PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe
Posted 3 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
Q Game’s PixelJunk series of games has quickly become one of the marquee franchises to grace Sony’s PlayStation 3. Their previous entries have been well received by gamers and future products will be hotly anticipated. To some, the game that pushed them in this lime-light was PixelJunk Monsters, a challenging Tower Defense game that was extremely easy to learn, but incredibly difficult to master. The game was so popular that it saw an Encore expansion that offered more goodies to enjoy. After the success via the PlayStation Network, both Monsters and Monsters Encore have been combined and re-released for the PlayStation Portable, entitled PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe. While released last year in digital form, the game now sees a UMD release. If the opportunity to digitally own Deluxe wasn’t available, now you have absolutely no reason not to pick this up.
PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe is your standard tower defense game. You control TikiMan whose task it is to protect his children from oncoming enemies that inhabit the Tiki, Gati Gati and Toki Islands. Your goal is simple, build the appropriate structures that will stop the onslaught of foes before they reach the home where your children live.
Deluxe plays out identically to its PlayStation Network original. You control TikiMan using the Analog nub or Control Pad with the X button used to build and modify structures. One of the cool aspects to PixelJunk Monsters was the interesting upgrade system for units. On top of collecting gems that allow you to unlock stronger structures, those that have already been built can be enhanced in one of two ways. On top of getting stronger after each successful attack, when TikiMan hovers over a structure, he performs a dance that also builds it up. This strategy of improving units becomes increasingly more important as the strength and number of enemies increases.
What really puts PixelJunk Monsters in the limelight of the Tower Defense genre is that it is a fairly simple game to learn. Thanks to a simple to use radial menu to select structures, newcomers can get right into the action after their initial playthrough of the tutorial. Although it’s easy to learn, it is also an extremely difficult game to master. While the first few levels offer an easier challenge, soon afterwards, the game can become quite difficult with multiple paths, build limitations and sometimes unforgiving enemies which all cause problems. This might put off some people, but it also can push you to retry levels over and over again as the best solution is almost always right in front of you.
The transition from console to handheld is absolutely seamless for Monsters Deluxe, in fact, it actually feels better suited on the PSP rather than PS3. The game still retains the same great look from its origins, with nothing looking muted or being cut-back due to the limitations of the hardware. One issue felt by many on the PS3 was that TikiMan was a tad difficult to control, an issue no longer exists on the PSP, as he moves quite quickly and getting from one section of a map to the other feels seamless.
Monster Deluxe’s music is also well translated. The same soundtrack is on offer here. Your view of the music will vary depending on how frustrated you get while playing. A lot of the tunes do repeat themselves; if you need to retry a level numerous times, this can become problematic. Outside of the repetitive soundtrack, the minor sound effects from your structures and the enemies do their job in adding atmosphere to each stage.
There is also the ability to play Co-Op, either with someone right beside you or across the country. The Co-Op mode is good for newcomers to play with as they can work with a more experienced person and still have fun. Co-Op also includes a competitive aspect so it’s not just about teamwork.
PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe is an absolutely incredible game for the PSP and one that should be in every owners collection regardless of their affinity to the Tower Defense genre. This is the definitive edition and shows that other PixelJunk games can be successfully transferred onto the PSP. At a mere 10 dollars, combined with the amount of content for you to unlock and play, you are really being spoiled.
+ Great variety in weapons and enemies
+ Tons of content including co-op and challenge modes
+ Looks fantastic
+ Better suited on the PSP over PS3
+ Great price!
- You need to "Perfect" stages to unlock all content
- Soundtrack might not appeal to all
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Release Date : 2010/04/27
System : PSP
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer : Q-Games
Category : Puzzle
ESRB : E
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