Twin Shooters Review pt.2: Pixeljunk Shooter (PSN)

We now go with part 2 of our Twin Shooter double review with the latest installment of Q Games’ highly regarded Pixeljunk series in Pixeljunk Shooter.  Each installment up to this point has delved into a specific genre creating a unique and innovative interpretation from tower defense (Monsters) to platforming (Eden).  This time, Q Games takes their vision of originality to the shooter genre and we take a look if “Shooter” follows past Pixeljunk games to PSN greatness.


What makes this game different from other titles in the genre is Pixeljunk Shooters’ use of its environment and the ability to manipulate different elements like water, lava, ice, magnetic fluid and gas to create challenging puzzles to solve in order to reach all the survivors scattered in any respective level.  Combining two elements will generate opportunities to gain access to survivors otherwise unreachable and the simplest example can be seen when combining lava and water.  The ship’s health is tied to it’s heat and as your ship overheats it is destroyed, which means the only way to reach survivors surrounded by lava is to expose it to the water turning the lava to rock and subsequently shooting through the new cooled hardened barrier.  In any case, if you are anywhere close to lava (or gas for that matter) your heat level will go up but it can always be brought down by dipping your ship in nearby water which does no damage.  “Suits” are also available to equip your ship with and provides different abilities/reactions consisting of different elements within the game.  For example, one suits allows your ship to shoot lava without overheating changing up the gameplay while making the needed use of the  lava element easier to manage.

The visual presentation of Pixeljunk Shooter is simple yet artistic.  The game takes a limited color palette and brings it to life with its vibrant selection within the volcanic theme and the fluid motion of everything happening on screen.  In addition, once again Q-Games recruits the talents from an external music source this time from High Frequency Bandwidth providing a soundtrack that initially sounds out of place but eventually blends well with an eclectic mix of downtempo beats.

The story of the game has a surprising level of depth with a simple story of a rescue mission supported by, that when rescued, a range of select survivors with corresponding testaments of the dire situation they’re in and the events leading up to it.  On top of searching for these specific survivors there are jewels scattered throughout the level that involve scouring the whole environment resulting in a reward of a higher score and trophies.


My only gripe with the game everything considered including price, is how easy it is to breeze through the game.  Though each level is a fun play through and each boss borders on epic, there are only a total of 3 worlds with 5 levels and a respective boss in each of these worlds.  Most of the time the difficulty doesn’t go past easy as you progress, relying on score chasing and speed-runs for replayability.  Once you reach completion of the game it leads on that there will more of the game (via DLC) in the near future albeit at an extra price if history has anything to say about it.

Here’s the Deal

Once again Q games takes the Pixeljunk series to uncharted territory on the PSN coming out of it with another success.  Though a bit short and easy, Pixeljunk Shooter’s original gameplay that implements the mixture of different environmental elements to produce innovative solutions to puzzles, along with it’s simple yet vibrant art style will leave you wanting more…and just you wait since you will probably be able to pay for more in the form of future DLC. 8/10 Sean C


~ by consolecreatures on January 26, 2010.

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