Back in March, Aksys and Gaijin released the first Bit.Trip game for WiiWare. Bit.Trip: Beat was a rhythmic take on Pong, where you needed to hit all of the balls that came your way to succeed. The balls happen to come at you in a rhythmic pattern, at varying speeds and locations. When you play well, it creates a little tune. Start missing, and it sounds like a mess... and you eventually lose.
The second game in the line, Bit.Trip Core, isn't too far off from this concept. But rather than building a chiptune Pong game, this one is sort of like a rhythm-based version of the old arcade game, Space Zap, which put you in a firebase at the middle of the screen and let you fire shots out in four directions. The difference with Core is that you aren't shooting ships... you're again trying to hit blocky balls, which turns into a tune.
Check out this video that Aksys posted yesterday, it should give you a better idea about how it goes.
In case it isn't apparent, the line appears when you begin pushing in a direction with the Wii's D-pad. You then need to push the action button (I want to say it's the 1 button... but hey, it could be 2, too) as the balls cross the line. As you can tell from the trailer, the game doesn't just throw the blocks at you in straight lines. When I played it a few weeks ago, even the straight, slow blocks started giving me trouble after awhile. I can't even imagine holding up when things get as hectic as they do in this trailer. As you start to slip, the game's graphics devolve, eventually leaving you with a black-and-white, Pong-like existence before finally ending the game in abject failure.
It's pretty rough, but I still dig the art style in it. I wonder if the whole faux-retro thing will ever totally wear thin, or if I'll always be a total sucker for new games that (deliberately) look or sound really old...
Core is due out on WiiWare sometime this summer. Hey, isn't it summer right now? Weird. Oh, here's a video of Space Zap in action, so you can see that I'm not entirely crazy.