PixelJunk Eden Review
PixelJunk Eden is the third game in the PixelJunk series of games. Developed by Q Games the goal of PixelJunk is to create simple games with great gameplay, that is always different from the last game. They started with a racing game, then a tower defense game, and now a game that defies classification.
The game has no real coherent story, but you are a Grimp (Combination of Grip/Jump) named Phona. You live in the Garden of Eden. Eden is in pretty bad shape and you have to traverse to the 10 Gardens of Eden to collect Spectra to make Eden flourish. This is never specifically said but it is what i put together with the knowledge of the game.
PixelJunk Eden is probably the most unique game i have ever played, ever. The levels are known as Gardens and you jump and grip to plants and rocks within the Gardens. Your goal is to collect Spectra. To traverse the Garden you collect pollen that pollinate seeds. Once the seeds are full you have to touch them to make plants grow. These plants can take any number of shapes and sizes. Aside from jumping and griping to surfaces you can also swing. When you are on a plan and jump you make silk that allows you to swing in a circular motion(Dun know any other type of motion you can pull off). Swinging is a very effective way to collect pollen in handfuls which allows for faster pollination.
Eden’s Gardens are large and colorful and are really a sight to behold. Each Garden has 5 Spectra to collect, however you must collect each in secession before you can get them all. This means first you collect 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, and then 5. Whenever you collect a Spectra the color scheme of the level will change. This gives a sense of evolution within the levels as you progress and adds the greater feeling of evolution that the game holds. Spectra is sort of the Seeds of Eden. As you collect them in the various gardens Eden will start to flourish.
You see instead of a menu system or map system, PixelJunk Eden’s Eden is a level all its own. It takes some exploring and such to discover levels and secrets that adds a sense of immersion that other games lack. Aside from levels there are also some other goodies in Eden. There is an area to see your global rank, Staff Credits, and a few “Nodes” that change the color scheme of Eden itself.
Eden, like Monsters sports a online leaderboard system. This works well to keep track of your score as well as the thousands of other scores online. It makes redoing levels easier because you know you can increase your rank in both that level and your Global rank. Eden is also the first game to support Trophies from the start and its Trophies aren’t the easiest to get.
There are a variety of them that are not that difficult but then there are some that are mind blowing. The Trophies add a nice incentive to make all the seeds grow, rack up big combos and more. Alongside the Trophies and Online there is also YouTube support. This feature works well even if the quality of the 1080p graphics suffer big time in full screen youtube mode.
The First few levels, mainly 1-4 are fairly easy and not that challenging. The later levels however are a lot more difficult adding new challenges for the player to overcome. For example, Pollen which could be destroyed by silk now cuts silk. There are also new unique plants that change how the levels operate as well as just the level structures itself. The difficulty is nothing that would make people frustrated but it can get close sometimes. Even so the challenge is welcomed.
Eden is a visual power house, not in the same sense of Killzone 2 but a power house in its own category. The game looks surreal with a wide array of colors that make every aspect of the game look unique. Similar to Monsters, Eden’s soundtrack fits the game perfectly. Its a nice blend of beats and soothing sounds that compliment the surreal visuals.
PixelJunk Eden is easily the best downloadable game i have ever played. It is even a strong reason to own a Playstation 3. It is so unique, with its great gameplay, nice competitive side and features such as youtube that makes this a great must own package.