Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien Review

By Spencer Pressly on March 22, 2013

The Bit.Trip series has always been known for doing things rather differently and while a sequel to the extremely popular Bit.Trip Runner may not seem like much at first, Runner2 finds new ways to amaze. With Runner2, Gaijin Games has gone above and beyond instead of just playing it safe and resting on their laurels. Also having the entire game's story narrated by Charles Martinet (Mario) adds an entirely new level of charm.

Runner2 continues the adventures of Commander Video and friends as they get into all sorts of trouble in five brand new levels. You will have to jump, slide, kick, block, dance, and of course RUN across five new worlds. This time the world is no longer the only thing in 3D as the characters ditch their old sprites for a fancy new polygon facelift. There are eight characters to play as and each character has plenty of unlockable costumes.

If you have never played the original game, Runner2 is a automatic running game that has you testing how fast your reflexes are as you try to make it through each level flawlessly. You will also be tempted to collect different items throughout the stage to unlock new stages or even costumes, but these are completely optional.

You might think it odd that you don't have to collect every item in a game like Runner2, but your main focus is in surviving each stage. The challenge each Bit. Trip game is known for continues with Runner2 and pushes the envelope for how far this game will test your patience. There are three different difficulties to help you make it through each stage if you ever find yourself stuck on any particular stage.

There is a trick that is key to making it through every level is Runner2 and that is the music. As you run through each level, your actions will make new sounds that add up to a song that is sure to get you humming. The different ways that Runner2 lets you interact with the game's soundtrack really pulls you into the game as you play each level over and over. This is definitely a game that is worth playing with some headphones when you have them.

Transitioning from sprite based characters in Runner, to fully polygonal characters in Runner2 has really helped the game make a new look for the series. The game's lush backgrounds in each world are just as vibrant as the characters you play. Adding eyes and a mouth to background objects never seems to lose its charm, while maintaining just enough creepiness to be glad that they are far off.

The light hearted 2D cutscenes showing off Commander Video going to each new world are a fun change of pace that is simple, but catchy. These are wonderfully written scenes and delivered wonderfully by Charles Martinet. The only problem is there are so few that you will wish the game added a few more in between worlds.

Besides the hundreds of levels to survive in Runner2, perfectly clearing a level with everything and beating leaderboards will keep you more than busy. Completionist will have a blast with all the collectables, secrets, and mastering each level perfectly. This is easier said than done and will require a lot of time and patient. Leaderboards also pop up right as you start a level, but don't show your friends scores and just the top scores worldwide.

Final Thoughts

Runner2 bleeds originality and content that will keep you coming back for more every time. Even with all of the changes made from the original game, Runner2 surpasses every other Bit. Trip game with ease. Runner2 is a must-own downloadable and sure to be a game that you return to on a regular basis throughout the months.

Challenging levels.
Interactive soundtrack.
In game sponsors.
How long it takes to learn every action.
Leaderboard lacks some features in game.
Playing without headphones on.
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