|System: PS3 (PSN)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Q-Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Q-Games / SONY||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 24, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Surprisingly enough, however, you'll find the strategy that you develop for the small stages in PixelJunk Monsters to be a good deal different then the strategy you might develop when playing through the Ivalice Alliance. Playing on such a small scale will force you to make decisions regarding small space management as opposed to the usual tactical placement that you would encounter in larger games. So if you think you can master this game using the same strategy that you've been using in all your other RTS games, you may be in for a bit of a shock. As for story elements, PixelJunk Monsters took the most minimalist approach they could and eliminated any type of story past the "protect the fort" aspect of the game.
Graphics, on the other hand, are one area where this game's approach is anything but minimalist. The look of the game is entirely stylized and has a watercolor/ paper maché feel to it that resembles a cross between the Paper Mario series and Okami. In addition to the unique visual style of the game itself, the graphics are presented in full 1080p HD. And while you may not think it makes too much of a difference with these stylized graphics, the HD really shines in this title.
The sound in this game is definitely above average, and the music is done entirely by the Japanese ambient music group Otograph. And while you won't find this group on any J-rock compilation, their tunes are pretty groovy and fit the laid-back style of the game. The only qualm I have with the music in this game is that it gets a little repetitive in some of the longer levels. But by and large, the music is delightful to listen to. Though it may be a little monotonous at times, I can't exactly fault a downloadable title for not having a full and varied soundtrack.
PixelJunk Monsters is yet another great downloadable title from the PlayStation Network. It has a very complete-feeling RTS-based gameplay that makes the title well worth the price of the download. And while the game itself may be short in terms of a traditional RTS (you'll probably beat this one in 8-9 hours), it offers a whole bunch of fun. PixelJunk Monsters features RTS gameplay that is both authentic and fresh. This title is further proof that just because a download title may have a smaller focus than a traditional title, it doesn't have to be any less fun.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer