I posted this on another forum, and thought it would be of interest to some people here. Some quick impressions of Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (PC version) after playing for about 90 minutes this evening:
So far I'm quite liking it, but with one big caveat.
I actually quite enjoyed the first Bit Trip Runner game, but was really terrible at it, to the point that after a few hours of playing I had a pretty good idea I was never getting anywhere close to beating it. Still, that was enough to get me to spring for the second one, and so far, I'm enjoying it a lot more than the first. For one thing, the soul-crushing difficulty has been toned down, and even though the game is still heavy on memorization and all sorts of trial and error, it feels a lot more fair now. I think the checkpoints have a lot to do with that; messing up on a really long level right near the finish line in the first was really frustrating at times. The jump mechanics also seem a lot more forgiving, with a "float" ability to slow down your fall after a jump by holding down the button. The game also has a lot more to keep the levels interesting; stuff like branching paths with collectable items, different characters, alternate exits and things like that. I've been playing at "Just right" (default) difficulty, but there are also two higher difficulty levels that I haven't tried, plus an "Easy" difficulty below that.
The one main problem I have with it is that the keyboard controls on the PC version are really terrible, and cannot be remapped. In fact, they specifically recommend that you just use an Xbox360 controller. That's what I'm doing and it seems to work OK, but non-remappable keys in PC games are a bit of a pet peeve of mine.