PixelJunk Eden Review

I’ve had Xbox Live for years now and only downloaded one Xbox Live Arcade game—Streets of Rage 2. However, after only having Playstation 3 (PS3) for a few months, I’ve downloaded two games from the Playstation Store. One is an addictive, yet frustrating puzzle game called Echocrome where players must use perspective to distort reality. The other game I downloaded is PixelJunk Eden.

A $9.99 purchase, PixelJunk Eden feels more like psychedelic, interactive art than it does a simple video game. Gamers play as a small grimp who must scour Eden to collect fifty spectra, which are scattered throughout ten gardens. To reach the spectra, gamers must jump, spin, and swing through the various gardens to destroy “Prowlers” and retrieve the pollen they release. The pollen is then used to grow nearby plants, leading gamers deeper into the gardens.

PixelJunk Eden is the kind of game that can be explained a lot better by being shown rather than played. Luckily, there is a feature in the game that allows players to record themselves playing and then post it on to YouTube. Alternatively, the recording can also be saved locally on the Playstation 3’s hard drive, but it appears as though a video cannot be both saved locally and online. The video quality is not great, but the game does not rely heavily on super high-resolution graphics anyway.

The game takes a little getting used to although X is the only button that ever really needs to be pressed. Pressing X makes the grimp jump, and if jumping from the proper surface, the grimp remains connected to its original location with silk. The silk allows for swinging and destroying Prowlers, but the silk can be destroyed by enemies or by remaining connected for too long. Pressing X releases the silk. And while in the air, holding X makes the grimp spin, allowing it to pass through plants and not attached to them.

After a little practice, swinging and spinning from plant to plan becomes second nature, and playing becomes more and more addictive.

Bumping in the background is a variety of techno/hip music that fits the game well. PixelJunk Eden’s soundtrack is not particularly exciting, but it does intertwine well with the game-play. The better you are doing, for example, the louder the music gets, and when time is almost up, the music gets faster.

The color of the plants, background, and enemies change much like the music does. There are multiple spectra in each garden, and when a spectra is collected, the color of everything in the garden changes. There are times, however, when gardens feel drab and objects become hard to make out due to everything being in a similar shade.

New elements are introduced to the game the further players advance so the game always feels fresh and challenging. The great thing about the game though is it is never too frustrating. In fact, it is relaxing. Not once did I really feel like throwing my controller into a wall and yelling obscenities. This makes PixelJunk Eden a great game to play when gamers feel stuck some other confusing game and want to take a break, but still want to play games. And for only $9.99, PixelJunk Eden should be on every Playstation 3.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 at 12:38 pm and is filed under College, Movies, Reviews, Video Games. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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