By Joseph Leray
In anticipation for the impending release of “Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien” -- impending as in tomorrow -- Gaijin Games have released a new trailer to drum up one last burst of frothy excitement.
The first “Runner” was part of the original “Bit. Trip” series that started winning hearts and minds on WiiWare a few years ago, marrying rhythm and platforming mechanics with a purposefully stripped down 8-bit visual style. The basic mechanics seem similar in “Runner2” -- Commander Video is still running, jumping, and sliding -- but the series’ aesthetic has seen a major overhaul.
“The style change up … a little bit of it was story-driven. A little bit of it was, we were working on ‘Bit. Trip’ for so many years that we wanted to expand our wings a little bit,” explained Mike Roush, co-founder of Gaijin Games in an interview. “And also, we sort of have more power now on the Xbox, PSN, PC, and Mac, so that was also a factor.”
Eagle-eyed viewers will also notice that one of the unlockable characters in “Runner2” is called Whetfart Cheeseburger, which may explain the game’s ESRB rating: “T” for “crude humor.”
In any case, “Runner2” will be available on, like, every platform on February 26: Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, Steam for Mac, Linux, and PC, and Wii U. Gaijin are also running a special music bundle promotion: fans can pay what they want for six soundtracks from previous “Bit.Trip” games, but $20 will also score you a “Runner2” pre-order.