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PixelJunk Monsters Review (PS3, PSN) - 353 WS000011

PixelJunk Monsters Review (PS3, PSN)

Your base is under attack

(Playstation Network Title)

Price: 3.49
Players: 1-2 (co-op)
Wifi: Leaderboards only
Value for money: 10/10

What’s that coming over the hill?
Pixel Junk Monsters is a fast-pased-action-defence-tower-building-game! (Phew… try saying that 3 times fast). This beautiful “cartoon-seeming” game is packed full of all kinds of monster obliterating action for you and your co-op playing buddy to experience and enjoy.

The hills are alive, with the sound of music.
Pixel Junk Monsters boasts some of the most beautiful 2D art I have seen in recent years. The trees sway as explosions go off nearby, while huge monsters stomping past give the forest that real “alive” feeling. The game is styled very cartoon like, with bright, vibrant colours filling the screen at all times. Which in the day and age of super-awesome 10,000 by 10,000 pixel blank grey textures in games is a well needed refreshment.

The game soundtrack was masterfully created by “Otograph” you can’t help but hum along to the music as wave after wave of monsters run blindly into weapon fire. Using synthesized music and keyboards with a catchy beat the music plays along brilliantly to Pixel Junk Monsters and without this great composer the game would be seriously lacking in atmosphere. You can really tell the creators put a lot of effort into matching the music with the game.

Is it a monster? Is it a monsteeeer?
The objective of the game is simple. Protect your innocent little tribe from being eaten alive, thus being wiped from the face of the planet. You control the tribe leader who must use all his tower building knowledge to transform the blameless trees of the forest into monster killing machines! Personally I’d prefer more of a LOTR take, with the mighty trees doing the work for me. Then I realized if the trees went along saving everything themselves I wouldn’t have a very fun game in front of me, would I?

Almost too quiet…
Now, don’t get the wrong idea by thinking “Oh you turn trees into shooting towers of death, how quaint”. This game is hard; it’s so difficult some of the stages are even named “Hard” (If that doesn’t prove my point nothing ever will). While the other lot are simply named “Easy” and “Medium”. Do you think you are hardcore enough to get perfect on the hard stages I’d like to see a screenshot of that! (Google image searching not allowed).

It’s so difficult some of the stages are even named “Hard”

Pixel Junk Monsters boasts a total count of 21 different stages with completely different layouts for each. Most of the stages are only accessible after obtaining “Rainbows” which are given after getting a perfect on a stage. The game map is set on an attractive island filled with beautiful forests, frozen wastelands and a huge ass volcano. (The movement around the map is very reminiscent of Super Mario World on the SNES; let’s hope we don’t see any fat Italians on our travels!)

Mission Statement.
Although the idea of the game is simple “protect your little dudes”, the method of accomplishing this, is not. The onslaught of monsters dashing into the stage to pillage your little tribe is split into different waves, with each wave containing the same type of monster. When you first start the game it will only take 10 waves before the big boss shows up, however as you progress and unlock harder stages the amount of waves will also increase. (Following me so far?) Each monster that manages to pass through your defences will attack the tribe. If your tribe number is reduced to zero, sorry bud you lose.

You take control of your character and run around the forest building towers out of trees, each tower costs a certain amount of coins, which are dropped by dead monsters. You can then upgrade your selected towers by either ‘dancing’ on them, which involves sitting on top of it until the little colored flag changes to the next colour. Or you can upgrade them instantly using a set amount of gems, which are also dropped by the monsters and are used to buy new towers during the level. Depending on the tower determines what upgrades they receive, either splash damage, power or range. The coloured flags in order are green, yellow, red, purple and black, which is by far the coolest because not only is your tower the maximum awesome level but they have a rather sexy golden trim to them afterwards.

The game has a total of 9 different towers, 3 of which you start the stage with and the rest you must unlock by using the funky gems. Certain towers do lots of damage to certain monsters and less to others, some may not even work at all! It is up to you to figure out what towers to buy, build and upgrade to defend yourself and your little friends.

Now you might be slightly confused thinking, “What do I actually do?”, if you have never played a tower defence game before I can tell you, that if you are looking for some hack n slash God Of War clone, you bought the wrong game. Your character has no actual interaction with the monsters, except for some very minor power-ups. Which I’m sure you will discover after you buy the game for yourself. (HINT)

Burn baby burn. Disco inferno!
Have you ever done something in a game for the very first time and suddenly burst into an insanely evil laugh and scaring anyone nearby? If the answer is no, then you have obviously never played this game. When you finally get around to buying your first flame tower you will see why I love this game so much, and why it is an essential buy from the Playstation Network.

Now imagine you’re running around the forest building towers trying your hardest to save your little tribe and after the last wave you suddenly realize you have enough to buy the flame tower! So you run back to your little hut and press the X button to bring up the tower purchase screen, you see the flame tower and buy it. Now you quickly run to the best spot to build the tower and as the mammoth red tower erects (no jokes!) it splutters out a jet of beautiful flames of death, killing all within its path and if you are like me you will not be able to resist the urge to throw your head back and lift your arms in the air and let out the most evil super villain cackle that your little dark heart is capable of pushing out. And that is why you should by Pixel Junk Monsters.

The Good: Excellent 2D graphics; Perfectly matching audio; Co-op gameplay; Tons of replayability
The Bad: Really frustrating trying to get “Rainbows”


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Diamond Y AwardDiamond Y Award
5 5 / 5

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