Pixel Ripped 1995 (PlayStation 4) Review

By Luke Hemming 12.05.2020

Review for Pixel Ripped 1995 on PlayStation 4

The first trip into the world of Pixel Ripped was a blast, combining tight platforming with a really great sense of awe and nostalgia backing up the gameplay. VR became relevant again, and gave this reviewer a real reason to enjoy it as a medium, after lacklustre efforts from developers with infinitely bigger resources. Can Pixel Ripped 1995 live up to its excellent predecessor? The answer in short, much like the jump form 8 bit to 16, is it may supersede it in every aspect.

For the uninitiated, The Pixel Ripped franchise follows heroine dot (bearing more than a passing resemblance to creator Ana Riberio) protecting the Pixel Stone from the Cyblin Master. Last time the Pixel Stone was safely recovered and peace was restored. After some initial trickery, the stone is lost, and it's up to Dot to once again 'sync' with the greatest games player of the era and recover it. Whereas the characters outside of the game world in the original could seem to be supplementary with all the focus around the excellent gameplay, the sequel really takes the time to flesh out the world that pro gamer David lives in.

Screenshot for Pixel Ripped 1995 on PlayStation 4

A rather impressive amount of dialogue has been recorded here to allow for a genuine love of both parents, the over-worrying mum who thinks the radiation from a cartridge will numb your brain, and the happy-go-lucky father everyone hopes of being at some point - awful dad jokes and all. David even has a nemesis following him through each scenario, riling up the player at every given opportunity. Everyone has had them growing up.

The over privileged know-it-all who mocks at the fact you haven't even got to 'that level yet,' or that his dad worked on the game, so he got it for free and knows all the secrets. It's an amazing feat a game character can mock so relentlessly, and every time his face appeared everything became tense and agitated. Exactly what you want a nemesis to do to your senses - it's fantastic.

Screenshot for Pixel Ripped 1995 on PlayStation 4

Settings are a lot more varied this time around as well. When reviewing the original, the biggest challenge was how to avoid giving away too many surprises, and it's very much the same case here. Without giving too much away, if you grew up as a gamer in the '90s, it's easy to imagine exactly what settings levels are going to be played in - just think where you went for your gaming fixes, and at home what options you had technology-wise to have a quick bash on your latest rented title. All "real world" settings are beautifully realised in VR, and fully interactive again. You can empty a can of crisps, check out the latest magazines sprawled on the bed, and take a look at the box art of cartridges scattered around.

Attention needs to be paid to the surroundings at all times in order to complete a level, with distractions ranging from mum trying to get you to go to sleep, all the way up to attacks from the Cyblin lord himself. With each level littered with interactivity, and the focus required to activate or deactivate each trigger, the extra VR style of gameplay becomes essential and never fully detracts from the main action.

Screenshot for Pixel Ripped 1995 on PlayStation 4

The SNES/Mega Drive, 16-bit Era was known for some real classics, and pretty much all are represented here in a fantastic love letter. Each also has exactly the tight controls and lack of any button lag that you would expect when raging through streets and castlevania-esque platforming. Dot also spends the majority of her down time in a lovingly created Final Fantasy style world, complete with sprites repeating the same expected phrases about the hero of the Pixel universe, and the temple overlooking the village.

One of the biggest compliments that can be given to Pixel Ripped 1995 is that any of the titles created for the specific stages are worthy of their own, standalone releases. After every completed section, it was a pleasure to revisit each title in the level select option, and always a bitter pill to swallow when realising they were about to come to an end again. This reviewer will be personally petitioning to get the Rad Racoon trilogy released. A character right up there in the pantheons of mascots standing alongside Crash, Sonic, and Poochie.

Screenshot for Pixel Ripped 1995 on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

ARVORE has done the impossible here, and has taken one of the best VR experiences on the PSVR, and managed to make it even better in almost every respect. Full to the bring with nostalgia, and not resting on that simple premise to sell, Pixel Ripped 1995 races through the finishing line with tight gameplay, excellent use of the VR system, and fully developed characters framing the era perfectly with their dialogues and observations. Get it, finish it, and then wait patiently for the next jump in technology to be turned into a title as fantastic as this one. Pixel Ripped 2000 anyone?

Developer

Arvore Immersive Experiences, LLC

Publisher

Arvore Immersive Experiences, LLC

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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