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Games : Highly Recommended
Release Date: June 3rd, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate

Overview -

Q-Games, a second-party studio partner for Sony Computer Entertainment, has been creating videogames across a variety of platforms since the mid-2000s. Founded by Dylan Cuthbert – famous for 'Star Fox' – the studios primary focus and recognition has been developing games under the 'PixelJunk' moniker. Although not an entirely new title added to the franchise, Q-Games decided to combine their 'PixelJunk Shooter' series into a single offering to be made available on the PlayStation 4; inclusive of updated visuals and physics-based mechanics. But is this 'Ultimate' edition of the well-received PlayStation 3 titles worthy of separate play through, or does it simply fall into the category of another unnecessary HD remake?

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
Release Date:
June 3rd, 2014

Video Review


I had previously hinted at the puzzle mechanics of 'Ultimate' taking the form of a variety of elements: solids, gasses, and liquids. While adding to the overall complexity of the individual puzzles, it is the physics-based mechanics that ultimately steal the show. The fluid simulations of both water and lava make for a mesmerizing and realistic experience, and I can only image how difficult it must have been to develop such active visuals.

Everything about these elements – from particle resolution and shading to the wonderful use of colors – boasts an overall increase in visual fidelity from the game's original release. Add to this the increased 60 fps and the final delivery is both smooth and visually stunning. I was continually impressed by the amount of depth 'PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate' was capable of delivering when considering its 2D foundations.

Audio Review


While certainly the weakest link, 'Ultimate' is the type of game that neither requires nor needs a high performing audio track to heighten gameplay. Explosions sound like explosions, the shaking ground warns of a volcanic eruption, and the childlike cries from scientists killed too soon will haunt my dreams for nights to come.

The most standout feature of the audio can be found with the interesting blend of musical genres. From jazz to a weird merging of record scratching and funk, the soundtrack to 'PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate' somehow, oddly, feels right. In any other videogame setting it would be interpreted as unusual and out of place. But given the light-hearted nature of this game, it fits like a well-worn slipper – loose, comfortable, and familiar.

Final Thoughts

While there have been a number of AAA titles released for the PlayStation 4, the idea of developing HD or 'Ultimate' versions of prior games continues to be a presence. Whether it's an updated 'Tomb Raider' or the future release of Naughty Dog's award winning 'The Last of Us', this trend is certain to continue until the PlayStation 4 further solidifies itself within the videogame industry and new IPs are developed. Some of these updated titles have been obvious cash-ins, while others truly provide a fresh experience. I believe 'PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate' falls into the latter of these two categories. It delivers enough reason for fans of the original series to play the game again, and an opportunity for gamers new to the series to experience it as a complete collection.