Published on August 28th, 2013 | by Alex Skinner0
Pixeljunk Monsters: Ulitimate PC review
Summary: A steam version of this game is what we have been waiting for, great longevity and presented very well indeed!
Pixeljunk has been on mediums such as PSP, PS Vita and Facebook. It has now finally arrived on the incredible online store that is Steam. You may not be familiar with it if you haven’t played the versions on the handheld consoles and that’s why it is fun. The best thing about Steam is finding and playing games you would have never heard of or tried, this is a great arrival for us as PC gamers.
This game draws a strength for being unknown, on the title alone there isn’t much you would draw, which is perfect for the sort of gamers who trawl through the store trying to find the perfect game to itch a craving which they do not yet know. This is the perfect move for all parties involved, some Playstation gamers will have already fallen in love and will buy it on PC, indie loving gamers will enjoy discovering this for the first time.
The first thing you notice, as always is the beautiful design, a vibrant, cartoon feeling design which is simple yet great at building complex levels and scenery when all combined. If you combine this with the equally as elegant music, you get a combination which spells great fun.
This can be deceiving at first, if you choose to play the tutorial you will see why, I played regular, yet it was more difficult than you would expect, at first the enemies are easy and then they begin to get hard fast, in the waves you meet 4 types of enemies, each stronger and more individual than the last. You can feel that the 4th is quite hard, but that’s the point of this game.
PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD is a fantastic port
It’s a tower defence, the final waves are the hardest, this game isn’t soft as the design would make you believe, and that’s a great strength, which I love and am happy to see in this sort of game. Although this is tower defence style strategy, it adds another element you have to account for, you don’t just have to build a tower and drop it into place like other tower defence games, you have to take into account the fact that your character must walk to each place a tower can be built, the coins spent on each one, time to build and lives. This is a mix that makes the game hard at first, but it doesn’t put you straight into hard levels, the first is a pleasant mix of the lower down enemies which are easy to defeat to get you used to the variables that are in this game. As you get deeper in you can’t help but fall in love if you enjoy casual games like this. The more hard core may get a bit frustrated the deeper in they get, but that is what this game is about, it wasn’t made to be easy, just like any strategy should be.
PixelJunk Monsters is a blend of traditional strategy game elements as well as the newer and more popular tower defence style of play. This is a game that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but not all games are, if you like this style of game then go online and buy it, it is well worth the money and you will get lost in it or come back time and time again to itch that craving it created oh so well in the first place.
If you complete a level perfectly, it opens up a path containing harder levels for the more hard core gamer, giving it replay value and even more of a challenge. These levels are just as short, but require you to think about more factors, such as low availability of coins and other resources.
Co-op mode itself is pretty fun. Each person has a separate coin pool so you don’t share the funds, this can make it awkward if you’re not communicating with your partner and they pick up coins that you need. The gem pool however is shared; there was no obvious difficulty difference but co-op does make upgrading towers quicker, as you can either upgrade two at once or both dance on the same tower. Your Tikimen are either blue or red detailed, however if there is a lot going on it makes it hard to differentiate between the two if you’re in a rush to get somewhere.
PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD is a fantastic port that looks and sounds beautiful and plays fanstastic. There was never any slowdown that I saw, controls are tight and surprisingly responsive and gameplay never gets tardy. If you’re up for a challenge you need look no further and Double Eleven, take a bow!
Overall, this game has the fun factor, great strengths and few weaknesses such as the jumps in difficulty. But unlike most games which do this, the jumps aren’t as hard as they can seem and can be tweaked quickly for victory if you think long enough on it, which is great. I would say this game is a must buy for anyone wanting something fun, upbeat, addictive and pretty challenging at times, as well as those more hard core strategy gamers or even just those who enjoy playing tower defence games.