PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD Review

The Vita version comes packed in with a ton of content and is well worth your money.

Posted By | On 30th, Jul. 2013 Under Article, Reviews | Follow This Author @KartikMdgl


You probably may have played Pixeljunk Monsters. It came out in 2008 and was highly regarded as one of the best PSN games of all time. Well, now is your chance to play the improved version called “Ultimate HD” on your PS Vita i.e. if you own the system.

The “HD” version not only features crisp upgraded visuals tailored to the Vita, but also comes with some extra content, making this version highly attractive.

It’s a tower defense game at its core, and if you have never been exposed to the genre, it basically requires you to construct defensive structures and stop the incoming enemy hordes or waves and protect yourself from being plundered.

PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD

In this game you play as the Tikiman aka the Forest Defender, and you have to defend your offspring from waves of monsters. Here’s where the game gets real. Ultimately it depends on how much you like the tower defense genre. Personally, I found it to be really fun playing on the Vita, and lazily constructing weapon towers and watching them take down the monsters never became dull.

"Different enemies require different strategy, and enemies come in all shapes and sizes. Placing the appropriate tower and supplementing certain towers will make sure you can take out a monster horde effectively."

I would say the experience is much better on the Vita than it was on the PS3, simply because it suits the handheld somewhat and there have been plenty of improvements here to feel like an entirely different game. Of course, the core gameplay and visuals are the same, but it’s much more polished, something you expect from a game released in 2013.

The Vita version contains 21 original Tiki island levels and 24 challenge levels, and it also adds additional stages of GatiGati Island, along with 15 additional levels of Toki Island.

There’s a lot of content here if you are willing to check them all out, and as a bonus you can also unlock music, videos and concept art.

Tower defense based games usually requires tactical decisions, and it also results in circumstances that may obliterate your complete strategy, requiring you to rethink the placement of the weapon towers. This is where the game can become highly addictive. Setting up towers and mowing down enemies can be hugely satisfying.

Different enemies require different strategy, and enemies come in all shapes and sizes. Placing the appropriate tower and supplementing certain towers will make sure you can take out a monster horde effectively. Sometimes it can be frustrating if some monsters break past your defenses but that is the allure of this genre.

You can collect coin from fallen monsters and from trees. This can be used to upgrade your towers and buy new ones. The concept is pretty simple just like any other tower defense game out there, but with a slight twist. There’s a sensitive balance that needs to be maintained so that the game doesn’t become too overwhelming for the player and Pixeljunk Monsters handles that well. You probably knew this years ago, didn’t you?

"There are some Vita specific features as well which utilizes the touch screen controls. They are definitely implemented in a non-gimmicky way and allows you to zoom in and out of the map. "

There’s also online and adhoc co-op play further reiterating the amount of replayability this game has. On top of that the Vita version also features additional trophies.

There are some Vita specific features as well which utilizes the touch screen controls. They are definitely implemented in a non-gimmicky way and allows you to zoom in and out of the map. The game challenges you and makes you think out of the box only giving you little time between each wave. But that’s actually a good thing, as it keeps you in the “zone” without making you lose interest. You can also retry stages and do things differently, so the element of choice is definitely there.

Overall, PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD feels like a love letter to the PlayStation Vita platform. It may feel familiar to people who have already played the game but the game packs in with enough content to warrant a purchase.

This game was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita.

THE GOOD

Tons of content. Nicely balanced game. Online multiplayer. Vita version is the best one.

THE BAD

Familiar to most people who have played the original game but it contains some new levels. It’s a tower defense game so you know what to expect.

Final Verdict

Pixeljunk Monsters is something that most people will be familiar with but the amount of polish and improvements the Ultimate HD version contains, it is basically a love letter to the Vita platform, and as such should be rewarded with a purchase.

A copy of this game was provided by developer/publisher for review purposes. Click here to know more about our Reviews Policy.

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