PixelJunk Shooter - Review

Author: Lorenzo Baldo
Date: 2020-07-31 15:17:20
Originally published in the 2009 queue, PixelJunk Shooter was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most interesting titles of the Sony digital offer, thanks to a non-trivial artistic direction and a playability to the kiss. Once the exclusivity has expired, the shooter arrives today, after almost four years, on Personal Computer, in a welcome but perhaps late conversion. Under the inevitable wrinkles of expression is there still a great beauty or is the charm, almost spent a shine, by now faded?

The Pinita Colada, canary-toned steel whale, prematurely interrupts the return to the base and, having received a request for help, heads towards the signal source. There is not a second to lose: a group of scientists is lost in the depths of a celestial body, a planet as inhospitable as it is rich in mineral resources. A small lifeboat, fast and fully armed, takes off from the mother ship and proceeds towards the nucleus of the star, in the hope of recovering the luminaries and their precious cargo. The malevolent fauna, waiting between caves and ravines, is of a completely different opinion and will not be long in showing its dissent.

It all starts here, from the mother ship.

Laconic, without gruff intent, PixelJunk Shooter pays attention to the substance and does not lose itself in chatter, skipping any kind of preamble. Like any self-respecting shooter, the game does not require a didactic tutorial, a guide that could be verbose if prolonged for long. Usually surrounded by on-screen messages, advice or imperatives, it is a pleasure to come into contact with a white fly, an exception ready to shrug in the direction of videogame modernity and its worst customs. The Q-Games title, in any case, is not a matuse, does not sport a long white beard and does not stop even near the work in progress. And it does not weigh on the INPS coffers.

Getting used to the control system, in which movement and aiming reticule rest on two independent axes, is simple, also because this solution is rather common in the kind of belonging. Although there is no lack of support for the mouse and keyboard, I warmly invite you to snub the duo, preferring a good joypad. The spaceship flies agile among obstacles, silences gigantic spiders, disgusting insects and horrifying plants with a shower of missiles, and uses the magnetic hook, positioned near the tail, for the recovery of scientists. In some situations, after a short break in the on-site workshop, the aircraft transforms: the engagement of an irrigator allows you to keep flames and lapilli at bay, while a mouth of fire, to be understood in a literal sense, will bring the ice to milder advice.

An excellent physical model animates flammable fluids and gases, present in the bowels of the planet, with precision and relevance to reality, bewitching at first glance. Sulphurous clouds rise lightly towards the top, pile up near natural obstacles and explode, following a sudden ignition, in a bombastic explosion. A black solution, similar to oil, regroups in almost solid form near a magnet, except to fall apart again when the electric magnets are turned off. These elements, and their manipulation, are the basis of the multiple puzzles inserted within the game, stimulating, fun and challenging puzzles.

That scream of pain is not reassuring ...

The rhythm of the game, peaceful and reflective, becomes frenetic in the vicinity of the inevitable bosses, with colossal dimensions: not only are their Achilles' heel well hidden, but these guardians change the offensive strategy in a state of difficulty, making the fight always alive and unpredictable. Words of honey, for fans of the genre. Still on the subject of weaknesses, PixelJunk Shooter sins with regards to longevity, with a duration that settles around the scarce five hours. In any case, this problem does not affect the beauty and solidity of the game structure.

Lulled by a superb soundtrack, with trip hop tones, you can explore rocky ravines and icy gorges, finally knocking on the doors of a foundry, a steel cathedral in a desert of desolation. The fine artistic direction, made of unusual shapes and delicate colors, almost in pastel tones, relaxes the eyes and satisfies the sight. It vibrates, and it could not be otherwise, that distinctive feature, the trademark that identifies all the titles of the PixelJunk series.

Spider, make money. Maybe.

Answering the initial question, I believe that PixelJunk Shooter is still a fresh and original game, arrived on PC in excellent shape, thanks to an excellent and smudge-free conversion. Longevity, as in the previous incarnation, remains the only concern of a pleasant title, starting from the production values.

MODUS OPERANDI

I tried PixelJunk Shooter thanks to a code from the developer, downloading the game from Steam. The test was conducted on a PC equipped with an AMD FX-8320 processor, 8 GB of Ram and an AMD Radeon HD 7750 video card.