The WiiWare service was arguably a noble first attempt for Nintendo at bringing the gaming world a digital store. It was filled with a large variety of games of varying quality, but there were a few standout titles that were a cut above all the rest. One of those was a series by Gaijin Games called Bit.Trip. There were six games in the series that featured Atari/NES style visuals with high quality musical sound tracks. My favorite game in that series was Bit.Trip Runner, an auto scrolling rhythm platformer. It featured an amazing soundtrack (that would get stuck in my head for days) and was blisteringly difficult. It was also one of those games where you know anytime you screwed up it was your fault, not the game’s.
When Gaijin Games announced they were doing a sequel I was honestly a little hesitant at saying I wanted to play it. They were changing the visuals, making it multi-platform. I loved the first game so much I didn’t want to see it changed. Luckily, Runner 2 is as good, if not better than the previous game in the series and is worthy of the sequel treatment that it’s getting.
What You Need To Know
Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2 is, as was its predecessor, an auto-scrolling, rhythm platformer. You play as Commander Video, though there are about six other unlockable characters. Each level starts automatically and Commander Video just runs to the right. It’s up to you to make sure he avoids any of the obstacles in his way. To do that you use various button or analog stick inputs to slide, jump, block projectiles, spin around loops or kick obstacles out of the way. Each obstacle is set in time to music and will award you points based on how accurate you are with your inputs. Leaderboards show you how well you’re doing against your friends or other players around the world.
I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t the Question Block supposed to be a half hour long?” Yes, you’re right. However, we babble a lot in this episode and we have a great little interview with Jools Watsham from Renegade Kid; I didn’t want to cut any of it. I could have cut some of Tony and I babbling but it takes a lot of work to cut incoherent rambling in a way that still makes sense. So I said “whatever” and exported the whole thing. It’s exporting now and I bet the file size is going to be huge; 192kbps for a 47 minute thing. Madness! Oh, if you haven’t already figured it out, Jools Watsham sits in The Hot Seat this week. He chooses a category near to his heart; his own game.
The Question Block – 54
Round 1 – Brawl Music
Round 2 – eReader
Round 3 – PSN
Round 4 – Mutant Mudds (Jools Watsham)
We have another show. Did you know? We have a forum. We have a Facebook group. We have a Twitter. We have a flux capacitor. We have a YouTube channel. One of those is a lie. Be sure to follow Jools and Renegade Kid on Twitter too.
The Vita’s not doing so hot right now. I’m getting sick of hearing about it. I went through the same thing with the 3DS launch. These handhelds were launched with some typical, launch games but people always want something new. Vita sales will pick up soon enough. Things like Gravity Rush and a possible price drop are what I’m waiting for. You know what’s not going to sell? The PSP Go. Man, what happened to that thing? Lack of content, high price, no way to transfer your UMDs… yeah, Sony botched the PSP Go thing pretty bad. However, Sony did make the first, all digital platform so for that they have secured their place in the history books. Here’s the thing. I have a tendency to pick up old systems several years after their prime; for the novelty and to add to my collection. I imagine someday I will pick up a Go but depending on when that happens, it may be completely useless.
It’s only a matter of time before the PlayStation Network evolves past the point of PSP compatibility. When that happens, it’s going to be hard to add new games to a PSP. Granted the PSP has been hacked to oblivion and you can pirate just about anything you want at this point, but that doesn’t help somebody who wants to acquire things legally. Ten years from now I may be able to add games to a Go through by using a computer but that stuff always seems shady. It almost defeats the purpose of collecting a system like that. Read more…
Normally I write a whole thing here about the podcast. Not today. I got to be on a plane in a few hours and I want some sleep. So how about you listen to the podcast and write in the comments what people should read before they download the show.
Starring – Tony, Micah, Shannon, Shelby
Run time – 1:31:00
If you want to give Gravity Rush a try (and I think you should), the demo will be hitting North American and European PSN on May 29th and 30th. I played this demo while I was hunting for Kid Icarus AR cards in Walmart. The game looked great and the idea of shifting gravity has a lot of potential. The full game will hit shelves on June 12th and 13th for North America and Europe, respectively.
