- don't want to muddy my blog with random stuff, so here we go!
- reasons BIT.TRIP RUNNER pisses me off (and not in a good way):
- 1) it's a music game, and your actions aren't tied to the music.
- compare to vib-ribbon, like in this game, you control a character running right, with obstacles correlating to the music. in each game, one button, or combination of buttons will get you past a specific type of obstacle.
- the difference is in vib ribbon, you press the button in time with the audio-event that the obstacle is tied to, and in runner, you press it a little before. the audio-event occurs as the obstacle passes meaning you have to press a button before-hand, your interactions are not in time with the music. for example if there is an obstacle you must jump over that plays a note, you must jump before the note is played, you are detached from the music. imagine if you were playing rock band, and instead of playing the notes in time with the music, you had to play them a split second earlier, to tell your character to play the notes on time.
- take a look at this video from the vib-ribbon tutorial:
- at about 0:35 you can see an arrow marked on the line before the obstacle, this is the point where you press the button to clear the obstacle, and in vib ribbon, THIS is the point where the obstacle is synced to the music. in runner, obstacle is synced, but your actions are not, you must perform them in advance.
- 2) the graphics are confusing
- the graphics are gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but a lot of the time, foreground and background elements are the same colour, or very busy at the same time, making it hard to separate one from the other. in a game that relies on you knowing precisely where your obstacles are, this is not good.
- 3) the worst thing about the game, instant death.
- when you mess up once, just once, you are taken to the start of the level. this would be fine if levels were short, or you could skip them. but sometimes you can play a level perfectly, for several minutes, miss a jump or press the wrong button and you are taken right back to the start. if you are determined to see the later levels in this game, this will happen to you a lot. this is just plain fucking stupid. this is what I call "fake difficulty", the game isn't actually all that hard, but it feels like it because you keep failing. the truth is perfection, even when you are highly skilled, is statistically unlikely. given enough oppertunities you will fuck up eventually, the longer a level, with more obstacles, the odds of you making some stupid mistake are higher, and because the game demands perfection from start to finish, the odds of you seeing the finish at all fall dramatically.
- why does the player need to repeatedly prove they can get past the first 2 minutes of a level perfectly, 100 times, just to die trying that hard bit in the 3rd minute? it's not difficulty, it's a design decision somebody made to waste the players time, and trick them into thinking the game is difficult.
- this could be fixed so easily, solutions are so obvious I find it impossible to believe the designers of the game didn't think of them; either add checkpoints, or let the player make a few mistakes before they die, like vib-ribbon does, like guitar hero/rock band/frequency/amplitude/ANY GOOD MUSIC GAME does.
- the system for it is practically already in place, there are items you collect in the levels that change a trail behing your character and increase the score multiplier. if, when the player hit an obstacle, they lost a level of these upgrades instead of restarting immediately, the game would be infinitely more fair.
- a game like this is meant to be fun, more than it is time consuming, the instant death and back-to-the-start design was a deliberate decision by the people making the game, and it is the key thing turning a potentially brilliant game, into a horrible upsetting experience in the later levels.
- I got about halfway through the game, and each time I finished a level, my feeling was "thank fuck that's over and I never have to do it again", the feeling I should have gotten was "wow, that was fun!"
- 4) no level skip
- they make the levels long and almost impossible, and they don't let me skip them to find other levels I like? this is super uncommon in music games, in all the ones I've listed above, you always have a choice of songs/levels, and often you don't need to complete them all before you unlock more, in this game you must unlock one level at a time. at any point in the game, there is only one level you haven't yet completed available to you.
- 5) unlocking a level on normal difficulty, doesn't unlock it at easy difficulty.
- what the fuck is up with this? I have PROVEN I an do this shit harder, I just want to carry on where I left off (at the ridiculously long level I couldn't get past), and you're making me repeat all that again? stupid.
- 6) it could have been soooooo good.
- the problems I've listed make the game unenjoyable for anyone who plays past the first few levels, but they all could have been fixed without much difficulty on the developers part, it's plain to see the game has been crafted with love and care, but that it gets these things wrong is more upsetting because of it. if the game was an obvious rip-off of vib-ribbon, or anything else, I could just say "whatever, couldn't expect more from someone who doesn't care about what they are making", but this breaks my heart, I want to love this game, it could have been great. but it isn't. and that's why I'm writing about it I guess.
- there are a few other issues, but they are pretty minor compared to what I've listed, and I've run out of energy, I totally made a wall of text here...
- sorry ^__^;
a guest Dec 20th, 2011 1,660 Never
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