BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien launched across all of the major gaming platforms this week, including the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Steam.
The BIT.TRIP series of games were first developed by Gaijin Games and published by Aksys Games. The original six games in the series were released for the Wii as seperate WiiWare releases that were later repackaged into compilations for the Wii and the Nintendo 3DS. The games were also ported to the PC and iOS by various publishers.
Each game in the series follows the adventures of Commander Video and features rhythm-based gameplay paired with electronic music. The gameplay varies with each game, ranging from pong-style action to fast-paced platforming.
BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is a sequel to BIT.TRIP Runner, the fourth game in the series. It is the first game in the series to come to the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Likewise, this is the first time gamers are able to play as Commander Video in HD.
The BIT.TRIP series of games have been received warmly by critics since the release of BIT.TRIP Beat, the first game in the series, in 2009. Gaijin Games is distributing a BIT.TRIP Lovers’ Bundle to promote the release of BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, which can include up to all seven BIT.TRIP soundtracks and a copy of the latest game via Steam.
Check out the trailer for BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien below:
On their developer blog, the Gaijin Games developers shared their experience releasing the game for each platform:
PSN – 1st to submit
- Minutes before uploading, we discovered an issue with the leaderboards that meant we had to cut a very minor leaderboard feature from this version. Luckily, it was just icing, and wasn’t the actual cake that we cut. Nor was it the cheese.
- We managed to sneak in an amazing description for something that we imagine no one will ever read. :)
- Andrew and I filled out the incredible submission forms over a few beers. I hope they accept forms filled out in crayon.
XBLA – 2nd to submit
- We packaged everything up all super nice and tasty, and sent it off, free of drama.
- Then we got word that everything we tied a nice bow around had to be delivered differently, and we spent a few days figuring out how to hand it off in just the right way. It was like when the TSA tells you to unpack and repack your luggage because they suspect that your 4 ounces of anal salve is a bomb.
- It was a minor delay, but we’ll still make the plane. But we did have a few Schlörtz Premium Malt Fluids on our way to the gate.
Wii U – 3rd to submit
- Again, mere minutes before uploading, we found a bug that we absolutely couldn’t ship with. And it wasn’t an easy fix either.
- Andrew took a step back, breathed deeply, and then ninjaed a fix on Monday, three days after we had initially wanted to submit. But this was an important feature, and we are happy that we found the bug now rather than after we shipped.
- We uploaded to Nintendo with confidence and even though we’re not always in the same office, I like to think that we all raised our glasses to one another for a job well done.
In a post arriving nearly three weeks later, the developers shared the technical differences between each release:
For technical reasons, we had to remove a few features from the PS3 version: depth of field, shadow filtering, and micro leaderboards at the end of every level. As a result of having no depth of field, the game is sharper and colors more vibrant.
Steam (Windows, OSX, Linux)
Because they run on a PC, the Steam versions are the most configurable, but also the most volatile: the game is only as good as your computer. And let’s be clear: this game was designed to be played with a gamepad. If you don’t have a wired Xbox 360 controller, you will still be able to play the game using the keyboard, but the gamepad controls are much more intuitive!
Steam also makes it easy to stay up to date with the latest fixes.
It’s also on sale until launch!
The clear difference with the Wii U version is that you can play the entire game on either your gamepad or your TV. Also, because it is the newest platform with the most memory, it has the best overall load times of any of the consoles. Initial loading may be a bit slower, but it speeds up as you play since we can keep more content in memory, which means fewer loads overall.
The Xbox build has the slowest load times of the consoles. It’s possible we will be able to speed this up in a future update.
Gaijin Games is a small development team, which makes pulling off a multi-platform release all the more challenging. On the other hand, their independent nature affords them greater transparency with gamers. BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is now available as a digital download for all major gaming platforms.