PixelJunk Shooter Review
PixelJunk Shooter box art
System: PS3 (PSN) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Q Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SONY 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Dec. 10, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The deeper you progress through Shooter, the more varied and perilous the environmental obstacles and alien creatures become. You have to be pretty ingenious to get through the cleverly designed levels in one piece, let alone set high marks on the leaderboards. Accruing points, doing so cleanly, and in record time all factor into the kinds of scores you'll be able to post. Those less concerned with rank will be happy know that tough boss battles nicely punctuate each stratum, giving you a quality arcade challenge as well as a change of pace to the puzzle-shooter gameplay.

PixelJunk Shooter screenshot

Music and ambient sounds are always a highlight in the PixelJunk series, and Shooter is no exception. The quirky setting is nicely conveyed through the sound effects and music. The only qualm I had is that the injection of some vocal samples every now and then were unnecessary and jarred me out of the immersion. The visual presentation in PJ Shooter squarely fits in with the rest of the games in the series. Each stratum features a distinct theme and color palette, and the enemy designs are simply, yet attractively created. The most visually impressive element of the game is the way the physics are rendered. The interaction between viscous flows and the way the environment pushes your little shuttle around is natural and sensible. This leads to an excellent control scheme, as well. The PS3 controllers work wonderfully for this title - it's not like struggling through Namco Essentials. Even the spongy PS3 triggers, which I typically loathe, are perfect for PJ Shooter. Navigating the labyrinthine tunnels with the absolutely precise analog sticks is super-slick. If you decide to play the game remotely on the PSP, you won't find nearly the same level of control. But, I always applaud developers for including the option.

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PixelJunk Shooter isn't my favorite entry from Q-Games (Eden holds that distinction), but it is one of my favorite games of 2009 - arcade or otherwise. If you are into challenging downloadable titles, PJ Shooter's got loads of personality and oodles of fun. Playing this game alone or with a friend yields hours of engaging gaming, and simply shouldn't be missed in the wake of AAA holiday releases.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The visuals are subdued yet pleasant. The physics rendering is outstanding.
4.5
Control
Zooming around the levels, blasting foes, and collecting goodies are all easily pulled off. If you play the game remotely on the PSP, the controls do suffer in comparison.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The ambient sounds and music are great, but perhaps not quite as quality as what was on offer in Eden.
4.5
Play Value
This puzzle-heavy shooter is layered with strategy and strategy throughout its impressive amount of levels. Playing the game solo or with another yield identical though somehow distinct experiences.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Distinctive Visuals and Music - Features several unique stages with stylishly designed graphics and original music from High Frequency Bandwidth.
  • Fluid Dynamics and Effects - The dynamic rendition of water, magma and other substances is the visual centerpiece in PixelJunk Shooter.
  • Stages as Puzzles - Players attempt to change the terrain and environment around them to progress. It often takes strategy, planning and old-fashioned trial and error to succeed.
  • Co-Op Gameplay - Co-op multiplayer capabilities.
  • Online Rankings and YouTube Uploading - Share your scores and game footage with the world
  • Rumble Support - Feel the effects when the craft bumps into the cavern's wall.
  • Remote Play - Supports Remote Play for PSP system.
  • Trophy Support - PixelJunk Shooter will fully support PlayStation Trophies.


  • Screenshots / Images
    PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Shooter screenshot - click to enlarge

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