BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm for Linux Review

very good
key review info
  • Game: BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien for Linux
  • Platform: Linux
  • Gamepad support: Yes  
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
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Runner2 art

BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is an unusual 2D platformer that tries to make its way into a busy market by using some unique gameplay features.

As the name suggests, this is not the first game in the series, but it is the first one that is rather different from the other ones that came before it.

Six games have been released in this franchise before Runner2 and all tried to emulate the feeling of the 8-bit era, while using a few modern features that were hidden under the hood.

The gameplay is described as a music/rhythm-platformer, but it's not as complicated as it sounds. In any case, if you have played the other titles from Gaijin Games, this latest one shouldn't feel all that different.

Installation

Steam for Linux has rendered this part of the review pretty much useless. All you have to do is install the game and play it.

If by any chance the game is not displaying properly, the usual culprit is the video card. Either you have a video card that doesn't support 3D acceleration (like an integrated Intel card), or you don't have new drivers for your system.

In any case, if you really want to see why the game is not running, just navigate to the Steam folder (which is hidden in the Home directory), locate the game directory, and launch it from a terminal.

Gameplay and story

These types of games don't need a story backbone, but interestingly enough, the developers of BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien have chosen to deliver a small narrative, which has no real consequences for the player.

Unlike the previous games, where the gameplay was inspired by the 8-bit era, Runner 2 is actually a great step forward. It may feel rather similar to the other titles in the series, but the developers took a few pointers from today's games.

The goal of Runner2 is very simple, to reach the end of the level without touching anything. This includes enemies, traps, or just the level itself.

The player can perform a number of moves, like jumping, sliding, and kicking, and later in the game a few other ones will be unlocked.

Runner2 features a better learning curve than its predecessors, but it's still a very hard game to beat, even on the easy settings.

The Good

Gaijin Games made the decision to upgrade the graphics of their latest title and move past the 8-bit legacy, improving the general look considerably.

The levels are now a lot cleaner and the obstacles can be more easily identified during the hectic run of the main character.

Also, the entire system of rewards gives the players the necessary impulse they need in order to replay the levels. When you finish a game, even with a perfect score, and you see that a friend of yours is still ahead, there is no other option but to replay the level on a greater difficulty.

The Bad

This is not a game that requires a lot of brain power in order to play it. The simple goal of reaching the end of the level untouched means that your reflexes are the ones being tested.

This implies that the response of the controls have to be spot on, and I regret to say that one of the main reasons for the difficulty of game is the fact that controls don't work flawlessly, as they should.

Players can choose between a keyboard and a controller, but the keyboard is not actually an option. It might feel like the perfect set of controls, but this is true only of the first levels.

Once you're required to use four keys in a level, a controller is a must. The problem with the controller is that, surprisingly, it doesn't give the same precision and you will have to replay entire levels because of it.

The Good

  • Funky atmosphere
  • Improved learning curve
  • Beautiful graphics

The Bad

  • The controller response time is not perfect
  • The hard difficulty level is almost impossible

Conclusion

BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is a long name for game, but it compensates with great quality and replay value.

If you master the controls, Runner2 is a deeply satisfying game that will keep you coming for more. Not for revealing the ending of a story that doesn't really matter, but to keep your name on the first position.

story 7
gameplay 8
concept 9
graphics 8
audio 9
multiplayer 0
final rating 8.2
Editor's review
very good
 

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