We’ve been wowed by a very addictive, brilliant, retro-styled video game of late called Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien.
The full title is above but… well, we’re not writing THAT out every time we mention it. Okay? It plays like traditional platformers from the ‘90s heyday—think of the SNES and grin like a donkey.
Now, 2D platformers are frowned upon by many modern games players who have become used to endless violent, dark, movie-esque 3D first-person shooters.
This is not only stupid, it’s wrong. It’s also uncultured! Runner 2 is not uncultured. It’s excellent and we recommend it to you all. Don’t take our word for it, either, it received rave reviews and is considered one of the best games of 2013.
It’s like entering an addictive music exercise world where you don’t have to do anything strenuous, which is pretty damn awesome.
In Runner 2 your protagonist, Commander Video, runs forward automatically like some diseased lunatic. He will absolutely not stop… until you are dead!
As he/she runs along stuff gets in your way you have to avoid, with levels growing in intensity as you progress.
It’s all based on music, timing, memory, reaction speeds, and button combinations.
You have to jump, slide, launch, deflect, dance, spin, vault, circumnavigate, and other physics-defying stuff, around all manner of obstacles in your path.
The impeccable timing requires for perfect jumps—the complexity of stages is reminiscent of retro games such as Nintendo’s Donkey Kong (for which there’s a great documentary: The King of Kong). There’s a mathematical quality here.
As you go along you have to collect gold bars and red + signs in order to open up further levels, and boost your score.
It’s all rather glorious, and the Petrified Productions soundtrack provides a real oomph factor.
As you collect + signs the music grows in intensity until it reaches a crescendo. Man alive, it is awesome.
It’s also difficult, so if you treat repetition like you’d treat a Great White Shark sauntering over to you at a bar (with it’s misogynistic chat up lines, vomit-inducing aftershave, and hepped up sense of over importance—they’re all the same, dammit!), it probably isn’t for you.
If you like a fun challenge, though, you can’t go wrong.
A simple concept? Indeed, but so is Tetris and Hungry Hungry Hippos. And we love them.
So you’ll love this! It’s about £10 and is available on the Wii U, PS3, Microsoft Windows, iPhone, and numerous other devices.
In 2018 the third instalment in the series was here. Runner3 was something of a minor disappointment, though.
The shift into 2.5D doesn’t quite pay off and there are some minor niggling issues with it.
Runner3 is still good fun, we must say, just don’t go in expecting a total masterpiece. Its predecessor has that title.
And for that, we can only ever recommend Runner2—it’s a platforming classic that we’re now itching to play again.