PixelJunk Eden is a hard game to describe, it's even hard to catergorize.  What is it, a platformer? A giant puzzle game? I don't know but it has all sorts of great gameplay elements surrounded by the most basic of all game goals, the high score. You don't have to go for the high score, you can just play the game to reach the end but the beauty of the game comes from having the perfect run, from competing to be the best. Getting ahead of myself, first lets talk about what this game is.

In Eden you are this tiny creature called a grimp who can spin webs and grab onto plants. Your goal is to collect pollen to fill up seeds, touch the seed and you make them grow into plants which you can use to move higher up and find more seeds. To get pollen you must hit "pollen prowlers", basically these floating objects in the level, you can hit them yourself or grab them with the web. The more you hit in one swing of the web or jump the higher the multiplier goes and the more seed you get. The ultimate goal is to grab a giant glowing thing called a spectra, there are five in every garden (level). Now its not easy cause there is a timer, it constantly goes down, to fill it up you have to hit special life orbs that are spread around the level or that spawn every time you get a combo of 5.

The game starts off with simple gardens which don't take much skill to get around but that does not last for long.  Maps get larger, enemies start to appear, the prowlers begin to cut your webbing, the levels themselves begin to impead your progress, puzzles guard some spectra and everything just becomes harder and harder.  In the later levels it can take 10 minutes to climb all the way up, make a mistake and you could fall all the way down.  Frustrating is an understatement with this game, you will be pulling out your hair at points.  Hour long sessions could end at any time cause of one mistake, you have no choice but to start all over again from the beginning of the run. Anyone looking for a true challenge, well this is the game for you, I predict only the most dedicated players will ever get all 50 specrta in the game.

Sure you can go through the game just to beat it if you'd like but that is not the most fun aspect, having that incredible scoring run is when this game is at its best. The key is to keep the life bar up as long as possible, extend the length of your run so you could nab as much pollen as possible. For all the frustration this game puts you in, it rewards you with an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you beat a level and get a high score.  There are worldwide leaderboards and friend leaderboards, rarely is there a feeling in gaming than when you pass the score to be the best, to be 1st place, I have done that on two gardens. This is what keeps me playing this game over and over, the quest to be the highest scorer, its as addicting a game as I have played in a long time.

The controls are extremely solid, if you make a mistake its usually your fault but I must warn you it can get hectic to the point where you almost have to be perfect with your jumps or you are screwed. If there is anything wrong with the core gameplay its that maybe the camera stays too close at times forcing you to do some blind jumps.  If you want the camera to zoom out you have to do some full rotations of your web swing or fall a great distance, sometimes both those options are not a good idea. The game also offers offline co-op with up to three players but all have to stay in the camera view, if one goes off the camera randomly chooses one of the grimps to focus on and the other will "die" and teleport near the main one. Its not the most ideal setup for co-op but its still fun with others. Also I have heard some critisim about how the game makes you replay a garden 5 times, you start off searching for one spectra, then two, then three and so on.  I believe this is the ideal way to play cause the game eases you into the gardens, if it had you look for all five spectra off the bat it would be overwhelming, this way you slowly make progress and learn where all the spectra are, when its time for the final 5 spectra run you will be well known with the level.

Graphically its a very artisic game, very bold colors contrast with the background, its an interesting look that can only be shown not described. The music in the game follows the gameplay, as you find spectra the garden music gets more complex adding new beats and instruments.  All the music is some kind of techno, it almost feels like you are in an endless rave with all the "boom boom boom" beats over and over.  If you have a good bass in your sound setup then get your ears ready, this game is a bass machine. For some it can get annoying, I thought it worked well with the game. Anyone worring about the length of the game can be assured that if you really want to beat this game it will take a LONG time, the final few gardens take over an hour just to complete once, thats not counting all the times you will die.  There is a lot of challenging but rewarding gameplay here, well worth the $10.

I know this game is not for everyone but if you are someone that enjoys a difficult but fair game this is for you.  If you like games where you can perform a perfect run, one of those games which you can play one way just to finish it or another way to truely master it, if you are the mastering type, this is for you.  This game tests your platforming skills, your puzzle solving skills and your basic videogame reflexs, you have to be in a zone to get through it.  It takes me back to the old days where your hands were sweating, your heart was racing cause one mistake and its all over, wow what a feeling.  I love this game, best PSN game, one of the best downloadable games I have ever played.

Posted by Dvader Tue, 12 Aug 2008 02:34:05 (comments: 5)
Tue, 12 Aug 2008 06:42:59
I think you will score it a 9.0 or high 8s, you will knock a few points of because of the frustation and some "leaps of faith".

Tue, 12 Aug 2008 21:45:05
Correct Iga, I give it a solid 9.
Tue, 12 Aug 2008 22:01:33
Yee, actualy the only review I had a problem with was your Lost Wind Review. Going by the text it seemed like high 8 and 9, but you gave it a 7.9 or something.

I think you might have trouble reviewing lesser games Vader. So to improve your skills do Superman 64 next Nyaa
Wed, 13 Aug 2008 00:03:16
Well Lost Winds could have been higher but I deducted a lot cause it felt like the first level of a larger game.  It was way too short. I loved what I played but I don't like having a feeling like a payed for something that is not finished, unless it's stated like episodic content.
Wed, 13 Aug 2008 17:58:51
Hmm, sounds weird. I still need to check this game out.
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