I really want a Vita, specifically for games like Persona 4: The Golden and Gravity Rush. I just bought a 3DS a couple weeks ago and I have barely played it. More than likely, if I buy a Vita for Gravity Rush I won’t play it either. Does that make me a bad person?
It’s that time again, where I go all nerd-crazy about Persona. First off, Persona 3 FES will be released on PSN tomorrow for the low price of $10 (USD). Ten dollars! Considering I played that game once thru for 130 hours, you are looking at a value proposition of less than eight cents per hour! It’s coming to the store as a PlayStation 2 Classic and that means it will only play on the PS3. So I guess P3P can retain its title of best portable version of P3.
Next a little public service announcement. Anyone that was excited for the Chie Satonaka Figma can nowplace their pre-order with the fine Japanese import site across the internet. I snagged mine over at AmiAmi a few days ago. She will be released sometime in June. No word yet on the Yukiko Amagi Figma but, rest assured, I am watching and waiting. Maybe someday we will get lucky and Max Factory will make more. Read more…
That’s not my pun by the way. Just in case y’all missed it, Atlus is slashing prices of the PSN versions of their PSP games. Most notably (for me anyway) are all three Persona PSP games. P3P is half off, folks. This is an effort to encourage all you Vita owners to drop some virtual cash on some digital games for your handheld system. Perhaps a little bit of a bummer since Atlus creates such good manuals and box art for their games and obviously the PSN versions don’t really have that stuff. Still, 20 bucks for Persona 3 is a steal. A STEAL I SAY! Check out the full ad below.
Anybody that reads my articles or has heard me talk knows my problem with digital distribution. I don’t like the idea of games as a service instead of games as goods. While I understand the advantages of digital games I don’t feel like the infrastructure is ready to support the whole industry. I’m not completely against all services. Steam has a proven track record of providing games to their customers while not falling into the pitfalls of a digital store front. However, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Nintendo’s multiple stores are yet to be proven. That’s where I have a problem.
Someday your 360 will not be able to access Xbox Live. Someday your PS3 will not ping the PlayStation Network. How will people react when they can no longer access hundreds of dollars of content? How would you feel if you could no longer play $300 worth of games because there is no server on the other end? I would feel pretty upset. This is a question that console makers have to be asking right now; at least I hope so. Nintendo is working on the Wii U while Microsoft and Sony are working on their next systems. Backwards compatibility isn’t a sure thing. The 360 will only play a select few Xbox games. The PS3 will play PS1 games but only some PS3s will play PS2 games. Will XBLA, PSN and WiiWare games work on the next generation of systems? And even if they do, how many systems do we go through before they don’t? It’s only a matter of time before these games will be unplayable. When that happens, when people lose hundreds of dollars of content, will we see trust in digital distribution sour? Read more…
The NFL license returns to Blitz, and EA Sports attempts to reinvigorate Midway’s long-troubled franchise with this latest entry available exclusively on Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.
I must admit that everything I know about football was learned from the original NFL Blitz, NFL Blitz ’99, and NFL Blitz 2000 from the Nintendo 64, arcade, and Dreamcast. If you listen closely, you can even hear my friends saying “Micah, your first-ever game review is for…a football game?” Well, I thought this would be a fun experiment to give the perspective of a Blitz fan and not necessarily a football fan.
Tony and I got a chance to talk with Mel Kirk and Neal Sorens from Zen Studios. This is a quick 30 minute interview where we talk about Pinball FX2 as well as the upcoming Zen Pinball 3D. Both Mel and Neal give us some behind the scenes info on what goes into making tables and working with Marvel. They also announce the North America release date for Zen Pinball 3D. As an added bonus, we somehow get to talking about Mario Kart in the end.
Zen Studios Interview
Run time – 36:37
Thanks again to Mel and Neal as well as everybody at Zen Studios. If you want to keep tabs on them, they have a Twitter account, a Facebook page and their forum. As always, you can listen to the normal Okie Cast on Mondays… except we probably won’t do one this week because of Christmas… so almost as always. And you can still get in on your chance to win a free game on our trivia podcast. If you liked those Zen Studio links then you might like our Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and forum links as well.