Denny Markovic
24 Dec, 2009

PixelJunk Shooter Review

PS3 Review | A pixelated blast or mess?
Arcade games! Who doesn’t like arcade games these days? Not only were they your gaming addiction back in the day of arcade machines, but they’re now returning with a new shine and a lot more visual flair with the advent of digital downloading services; in this case the PlayStation Store. We’ve had stellar releases such as Super Stardust HD and Everyday Shooter blow the collective minds of PlayStation 3 owners, and now we have yet another game we can add to that little group of cheap gems - PixelJunk: Shooter.

The name Pixeljunk is already quite well known among the PSN community, as it’s also tied to the games Pixeljunk: Eden and Pixeljunk: Monsters. Both games are highly regarded and now with Shooter, there’s a lot more reason to hold respect for the Pixeljunk brand. Shooter is obviously based around the typical shmup style of gameplay similar to that of Asteroids where you manoeuvre a ship around and fire at objects around you while dodging bullets that are fired back at you. But it also comes with some very interesting, and dare we say, unique additions.

Your average male reaction from playing Bayonetta.

Your average male reaction from playing Bayonetta.
Shooter isn’t just about shooting things, it’s also a lot about patience and clever movement around the environment. Stages are separated into several parts and in each part, you need to save all the survivors that are scattered around the area. To get to them you need to blast through brittle rock, which is as easy as firing a shot or two into the brittle areas to get a new way out. The problem, however, is that the game has a lot of lava and water too, and that’s where the game can get quite challenging. Water is basically a safe haven and it keeps your ship cool and from overheating, and also doesn’t hurt the survivors at all. Lava on the other hand incinerates survivors instantly, and also causes your ship to overheat quite quickly if you’re very close to it. Overheating will result in your ship malfunctioning and eventually crashing, which causes you to start the level again. Failure also comes if a certain amount of survivors die within the entire stage, so careful thought and consideration needs to be taken into account throughout the level. Water negates lava and turns it into brittle rock so, for example, if you need to get past some lava, you can shoot the brittle rock holding the water in the roof and it’ll splash down into the lava and dry most of it up. This is just a very basic example of how the gameplay works throughout the early stages, and it’s a very clever little mechanic that you don’t see much of in any other game.

Enemies also need to be taken into account, as some will actually spew lava out as a firing mechanism or when they die, so quick thinking and survival instincts need to be in play at all times. There are also a lot of items throughout the game which change the rules a lot, such as water and lava seeds which, when grabbed and thrown, explode into their respective elements and fling out all over the area. Lava though harmful, can actually be very useful in the later stages, particularly in the second world as it’s filled with ice and you need the lava to melt it, so careful placement is necessary in order to prevent the accidental deaths of random survivors. Later on you’ll even be able to modify your own ship to fire lava, so the tactics you need to use to progress through the game is always changing.


Apart from the unique gameplay style, Shooter also comes with a very funky and interesting visual style that complements much of its gameplay mechanics with its use of clever physics. Design is simple but very balanced, with lots of colours and vibrancy emanating from the game as you play, with the colours representing what’s dangerous and what isn’t. It’s a minimalistic but very appealing look that come with all Pixeljunk games, and gives the game a lot of quirky personality. Audio wise, the game is also very minimalistic but pleasant, with strange and alien music playing in the background and very retro sound effects coming from each and every object that moves. It’s what you’d come to expect from a Pixeljunk title, and we simply can’t get enough of it.

Pixeljunk: Shooter is another fun and addictive title on the PSN network that will likely garner a lot of attention through word-of-mouth. Nothing is inherently wrong with the title (though we do wish it supported full surround sound), as gameplay works with fluency and is very fun, and its aesthetics are extremely appealing. It’s pretty well priced as well, and you’re getting about 5-6 hours of solid game time out of the campaign, and that’s not including all the hidden treasures, repeated attempts at perfect runs and quick times. If you’re any kind of Pixeljunk or shmup fan, Shooter is definitely worth looking into and is one of the higher quality titles on the PlayStation Network. Highly recommended.
The Score
PixelJunk:Shooter is a blast to play through and an addictive game at that, and is sure to please many of the shmup fans out there. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related PixelJunk Shooter Content

PixelJunk Shooter 2 announced
19 May, 2010 More junk for your trunk.
PixelJunk Monsters getting ported to PSP
20 Dec, 2008 Invading a PSP near you.
Everyday Shooter Makes it Way onto Steam
09 May, 2008 Today's the day!
4 years ago
Good review, and +1 for the first pictures caption, so very very true.
4 years ago
Your average male reaction from playing Bayonetta.
ha ha ha ha ha icon_biggrin.gif
4 years ago
It's really quite fun, if not very hard... I cleared through to the final stage in World 3. Now I just need to go diamond hunting to unlock the stage =(
4 years ago
It's so purdy. Played some co-op with Hyperworm earlier today, was fantastic. icon_biggrin.gif Very much recommend it for multiplayer, dunno how long it'd last single player though.
4 years ago
Gtpod wrote
It's so purdy. Played some co-op with Hyperworm earlier today, was fantastic. icon_biggrin.gif Very much recommend it for multiplayer, dunno how long it'd last single player though.
4-5 hrs
4 years ago
Good game but doesn't feel much more than a Flash based web game.

And this coming from someone who puts PixelJunk Monsters as the best game on PS3.
4 years ago
Just 100% the game today. Got everygem/survivoretc. All trophies. Excellent game. A lot of game time too and re-fighting the chapter bosses was really fun too.

buy this.
4 years ago
Yeah people stopped reading this in December.

This is the thread you are looking for.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  10/12/2009 (Confirmed)
  Direct Online by Publisher **
Year Made:

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