Pixel Junk Eden Demo Review

By Mike on 7:35 pm

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I have to admit I didn't like Pixel Junk Monsters. The PSN hit I thought was a little cheesy. Despite my thoughts going into it, I was pleasantly surprised with the Pixel Junk Eden demo. It's the latest in Q-Games series of Pixel Junk downloadable games. Eden is a puzzle-platformer. In the game, you control a Grimp, a little silkworm-like creature. Your goal is to journey to various gardens and find the Spectra there, which are used to improve your own home garden. Sounds dull but the game is actually an involving platformer with realistic physics.

The artistic style of the game reminds me a little of LocoRoco. The graphics are 2D and use a modernist art design rather than realism. Finding the Spectra require you to jump and swing your Grimp up plant stocks. New stocks can be grown from seeds. The seeds require you to collect pollen that floats around. After gaining so much pollen, the seed is activated and grows, creating a new plant platform to use. Your Grimp can jump, double jump, and spin. When you jump, a silk line leads out from you to the plant you were just on. You can use the silk line to swing yourself around the screen or as a tether to make small jumps. Hitting X twice releases the line. The R2 and L2 buttons can retract the line making for a shorter swing radius. The game also has limited Sixaxis control. Moving the controller down hard will cause your Grimp to do the same. You have a bar at the bottom of your screen that is the game's timer. It drops gradually and the game is over when it reaches zero. It can be recovered by collecting crystals found within the level. Small crystals recover the timer by a little, larger ones recover more time. The physics engine in the game makes jumps and falls realistic. The game is surprisingly simple yet difficult to master. That's something that gives a lot of replayability to a game like this.

As I mentioned, the game uses 2D graphics like all Pixel Junk games. It uses an artistic style to some of Sony's JapanStudio games like LocoRoco and Patapon. Eden runs at a native 1080p resolution. The audio is good. The soundtrack is a mix of techno with an ecclectic feel. The game recommends you use good quality speakers or headphones to truly enjoy it to it's fullest.
Eden also supports PSP Remote Play. This feature is supported in the demo as well. I tried it but I found the graphics weren't as sharp as they could be. I figure this is an issue with how Remote Play itself works. It's trying to take an HD image and downscale it rather than run it natively at the PSP's native resolution. Therefore, it looks blurry on the PSP's screen.
The final game will also support co-op play with up to three players. Trophy support is another feature that will be present in the final game. The trophies are pretty brutal to obtain and according to reports, only bronze and silver ones are available. Lastly, there will be a feature in the final version for making in game videos. Apparently, you'll be able to upload them to Youtube right from your PS3.

Eden is one of the best PSN downloadable titles I've seen so far. The full version will definitely be worth the mere $9.99. I'm not sure how long the final game will be. You can buy the full version on July 31st, 2008.

What Works
-Innovative graphic design
-Engaging gameplay, strong replayability
-Co-op mode
-Remote Play
-Ecclectic audio
-Video mode

What Doesn't Work
-No issues with Eden at this time

Score: 8.5 out of 10

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