God bless the 1980s. What better way to re-live them (or experience first hand) with a videogame, and a super-duper one at that: virtual reality, it’s the future. The following public service announcement is for Pixel Ripped 1989 on the PlayStation VR.
No doubt you’ve read my GOTY 2020, if not, go there now, or else… now you’re read it, you’ll now know that Pixel Ripped 1995 featured, and it’s no coincidence that this title has the same name as it’s the prequel.
However, this isn’t a prequel that comes after the standalone, as we see in films – Pixel Ripped 1989 (from ARVORE) came out first, but now I’ve had a go, the words that follow are my thoughts and what-not.
Pixel Ripped 1989 PSVR Review
It’s been a while since I played the PSVR. The last game I played was probably Wands. I packed it up due to more cables around than Tetsuo: The Iron Man at a networking convention. Seeing as I’m reconnecting 101 cables, the game had better be worth it.
Pixel Ripped 1989 is similar to the more recent title, but shorter. The Cyblin Lord has located the pixel stone, and with this declares war. Dot is our pixel gaming hero, but they need a champion from the real world: a 9-year-old girl named Nicola (that’s you).
The evil-doer’s power enables him to merge the gaming world with the real one, and can even alter classic games, giving the nod to Ghosts n’ Goblins and Alex Kidd and Miracle Land. There’s even a Golden Axe reference too. The only way to defeat this chump is by beating him at the games. Luckily, Nicola is the bee’s knees at them.
Gear Kid’s Don’t Melt In The Hand
Nicola’s committed to the cause, playing her game through class, breaktime and even the headmaster’s office. Though she doesn’t need an excuse, this nomad would play videogames regardless. If the teacher sees you playing in class, it’s game over so you have to use a pea shooter to cause distractions in the room like the Nerf gun in the sequel.
The opening stage was pretty hard going for several reasons. Aside from the game-within-a-game difficulty, looking at a handheld on your lap with a monochrome screen while wearing a PSVR helmet is hard work. It wasn’t until I took the headset off that I realised it was clearer on the TV.
Initially, the teacher’s threat proved a bit too overbearing, what with playing the game as well. However, once you’ve identified the targets you can use for distraction, this element is a doddle, allowing you to concentrate on the old school challenge.
This Is England
Set in En-ger-land, and having been around at the time, specific nuances were familiar. The 90s were more of my thing, but clocking the OHP, the TV and VHS combo wheeled into class, along with ghetto blasters were fun and had me reminiscing on Oink! and when Monster Munch were one of your 5-a-day.
The voice talent was amusing, and some of the outside scans of residential homes were the same as those that surrounded the school I went to. Have ARVORE based this on my life? Thankfully they didn’t include the adventures in the woods where my friends and I would find ripped up jazz mags.
Back to gameplay and boss levels were much easier than the main stages. To be honest, I was happy with that as the first two stages were quite taxing, and I didn’t fancy repeating the same sections again and again, like similar title 198x. That doesn’t mean that the boss stages are easy, just e-a-s-i-e-r.
Here’s My (Camera) Angle
Pixel Ripped 1989 has a few more camera issues than its successor has, and on a few occasions, third party objects would protrude through my screen, and I had to re-centre the screen – easily achieved with the options button. Still, it was a little too frequent, and I’d be lying if I hadn’t dropped a few f-bombs.
It didn’t have the same disorientating feeling of the Blockbuster scene in Pixel Ripped 1995 where you had to switch between screens, which made me feel sick when I don’t suffer from motion sickness. This didn’t happen once in Pixel Ripped 1989.
The story is fine, and the setting enjoyable too. However, Nicola is bad news. Her school report would have ‘easily distracted’ in red. The game was relatively short, and it’s not one that I’ll repeat play as much as Pixel Ripped 1995, though I will be coming back to it.
Still one of the better games for the PSVR, even with the camera settings and difficulty spikes in places, but the Pixel Ripped 1995 raised the bar higher (and has a more vibrant colour palette to my liking).
Pixel Ripped 1989 Review Summary
If you own a PSVR and collecting, then it goes without saying that Pixel Ripped 1989 is a quality title to add to it. It’s a little hectic in places, and the small screen can take some getting used to, but overall, it’s another decent title from ARVORE, and one I’m happy to recommend.