Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bit Generations: And all that jazz

Matt dropped off some loaner Bit Generation titles to go with the Sound Voyager that'd already gotten some play time, and I'm happy to say that this is the first time I've had a set of Game Boy batteries die mid-game (though the game when they died was, admittedly, Golden Axe, it was the Bit Generation titles and a little SpongeBob that set them up for the killin').

Colors stinks, if only because I can't tell what pushing the button's supposed to do with the color of the tiles.

Digidrive is similar, but here I don't even have the slightest clue what's going on. Matt's suggested on cg that one look up instructions. Sounds like a good idea. [Update: Now that I've visited GameFaqs and read Matt's comment, I've got a score of 1148m. Not too bad. Fairly addictive, but my impression of Bit Generations so far is that the games are nearly intuitive enough that instructions aren't necessary. Perhaps not the case here -- this one plays more like a conventional game with relatively simplistic (but very good) graphics. Now the Modern color scheme choices? :^P<####]

Orbital is quite a bit of fun, and is apparently quite fun to watch as well (I've had a few heads over my shoulder). I've already commented on my enjoyment of Sound Voyager, and mentioned to Matt that Voyager really needs a Game Boy Advance player on a Game Cube hooked up to a nice stereo system to really be appreciated. Orbital might benefit from the big screen as well, pixelated graphics or no. These games really are more about gameplay than visuals, though I can't, as we'll see below, stop thinking about how Voyager has really turned the conventional GBA game tropes (that's a bit reduntant, eh?) on their heads.

Sound Voyager is still far and away my favorite. I've played through the run of Sound Slaloms, and have now added a Sound Drive (iirc), Sound Chase, and Sound Cock (you chase a chicken) -- and a great number of Sound Catchers, up through the end of the middle tong of the level selection fork. Very original, and very sharp even with the minimalistic interface. If you like gaming, this is the cart to get from the Bit Generations series. Experimental, fun, challenging (challenging enough I often get frustrated enough to wish I weren't playing, until I finish the level), and a great overall game experience.

This is not to say that Orbital doesn't provide similar, micro-free-time-killing game play (just a touch more time required than WarioWare levels, though the Bit Generations games are, obviously, much tighter than anything you'll find in WW, by design), but Orbital is addictive more on the level of This Planet Sucks for the Atari 2600 than something that makes you rethink the way games should be created.

So who has links to Colors and Digidrive instructions?! ;^)

1 comment:

jvm said...

Note: Coloris, not Colors.

Quick explanations of each...

Coloris: the color of the cursor tells you how the square currently surrounded by cursor will be changed. If your colors are blue and yellow, with greens in between, then the cursor will either change a square more toward blue or more toward yellow, depending on whether it is blue or yellow respectively. Once you get 3-in-a-row of the same color, they drop out and the squares drop as if by gravity and random squares fill in the free space that is created at the top. When grey squares appear you must get rid of them by eliminating adjacent squares.

Digidrive: First, the thing on the right is a marker representing you (initially at 0 meters) and a grinder of some sort which is slowly coming up on you from below. The four lanes that make up the cross in the middle can be thought of as fuel tanks. When you put five chevrons of the same type in one of the lanes, you create a fuel tank with some fuel in it. Groups of five more of the same color will add to the tank. When a flashing chevron comes out, if it is sent into one of the lanes with a tank that fuel will be used to push your icon up the scale several meters away from the grinding piston.

Now, if you send the wrong color chevron into a tank, different things can happen. If you have only one tank and you send the wrong kind of chevron there, the tank is destroyed. If you have two tanks when you do this, one tank will be moved into the other, consolidating the fuel into that other tank. If you have three tanks, then the tank which was hit with the different chevron will be *copied* to the other two tanks, essentially doubling that tank's contribution to your fuel supply.

If you have four tanks, then the game shifts to a mode where you just get to fill tanks.

Use the button to fire any flashing chevrons you have in reserve. You start with one and earn extras by getting four tanks going at once.

The number of sides on a tank tells you how powerful the fuel is. Triangles are the lowest and can send you somewhere around 5-10 meters (at most). I've seen square, pentagonal, and hexagonal tanks. I'm told you can get circular tanks, which I would guess are very powerful.

It sounds complicated, but once you get the four tanks going, it's great fun.