I come to a challenge for this review. How do you review a game as random, wonderful and great as Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien and make it’s concept sound amazing. With such a simple concept, there is no hidden meaning in the story, there is no twist on the gameplay that makes it stand out amongst the sea of games on the market. The game is just short and simple; but it is, without a doubt in my mind, the best way to spend $15 dollars for a video game.
Bit Trip’s Runner 2 plays very similar to the first game. If you haven’t played the first game you don’t really have to worry but I would suggest picking up next time you see it in the Humble Indie Bundles or find it on Steam. The game continues the adventure of Commander Video, the Rhythm Alien mentioned in the subtitle, as he gets transported to a distant land where he must jump, dodge, and dance his way back to the Bit Trip.
Following 5 different levels including a city in the sky, a forest full of paranormal creatures, and a volcanic wasteland full of sad furnaces. Each level is imaginative and has their own theme in terms of music and challenges to complete as Commander Video runs through the worlds. Along the way there are various dangers that he must dodge, while jumping over gaps and enemies, to sliding and kicking down doors that stand in his way.
Runner 2 has a very interesting art style to it, moving away from the 2D pixels of the original to a full 3D model. It makes for a great update to the previous title, but it has the problem of being very distracting when something cool is going on in the background that you want to look at, but run into a wall and have to start over again.
What sells Runner 2 though is the gameplay. As Commander Video makes his way throughout the course he is given, dodging the objects that are thrown at him, there is a tune that plays after ever successful dodge. This makes the music for Runner 2 absolutely amazing as your really getting into the beat of the game. Of course there are other things to do on the course, you have to collect a set amount of gold during ever round, when you are successful you get the option to launch Commander Video out of a cannon for extra points. Course also have a 8-bit mode that can be unlocked, bonus characters, hidden tracks, unlockable costumes and more.
If there is anything negative to say about the game, it would be that it is short; with only 5 levels with a various amount of sub-levels, and 3 difficulty levels that don’t really change much for the game. There is very little reason to go back and play the game besides from the awesome music, unlocking the side characters and costumes, as well as the 8-bit challenge levels.
Bit Trip Presents: Runner 2 is possibly one of the best running games ever put on the market. It’s calm, simple and relaxing like most casual games in the genre, with just the right difficulty curve that makes it accessible to everyone. It is difficult to describe how great it is just because of it’s simplicity, but the game is easily the best thing you could get for $15 bucks.