Pixel Ripped 1989 has finally arrived on PSVR and what an experience it is! Filled to the brim with nostalgia and game references. Just please don’t ask me what genre it fits in to. I’ve been trying to figure that out for the last couple of weeks and my head is twisted.
The best way to describe Pixel Ripped 1989 is a sort of 8-bit platformer in a VR world with AR mechanics. It’s a game within a game that comes out of the game into the VR world in an AR fashion. I know I’m not making sense but trust me it is brilliant.
Pixel Ripped 1989 follows the adventures of Dot, an in-game character who sees her world torn apart by the Cyblin Lord, a villain able to break through the video game screen and invade the real world. In the game, the player inhabits Nicola, a second-grade student who must help Dot save both realities from this menace by facing challenges in the retro gaming 2D world, all while distracting the cranky teacher and escaping from the furious headmaster in her own 3D world.
See easy to follow…right?
The main bulk of Pixel Ripped 1989 takes place in a hand held game device called a game kid. You the player take the form of Nicola a young schoolgirl playing her game kid in class at school.
As Nicola you control Dot. An 8-bit sprite inside the game kid. The majority of Dots levels are your typical 8-bit platform affair. Run, jump, shoot bad guys and avoid traps.
A nice touch to the 8-bit sections of the game is Dot’s sprite. Starting off as a simple dot you become more fully formed the more pixels you collect. As well as being a wonderful art
If you are a dot you only have one hit left until dead.
Whilst playing on the game kid and controlling Dot. You also have to be aware of Nicola’s surroundings. You see Nicola is sat in the classroom playing the game kid under the desk so every so often you have to fire spitballs at certain objects in the room so that you can keep playing. Failure to do so will lead to the teacher catching you. If that happens then it is off to detention you go.
As you progress through the game you end up with weird AR type moments such as the headmaster and the final boss battles. These are implemented brilliantly. I do want to go too much into them as I don’t wanna spoil the fun. Let’s just say the VR and 8-bit worlds meet and it is glorious.
Throughout Pixel Ripped 1989 levels you will find plenty of gaming references such as the Konami code. Some levels take on those of old classics such as Ghost and Goblins, Alex the Kidd and others.
Pixel Ripped 1989 is a truly fantastic blend of nostalgia, retro gaming, VR experience and indie game creativity. There is honestly no other title I can think of out there to compare this to!
The difficulty in the 8-bit sections is as hard as you would expect an 8-bit game to be. The use of VR is brilliant and the sort of AR sections are everything this 30 something gamer imagined games as a kid.
Pixel Ripped 1989 breaks all the rules of genre and is a must own for every PSVR gamer. It is as simple as that!
Thank you so much to the developer Avore for such a great game. I can’t wait to see what you have lined up next…
Overall Score 9/10
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