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A sequel very much worth playing

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    Bit.Trip Presents…Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    A sequel very much worth playing

    Runner2 is a speedy game where the premise is that you are a runner wearing a black tracksuit sent back in time because you defended your friends from a laser blast. It’s actually a sequel to Bit Trip Presents Runner. Both games are sidescrolling platformers with a rail. This is a speedy game where your job is to run and jump and reach the stage’s end.

    Gameplay is complicated, because of the many obstacles you have to face, but it’s also fair. You have a checkpoint each level, so you don’t have to worry about the game being broken, because it isn’t. You get to choose from several characters, and quite a few costume designs, though each of these has to be unlocked (except for the female character who’s available right away). A Rewards section counts up your achievements, like jumping 100 times, but I’ve yet to see what this does. I’m not sure it grants you anything.

    You’ll be kicking enemies while you run, ducking them, holding jump longer than usual to float over gaps in the stage, and loop-de-looping by pressing down a button you wouldn’t otherwise press. At the end of each stage is a target which you launch out of a canon at, to get to the center if you can. The narrator who voices the cutscenes is presented with some pretty smart dialogue to read.

    From the get go, you can choose between easy, normal, and hard modes, but only on the map screen, not under options, a little confusingly. I really enjoyed the option to change difficulty from the start. Level 1 has 14 stages to complete, plus two hidden stages and a key-unlocked stage. There are transporters to 16-bit retro stages hidden in some of the maps. If you run into one of these transporters, you’ll go to a 16-bit stage to complete a completely different stage from the stage you were on, which you can replay at any time. You autosave whenever you finish a level, and even as soon as you quit a level.

    Young gamers and women gamers might enjoy this game a lot. It’s designed so you can jump in right away and have fun. The appealing graphics are designed so you think how cute the in-game world is. As a man who’s totally a baws at runner games, and especially LOVES sidescrolling runners, I found the game to be not very challenging, but a blast because of its runner gameplay. If I were given the choice, I would have left out the kick mechanic because I think it takes away from the running theme, but all in all this game gets high marks from me.

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