PixelJunk SideScroller is the latest PS3 title from Q-Games. The Kyoto-based game studio continues to churn out high quality digital games for the PS3 under its PixelJunk banner. SideScroller is a vector-infused side-scrolling shooter.
You shoot at enemies with one of three weapons you have, which you can upgrade through power-ups. The game scrolls as you play. You shoot. If you've played classic side-scrollers like Gradius, you'll be on familiar ground. That's doesn't mean this game is a retro rehash—not at all.
Brian Ashcraft, who has found his new favorite shooter:
Man, this is a good game. PixelJunk continuously surprises and delights as it effortlessly leaps from genre to genre, producing not only incredibly polished, but wonderfully inventive takes on familiar favorites. Yes, this is a sidescroller, but it's unlike any sidescroller I've ever played.
There are the obligatory giant bosses and haze of projectiles, but the game incorporates elements like solids and liquids, fire and ice in a compelling and interesting way that makes the game more than simply shooting at something and having it blow-up.
Yet, even just as a pure shooter—and I love these types of shooters—SideScroller delivers and dazzles. The enemies are familiar, but still fresh. And the giant bosses are...giant.
My favorite thing about Q-Games is the obsessive attention to detail and the way they make everything just so. These titles are made by people obsessed with making high quality games. It's at a level that's rarely seen outside of Nintendo games, and every PixelJunk game I fire up, I can't help but think that I'm playing something special.
The flourishes, from a retro arcade monitor to the "Insert Coin" prompt, create an arcade experience you never had, but only wish you could have. All this, and it's set to some truly chill music. I've always enjoyed unwinding to shooters, and PixelJunk: SideScroller is my new relax remedy. So is it worth picking up? Yes.
This is the total package of retro-chic style and substance. I only needed to play three levels to fall for what is now one of my favorite PlayStation 3 games of the year. Plus: it passed the wife test. My wife thought it was cool, and doesn't think that many games that I play are cool. She played it and wants to play it more. Should you buy it? Yes.