KuraIthys Jan 31, 2013 @ 12:10am
PC vs. Wiiware. A comparison
I just thought I'd share this for anyone curious about it. I got the PC version of this mostly by accident (from one of the humble bundles), but I've had the Wii version of this for quite some time.

I just played through this version a little to see what it was like, and I thought I'd share my conclusions and observations in case anyone was curious.

OK, so the PC version has a few features the Wii version lacks. It's obviously capable of running at higher resolutions, and (the steam version at least) has achievements, online scores, and difficulty settings which the Wiiware release does not. (The steam version also has a portal- themed stage).

However, while these extra features are certainly nice, it's difficult not to notice the flaws.

Let's start with the graphics. Now, you'd think, given the relative weakness of the Wii that the PC might have an edge here, but I would say that's rather debatable. The PC port's graphics are very bright, and rather harsh compared to the Wii version. This might not seem like much, but it has some effects which make the game look a lot more 'retro' than it was on the Wii. (and also just doesn't really do the backgrounds any favours.)

I should point out that running the Wii version on a Wii U has the effect of making Wii games brighter as well, but nowhere near as much as this.

In any event, you will definitely notice the difference between PC and Wii if you see them side-by side. Which is better is mostly a matter of taste I guess, but it is still worth mentioning.

It's also apparent that the PC version doesn't run that great. My PC is quite powerful, but while not slow as such, the game can lag unpredictably on PC, while the Wii version runs consistently, and smoothly, with no apparent lag either in the graphics, or the input.

This is important, because input lag makes this game incredibly difficult. (I once ran the Wii version through a video capture card. It was easily playable if you played it using a live overlay with minimal video processing, but even minor video processing - such as deinterlacing introduced enough lag to make it near unplayable. The PC version isn't as bad as that, but it does introduce a noticable lag which can be a problem at times.)

This brings us to the final point. The controls. Even without lag, playing this with a mouse makes it very apparent that this was not how the game was designed.
It works, but it is clearly an inelegant workaround.
Playing this with a mouse isn't nessesarily less accurate, (notwithstanding mistakes I've been making personally due to being used to the Wii controls)
But it becomes very uncomfortable very quickly. The Wii control scheme for this game is much more comfortable and consistent in my opinion.

(also as a minor additional point, the Wii controller rumbles in time to the beat, and if you hit the nether, the sounds play exclusively through the controller's speaker)

So anyway, I just thought I'd share that with anyone that wanted an idea of what the versions were like.

Personally, I would recommend that if you have the choice, you get this for Wii.

It's available for Wiiware (which is still accessible if you have a Wii U instead - assuming you have a Wii remote)

It's also available as part of a Wii compilation disk which contains all 6 bit.trip games that I found recently. (A new copy of which didn't cost me much).
The compilation apparently contains extra features compared to the Wiiware version (such as adjustable difficulty), but I haven't done a comparison yet.

In any event, The PC version is OK if you can't get anything else. But this game is definitely better on the Wii.

Showing 1-15 of 37 comments
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Pikmin May 9, 2013 @ 10:10pm 
You really thought the Wii controls were good?

If I remember correctly, the controls are completely gyroscopic which doesn't bode well for accurate games like these.
Some Random Guy May 12, 2013 @ 1:30pm 
id have to agree with him. i bought this version cuz it was cheap and id only ever played the wii demo and i found the wii controls to be way more accurate in my case compared to any input method the pc gives you
KuraIthys May 18, 2013 @ 10:17am 
That's an interesting bias you have there, pikmin. - The proof is in the gameplay. - Go play the wii version for a bit if you can, then come back and play the PC version.

The mouse control for this game is terrible and uncomfortable, and it is difficult to do accurate movements quickly. And the accuracy of the Wii version is actually very good. I think you underestimate both how accurate accelerometer based controls can be, and just how much Bit Trip Beat's gameplay is designed very specifically around this control scheme.

For one thing, the Wii controls are more or less absolute; Put the controller in the same orientation, and you get the same result. It really helps when getting to an exact position quickly, unlike on PC where the mouse motions are entirely relative to the current position of the mouse. (Alos, if you play with tilt controls on a cheap android device you start to realise just how good the wii remote actually is. - and that you really don't want to be tilting the screen when playing bit trip beat...)

Your comment clearly isn't based on actually playing it though, because if you'd actually played both versions I very much doubt you'd say the wii version has innacurate controls.

But by all means, don't let me get in the way of your ingrained biases...
CtrlAltDestroy Jun 1, 2013 @ 8:22am 
Disappointed with this thread. I was expecting a breakdown of the subtle pattern changes in the songs, instead of just obvious stuff like control changes.

After playing the crap out of both versions, I can honestly say I like the Wii's controls more. I still can't nail down Descent Part 5's challenge because of the relative mouse movements. Though, with careful tweaking of the mouse speeds in the menu, you can make it much easier on yourself.

The most common cause of game stuttering is having too many programs running in the background, regardless of how powerful your computer is. If your processor's juggling enough threads, the game's gonna skip, regardless of how much RAM is free. It's usually not noticeable in other games, but in rhythm games it sticks out like a sore thumb because timing is so important. Close background programs and try again. You might also try setting the processor affinity for the game to only run on one core, reducing the amount of processor juggling.

