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PixelJunk Shooter

Developer: Q-Games | Publisher: SCEA
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 12/10/09 | Genre: Action

A few years ago, you would have never caught me anticipating--much less spending my time playing a download only title. Q-Games came in and changed the way myself and multitudes of others think by delivering high quality products that are simple to play, fun, challenging to master, and deliver more value than disk-based counterparts. One of these games, PixelJunk Monsters, is so good that fans are still begging for more content even after an expansion pack and a PSP remake. In their latest attempt at taking over all of my free time, Q-Games delivers PixelJunk Shooter. Once again, the PlayStation Network has another classic, original title.

As with all new titles in the PixelJunk series, Players will find themselves in a completely new environment. You must help stranded workers deep underground from various dangers and get them out safely. Standing in your way are a multitude of monsters, lava, and puzzles that must be overcome in order to successfully navigate out to safety. Your ship is equipped with a grappling hook and missiles to overcome anything you encounter. Players can shoot the grappling hook to pick up hidden gems and rescue the workers. However, these poor workers aren't immune to the dangers of the game. They will die if you accidentally shoot them, have lava fall on them, or if a monster attacks them. I found myself sadly many helpless friends that were off-screen. Hopefully they had plenty of digital life insurance.

The levels in PJS are divided into a multitude of screens that are filled with different puzzles. Most of these require that you rescue, murder, or let monsters kill all the crew members waiting for you. Other puzzles get more sinister where you have to figure out how to deal with the lava that not only kills people but damages your ship too. Water will be scattered throughout most screens and you will have to use a variety of objects, shooting walls, or other methods to drain water on lava. The lava will then turn into rock--which is able to be shot--and usually results in reaching the next part of the screen to continue through the level.

But the action gets a lot more tense upon the conclusion of each of the three episodes in PixelJunk Shooter. A large boss will be waiting for you and you will have to battle it out in order to survive. Players will need to be careful when facing off against these "larger than life" baddies as they can destroy you in a single burst. Bosses add a nice break between puzzles.

The only negative thing about PixelJunk Shooter is that the game is completely addictive and not long enough. Once you pick it up, five to seven hours of your life will pass by-- and you will be at the end. Despite my best efforts to criticize PXS, the length of the game is its only fault. In the end Shooter is an excellent addition to the PlayStation Network and a title you must own. Download it, get addicted, and start griping at Q-Games to release an expansion pack. There is no better way to end 2009 than with this excellent title.

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By Kaleb Rutherford - 01/02/10
ESRB Details: Lyrics, Mild Fantasy Violence
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Screenshots for PixelJunk Shooter

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