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WeView: PixelJunk Eden

Simplicity reigns.

Ok, here’s the thing. Normally when I look for games to put in the WeView poll I go for games released in the last couple of years. Oh sure, there are exceptions, but in general it’ll be a game from the last two years or so.

You’re now probably asking exactly how PixelJunk Eden made the cut, and it’s largely due to my stupidity. You see, Eden got a Windows version back in February of this year. If you combine this with the fact I’d confused PixelJunk Eden and Child of Eden you can see how this all came about.

Anyway, it’s the 2008 Q-Games title in the spotlight this week, and it’s a deserving spotlight indeed. The PixelJunk series has been somewhat of a favourite of various staff over the years at TSA, and it’s got a solid following from our community as well. Eden, the third entry in the PixelJunk series, was no exception to this, coming in at 9/10 in our review, as well as sitting at a comfortable 80 on Metacritic.

So, what did we have to say about the game way back in the heady days of 2008? Well, we began by praising it for its simplicity, comparing it to titles like Bugaboo the Flea.

When Bugaboo was released in 1983 that simplicity was forced on it by constraints of the hardware, so for Eden to recapture that feeling 25 years later on a console that is almost infinitely more powerful is quite an achievement.

We also found a lot to like in the game’s music, praising the way it builds “throughout each Garden [to add] a sense of tension,” and how it links nicely with the gameplay mechanic of the Oscillator, which acts as a life gauge. The two combined to create “a gentle pressure [that] is omnipresent as you gracefully swing from branch to branch looking for pollen.”

In fact, the game’s swinging mechanics were highlighted more than once in the review. We also enjoyed the way the “combination of spinning, swinging and movement can create a hypnotic mindset as you seek out the trickier paths upwards,” and found that it allowed “the game’s physics to shine.”

If all of that hasn’t set out our feelings on the game, here’s a longer extract from the concluding remarks of the review:

As with previous Pixeljunk games, we’d be lying if we said this was for everyone, but there’s a playable demo up on the US Store now (and one for Europe tomorrow, too) so you’ve no excuses for not trying the game. For the rest of us, the hopeless addicts to anything 2D, it’s a remarkable title and yet another shining example of the excellent quality we’ve come to expect from the PSN Store when developers put their mind to it. Almost as good as Bugaboo the Flea, then.

So that’s pretty much all we had to say about the game, and it’s time to throw open the doors to you, the community. Did you fall for the game as hard as we did, or did you perhaps find it overly simplistic? Was the music just the right thing to complement the gameplay, or was it not quite your cup of tea?

Whether your opinion is positive, negative, or somewhere in between, you can share it by dropping a comment below. All we ask is that you including a rating on the Buy It, Plus It, Avoid It scale. As Eden is a digital game this is a little different from our normal scale, with Plus It meaning it’s only worth picking up the game discounted or for free via PlayStation Plus. And remember, if you want to be included in Monday’s verdict article you need to have your comment in by Sunday afternoon.

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  1. Ed the Penguin
    Since: Dec 2008

    I’d say Plus it.. It’s a great time killer, nice music and lovely visuals. The reason I say Plus it is that I did buy it ages ago, but found it not to be a game that I’d play constantly (although that may be down to my Burnout Paradise addiction I had back then).

    Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 13:05.
  2. bunimomike
    Since: Jul 2009

    Plus It. As someone who’s truly loved what PixelJunk is doing, I didn’t get on with Eden at all and haven’t returned since my first foray into it. However, Monsters, Shooter,… both sublime games.

    Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 13:07.
    • TSBonyman
      Since: Dec 2009

      Same here, couldn’t figure out how to actually play Eden with any success but absolutely loved both Shooters.

      Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 13:34.
  3. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    Love Q-Games’ PixelJunk stuff, couldn’t get on with Eden

    Avoid it/Plus it

    Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 13:19.
  4. BrendanCalls
    Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - YOHIMBÉ!!!
    Since: Forever

    I thought it was decent, I hit a bit of a glass ceiling in the game that I just couldn’t break through.

    Plus it

    Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 13:32.
  5. Moshbag
    Since: Nov 2011

    Absolutely Buy It from me, I thought it was superb, easily as good as Monsters. I played through entirely in three player co-op, and from the graphical design to the music, it was enormous fun. Some of the later wacky levels with the gravity changes and the gale force wind just added to the co-op chaos, and I always loved it when a fellow player misjudged a jump and you leaped out into the void on a line to catch them from certain doom. I do think the unlock for clocking the game (you could fire out a line with the right stick) could have been included differently, as it changed the way it played, but by that time you’d completed everything there was to complete (which was no easy task).

    Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 13:38.
  6. element666
    Since: Mar 2012

    buy it! I love this game,at first I was confused and wondered what on earth I had bought,and then like a bolt of lightning It just clicked and I couldn’t put it down. Its so simple and so addictive. Need to play it now!

    Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 13:44.
  7. uncharted86
    Since: Jan 2012

    Buy it! As with all the other PixelJunk games. We need them to make their new game on PSN and not just on Steam.

    Oh, and Eden is a brilliant game :)

    Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 13:47.
  8. jimmy-google
    Since: Feb 2009

    Eden would be a perfect Vita game where you can dip in and out of it. I’ve very rarely played it on my ps3 as I’ve found it easier to put the time in on a big story driven game. I don’t think home consoles really work that well for pick up and play but vita or a mobile would be great. It’s expensive but you can get better value for the same price so I would (as I did) plus it.

    Eden is far from a bad a game, it’s really good fun but I can’t find myself sinking hours at a time into it.

    Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 13:58.
    • KeRaSh
      Since: Nov 2009

      I’d buy it if it was on the Vita. I really liked the music in the demo but I couldn’t get myself to buy it on my PS3…

      Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 14:12.
      • jikomanzoku
        Since: Jan 2010

        I used to play it using remote play on my PSP when in the bath or at work, bit laggy but worked well :)

        Oh and buy it, along with the soundtrack, which was (is still?) available on the store and very reasonably priced.

        Comment posted on 28/11/2012 at 10:49.
  9. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    I’ve not been impressed by any of the Pixeljunk games. Terribly flimsy versions of already well worn genres. Sidescroller was such a waste of money.

    Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 14:16.
    • Forrest_01
      Since: Jun 2009

      I haven’t played many PJ games apart from shooter, but i thought that one (well, two) was actually pretty good. Yes, it riffs on choplifter & games of that ilk, but aside from that, the fluid mechanics make it their own.

      The rest, i admittedly haven’t bothered with – Especially not sidescroller, as it looked like a hampered version of Shooter to me.

      Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 14:24.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        Racers was a good game if you like high score leaderboards.
        Monsters is a great tower defence game, still.
        Shooter & Shooter 2 are great cross-genre puzzling/choplifter type games.

        I don’t know much about Sidescroller & 4am though.

        Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 14:54.
  10. dude90
    Since: Nov 2009

    I’ve yet to play this, I picked it up with a few of the others when they were heavily discounted a while back from Plus. Should get around to play with it.

    Comment posted on 27/11/2012 at 14:39.

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