Over the past few years, the PlayStation Network has become a haven for some truly exceptional titles. One series that has become synonymous with the service is the PixelJunk series. Encompassing five titles, what makes this series so impressive is the fact that the small catalog of games span four different genres. It’s not often that a developer is so comfortable jumping between conventions in the way that Q-Games is. PixelJunk SideScroller, their newest title, aims to tread new ground once more, tackling the popular sidescrolling shoot-em-up genre.
While the PSN has seen its fair share of shoot-em-up releases, it’s no surprise that Q-Games will be injecting the title with the PixelJunk flair that gamers have become accustomed to. In PixelJunk SideScroller‘s case, this means that players can expect the game to be filled with bright, neon colors, all brought together with a striking retro aesthetic.
Don’t let the bright colors fool you though, as the game looks to be a perfect example of the genre, right down to its “bullet hell-like” sequences and massive bosses. Check out the newest trailer straight out of Gamescom 2011 to see just how hectic this neon thrill-ride can get.
There’s no denying that the visuals in PixelJunk SideScroller are jaw-dropping. While they may not be photo-realistic, the crisp, bright colors fit the tone of the game perfectly and effectively convey the retro feeling while still staying rooted in the present. The simplistic graphical design makes it easy to discern what a given object is and whether it’s a threat with just a glance.
It’s also evident that Q-Games is carrying over features from their previous games in order to enhance PixelJunk SideScroller. As with PixelJunk Shooter 2 (see our review), it seems as though elements like water will be used by the player to make their way through a given level, unleashing it on lava or fire in order to lower the risk at hand. The mechanic was a fresh twist the first time we saw it in action, and will no doubt help set their next project apart from the other shoot-em-ups on the market.
Also on display in the trailer are some of the game’s bosses. As with any other sidescroller, these fights quickly devolve into a battle of wills as the player weaves in and out of masses of bullets, simply fighting to survive. The bosses in PixelJunk SideScroller look to be no different, having multiple phases that players will have to fight through keeping the fights fresh and exciting.
Combined with the ability to play through the game with a friend, it’s no surprise that the game was nominated for Game Rant’s Best Indie Game Of E3. Being part of a series that has been nominated for multiple BAFTA awards, it will be no surprise to see this title generating quite a bit of excitement as it nears release.
Are you excited to get your hands on the newest addition to the PixelJunk series? What features from previous games would you like to see implemented into this one?
PixelJunk SideScroller is due out sometime this year on the PlayStation Network.