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Alex Neuse giving a demo of BIT.TRIP Saga at E3

This year at E3, Gaijin Games has been preparing the retail release of their entire six-title library of BIT.TRIP rhythm games for two separate Nintendo consoles.

BIT.TRIP Saga for the Nintendo 3DS will include WiiWare titles BIT.TRIP Beat, Core, Void, Runner, Fate and Flux. The graphics have been adapted for the console's 3D screen, which the independent developer says will give players an edge by individuating foreground gameplay from background imagery.

Revealed today, another more elaborate compilation will be making its way to the Nintendo Wii, packaged as a disc available in stores. BIT.TRIP Complete will come with a number of added extras paying tribute to fans who have supported the game series since its arrival through digital distribution on the Wii.

We had the chance to catch up with game designer Alex Neuse to hear about progress on the 3D portable title, as well as first details on the home console compilation.

BIT.TRIP Saga for Nintendo 3DS is planned to include all the previously released games in the series. How have the play mechanics and presentation been modified for the portable console?

Alex Neuse, Gaijin Games: For Beat and Flux you use the stylus on the touch screen, which feels super-perfect. You can also use the circle pad if you want, though I prefer the stylus. In Fate you steer with the circle pad and aim / shoot with the stylus. The overall presentation has also been enhanced. In most of the games, though Runner is a little different, the gameplay plane is nearer to you, separated from the background.

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BIT.TRIP Runner received the Independent Games Festival Award this year for Excellence in Visual Art, which you accepted together with Mike Roush at the awards ceremony. Has the original team been overseeing development on the portable game to ensure that the same standards apply to the art design?

Yes, we're developing this internally. We have always wanted to bring the games to a handheld platform, but there hasn't been one that felt 100% appropriate until the 3DS. Once we got our hands on a dev kit and started exploring it, we realized this could be the definitive portable version of the series.

The award was super-exciting for us. We're humbled, for one, because the audience for a rhythm / music game is already much smaller than many other genres, so to receive this award from our peers is wonderful for us.

Today you've announced the Wii retail release. What additional content will you be including on the disc beyond what is found in the downloadable titles and 3DS game?

In this retail release, which we're calling BIT.TRIP Complete, there are many new gameplay challenges. There's also unlockable video, art and music galleries, including fan remixes. It's so awesome because we got to include three remixes by one of our really big fans, Ganon95, on the Wii disc.

Also, Precise Hero, a rapper out of Michigan, has some fan tribute songs on there. Then there are a couple demo tracks that we made that didn't end up making the cut. The disc is also packaged with a soundtrack CD.

Soundtrack albums for the BIT.TRIP games have been distributed through CD Baby. What can we expect from the disc included in BIT.TRIP Complete?

What we've done with the soundtrack sampler is we've selected three of the in-game songs from each game. It's 18 full-length tracks, called "The BIT.TRIP Soundtrack Sampler." It's not all of the songs from the series, but it's a really good mix. Both games should be out late summer, with an official announcement posted soon.

Photos by Jeriaska. For more images from the show floor of E3, see our flickr photoset.