(For the object of the same name, see Core.)
BIT.TRIP CORE is the 2009 direct sequel to March's BIT.TRIP BEAT, released in June of the same year. The game continues the story of CommanderVideo in his early childhood. All the while, the gameplay has shifted completely from a one-sided pong-like game, to what could be described as Guitar Hero, but with a cross-shaped playing field.
The game features Bubblyfish as a guest composer.
The Player takes control of a small red cross known as the Core. Using directional buttons and a single action button, the player can aim the Core in the four cardinal directions, and fire a laser in order to hit incoming Beats from the previous game. As with BEAT, the different types of Beats are colour-coded and have different properties. Additionally, once per stage, the player can detonate a "bomb" which clears the screen of Beats and preserves the current score, but it also prevents the player from getting a Perfect Score.
As with BEAT, the game is divided into 3 Stages. These stages are divided into 8 Segments, each one severed by a visual-only checkpoint, punctuated by a series of Rainbow Beats, as with BEAT. The 8th segment culminates in a Boss fight. Stages typically last around 15 minutes each.
As with the first game, CORE has multiple MODES of play which alter the visuals and music. CORE introduces a new MODE in the form of SUPER. This addition of one new mode as each game releases would become tradition starting with this game. Additionally continuing to get combos after reaching SUPER will grant a MULTI+ bonus.
The highest mode of this game. Every sound echoes in SUPER, and a rainbow effect radiates around the screen. An extra percussion layer is added to the music in this mode. Keep zapping beats to add to the multiplier. Miss once and you mode down into MEGA.
Every beat echoes, and special effects are added to the gameplay. An extra layer is added to the song in this mode, along with the rest of the song. The multiplier increases after every measure of the song, but resets to x1 if you miss a beat. Hit 128 beats, and you mode up into SUPER. Miss too many and you mode down into HYPER.
You begin the game in this mode. There are no special effects in this mode, and each beat makes a short beep if you shoot it. You have a multiplier of x1. Hit 64 Beats, and you mode up into MEGA. However, miss too many, and you mode down into NETHER.
Mode down to here, and you lose all sense of music and color. The only music you hear is a metronome to the tempo of the song. Whenever you pass a stage in NETHER, you hear the sound next level/keep the music and background on your Wii Remote. There is no multiplier, and the score is not put into your total. This is your last chance to mode up back into HYPER. However, miss too many beats, and you receive a GAME OVER.
Sixteen beats form around the core, releasing three waves of coloured trail beat patterns, like the famous up, right, up, right, up, right, left. The entire boss battle could be seen as a test of peripheral vision.
Six orange rock-like shapes appear at the bottom of the screen, then orange beats with green trails appear from the top in specific orders and often change direction midway. If a beat hits a shape, you mode down, and if all the shapes are destroyed, you get a game over. To beat this boss, you need to have really good reflexes and/or to remember their patterns. The boss is based on a game called Missile Command.
This boss throws mostly small rainbow beats, covered in coloured dust at different speeds at you. This boss should actually be pretty easy, if, like the first boss, one can remember the patterns given in the stage. But it may be confusing because of their unusual speeds and angles. This boss is based on the game Asteroids.
During an interview regarding Runner2, Mike Roush was asked if any other games in the BIT.TRIP hexalogy would receive sequels akin to Runner2. Mike stated that he wasn't "sure there [would] be a Core2". CORE was the only game mentioned in such a way.
Though a sequel is unlikely, such a statement is still work noting.