Pixel Ripped 1995 PSVR review

Brazilian team ARVORE has managed to encapsulate everything about the 90s other than the taste of 7UP Cherry and Fizzy Chewits with Pixel Ripped 1995.

Brazil is hosting so many indies lately that are worthy of your time and money such as TamashiiRelic Hunters Zero Remix to name just a couple.

Check out the upcoming Big Festival next month.

With Pixel Ripped 1995 you play a game within a game (within a game?), where you take on the role of David, an uber gamer in the mid-90s.

This 9-year-old is the chosen one, that is, Dot and the Master realise that David is their only hope to defeat the evil Cyblin Lord.

Read on in this…

Pixel Ripped 1995 PSVR Review

Pixel Ripped 1995 focuses on the 16-bit era, with tributes to beloved titles such as:

  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Metroid
  • Street Fighter 2
  • Road Rash
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Castlevania

As a PSVR title, you see the world through David’s eyes, playing said titles on a CRT, arcade or gaming stand in the local video rental store – distractions and all.

Pixel Ripped 1995 - Mum
Nerfing one’s mum. Source: PR

I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of all of the above.

These games as a kid were pure escapism, but you were forever reminded of the outside world through the most common distraction: your parents.

You’ll Get Square Eyes

After an introduction to Dot and the Master, we join David in his living room, sat in front of the TV playing a Zelda-inspired title.

In the zone.

Then the local bully calls through your window to the left, but the game is still going on in real-time, so you do that half occupied routine; pretending you’re listening while playing the game.

Hopefully, my wife doesn’t read this.

As you ignore the outside world once more, in walks the mother, who made me jump out of my skin the first and second time I played.

She talks to her friend on the phone in the background and every once in a while moan about the time you’re playing games; how it’ll expose you to radiation or even stunt your growth.

It’s true; I’m 3 inches tall.

Swapping Legendary Swords For Nerf Guns

Pixel Ripped 1995 - Motion
The games that set me off. Source: PR

After a few idle threats, his mum eventually walks over and turns the power off the game.

For a brief moment, I’m a kid again and almost throw a wobbly.

Frantically running to each checkpoint, I unlock a gun within the game, that becomes accessible in reality (David’s world): a Nerf gun.

With this gun, you can shoot items to distract his mother, giving you just that edge to get to the next section and subsequent boss battle.

This mechanic comes back in later sections and is remarkably fun as you switch out your controller for a real-life object.

Virtual Reality Versus Actual Reality

The old debate isn’t going to cover new ground here, but Pixel Ripped 1995 has this marvellous way of linking David’s world to Dot’s.

During boss battles, Dot’s and David’s worlds merge; invading his world with battles on the carpet amongst Jenga blocks or out on the roads in the back of your mum’s car, chucking groceries at your pursuer.

However, it’s so meta that forgetting your surroundings in the game will lead to the interruption of the game that you are playing in-game.

I wrote that sentence that way intentionally.

Pixel Ripped 1995 - Castle
Castle type game? Source: PR

The only time where it became an issue for me was when David and his father are in a local Blockbuster-like store where you play two separate consoles, repeatedly switch between the two to unlock areas.

I don’t get motion sickness from games, but the switching back and forth was disorientating enough that I couldn’t continue playing the game for the remainder of the day.

Thankfully this didn’t occur in later levels as you’re mostly looking straight for each of the six levels. 

Just To Remind, Please Rewind

Whether you grew up in the 90s or not, Pixel Ripped 1995 is relatable to any gamer familiar with overprotective parents, know-it-all kids who claim to 100% a game when they don’t know their Chun-Li’s from their Samus Aran’s or those elusive ‘5 more minutes until a checkpoint’ just before lights out.

While the games you play are a little more forgiving than the actual titles that were around at the time, with the frequent interruptions, there’s that extra bit of challenge to multi-task.

Some of us with the XY chromosome have difficulty doing.

Let’s not go down that route.

You could finish Pixel Ripped 1995 in one sitting, but we ended up playing the first level about three or four times as it was so much fun.

When I say ‘we’, that included my 9-year-old who has no affiliation with the 90s but loved the game.

Only she has a cool dad that doesn’t switch off the console until she’s at least been able to find a save point or complete their deathmatch in Fornite.

Pixel Ripped 1995 - Beats
Time for some beats. Source: PR

Ignoring the sickness I felt from the rental store stage, I’ve enjoyed every minute of the game, and it makes me want to replay games like ZoolVendetta and Road Rash.

But Pixel Ripped 1995 PSVR replicates that sentimental feeling from the period too.

While I can boot up my Mega Drive or SNES with ease, I’m playing it on a 55″ screen mounted to the wall – in the game, I’m playing it on a CRT, which is so much more fun.

Pixel Ripped 1995 couldn’t have come at a better time.

With the kids stuck at home, I was able to enforce the classic ‘this is what it was like in my day’ routine, but with minimal effort: the game did all the grafting and did a fantastic job.

Thank you for the review code that was provided by the shady 16-bit character carrying a bow and wearing a hood. Do note that this is the NA release of the game the EU Pixel Ripped 1995 release date is today!

Pixel Ripped 1995 PSVR Review
9 / 10 Verdict
Pros
  • Excellent in-game retro titles.
  • Incredibly immersive - am I David?
  • Brilliant case of nostalgia, but not just for boomers.
Cons
  • Relatively short.
  • A little fiddly switching in-game controls.
Other than purchasing a flux capacitor off of eBay, this is the closest I'm going to get to relive my 90s gaming life. Though there was a bit of a 'grandad gets motion sickness' situation with one of the levels, Pixel Ripped 1995 is so expertly crafted for the PSVR community.
Rating

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