, but be careful as one hit will cause you to go down a level. Apparently, CommanderVideo has a family now (like Ms. CommanderVideo) and when you see an icon of one of them, snag it for a power-up to increase your firepower even more. Some of the power-ups are cameo characters from other games, like Super Meat Boy.

There are two options to control the game. You can move CommanderVideo around with the nunchuck and point the Wii remote at the screen to shoot in any direction. Or you can use the Classic Controller and shoot with the right analog stick. I prefer using the Classic Controller, personally.

Bit.Trip Fate is a decent little WiiWare title, but I only wish it had a true two-player mode. The game instructions say you can have one player control the nunchuck and the other player use the remote to shoot, but I really don’t count that as multiplayer. Sorry. Even so, if you enjoy old-school shooters you may want to pick up Bit.Trip Fate.

Kid Factor:

Bit.Trip Fate is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence. All you do is shoot at geometric shapes, so it’s really not that violent. Reading skill isn’t necessary, but younger gamers might get frustrated at the higher difficulty.

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