Graphics-wise, I prefer the PC version easily. They reworked all the models and textures slightly to look better in HD.
KuraIthys Jun 6, 2013 @ 8:33am 
Fair enough. I mainly mention the controls because the difference sticks out like a sore thumb. I personally don't like the PC graphics much (Higher definition, sure, but all that really seems to result in is harsh edges and drawing attention to details that you're probably not supposed to see.), but I guess that's a matter of taste.
I didn't cover extensive comparisons of the levels, songs, and so on, because, honestly, I found the PC version close to unplayable. I think I got about halfway through 'transition' before my wrist was so sore that I had to stop. And considering I can typically play transition on the Wii version to within 1 or 2 beats of a perfect score... That really put me off. - it's kind of Hard to do a truly thorough comparison, especially of more subtle points when you can't even get through an entire level because it's just too physically uncomfortable to play for that long...
Kvalheim Jun 26, 2013 @ 12:43am 
I found the PC controls perfectly fine, tbh. While it takes a little time to get it nailed down how much you have to move to hit certain positions, it works well in the end. You could say you also have a lot of bias too xD coming from,wii.
KuraIthys Jun 26, 2013 @ 6:04pm 
The bias is very true... I mean, I've played for over 100 hours... XD. Still, I find the movements required for the PC version physically uncomfortable to do. It does actually work reasonably well, compared to say, trying to use the tilt controls on my android tablet. (ironic, considering how the wii controls work), but, painful is painful... XD
sfnhltb Jul 10, 2013 @ 3:35am 
So how does it work on the PC with the Wiimote or does the game not support that for some reason?
Kvalheim Jul 10, 2013 @ 4:05am 
Im pretty sure the wiimote doesn't work on PC in general without some technical hacking wizardry. It's just played with the mouse
KuraIthys Jul 22, 2013 @ 8:58am 
No, you can't use the wiimote on PC. If you could, I probably wouldn't be complaining so much about the controls in the PC version. - (OK, so technically you can use a Wii remote with a PC if you do a lot of awkward hacking - I have done that... But it doesn't work that well because all you end up doing is using a Wii remote to emulate moust & keyboard controls... And that usually doesn't work out so well even if you can get through all the complexities of setting it up.)

The PC version of Bit.Trip.Beat is played using the mouse. (Or possibly a gamepad) - Ironically, given how they play, Bit.Trip Beat probably suffers the most from this kind of change - Bit.trip core by comparison has a control scheme that would transfer almost flawlessly to anything with a d-pad and some buttons, and some of the later games even use the Wii classic controller (which is pretty much like any other console game controller.)
No, it's Bit.Trip Beat in particular that seems badly messed up by it's control scheme when taken off the Wii...
captain Jul 23, 2013 @ 2:01am 
There is no hacking at all for using the Wii Remote with the PC. It connects through bluetooth, no problem. You just need software to take advantage of it. The Wii emulator works great and recognizes the Wii remote, and it's not any harder than connecting a wireless mouse or a cell phone to your computer.

I haven't played this game yet, but I was really hoping gaijin added some option for motion sensing for those of us that do use a Wii remote with our PCs, or another controller with gyroscopes, because this game really suffers without them. Is there really no option for motion sensing?
KuraIthys Jul 23, 2013 @ 11:37am 
Uh, firstly, the bluetooth connectivity is flaky, secondly there are no Wii drivers for PC, so any software that lets you use a Wii remote is technically a hack. (You might want to look up what a hack actually is by the way). The Wii remote is indeed recognised as a HID device by PC's, but that's about all... It has no inherent support under windows, and doesn't behave like any standard game input device that's actually designed for use by a PC.

A handful of programs have native support for it (the Wii emulator having support being fairly obvious), but to use one with anything else requires software that can take Wii input and translate it into mouse, keyboard or generic gamepad/joystick commands (or Xinput commands if you're lucky.)

And that, is by definition, something of a hack. The handful of programs that natively understand how to interpret Wii remote data might arguably not be hacks, but the programs that let you trick your PC into thinking a Wii remote is something else, most certainly are...
Knight's Feather Aug 11, 2013 @ 2:17am 
;-;
JoshuaCockatiels Aug 17, 2013 @ 4:22pm 
Originally posted by Pikmin:
You really thought the Wii controls were good?

If I remember correctly, the controls are completely gyroscopic which doesn't bode well for accurate games like these.
Yeah. I downloaded the Wii demo and found the controls pretty hard to use
KuraIthys Aug 20, 2013 @ 2:10am 
Interesting... Well, opinions can vary.
I find the PC version gets near impossible when you have to alternate from the top of the screen to the bottom, which happens quite a lot. (And is easy to pull off with the Wii controls).
Accuracy is rarely the problem in my experience. (Usually it's speed.)
Still, there's no accounting for the effects of personal preference.
To me, the mouse controls don't gel well with the level design, and are less accurate than the Wii controls. But I admit, familiarity can influence things. I doubt many people would be better at this using a mouse though...
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