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Review: Pixels and Oversized Guns
Granite is hard. Titanium is harder still. Pixels And Oversized Guns is proper hard. Like Forest Griffin hard! I'm writing this upfront to just let everyone know that this is not a game for wimps. There, you were warned!
The game begins with a retro-tastic "START" screen. Upon passing this you are thrusted straight into the game; no introduction, no selected difficulty ('hard' appears to be the only option!); just pure game. Some may not like this approach yet when you consider the retro-undertones of the game you realise that this is an attempt to emulate the era when games could not be tailored to suit individual tastes. You didn't make the game work for you, you worked for the game.
Gameplay wise, this is classic -Codemonkey- 2D platforming action! If you have played any other of his quirky platformers (Sewah Runs, Coiney Toiney or the brilliant Coal demo) you will instantly get to grips with the controls. Obviously the double jumps and wall grinds are gone in order to fit the retro feel of the package, yet it is no less an experience for it. Though fairly short - just 5 levels long - the game rewards successful players with a bonus level where the player can take advantage of infinite life as he or she destroys what looks like a million scrolling enemy. This attention to detail is a welcome reward for all the hard work gone into the previous stages and not being able to die almost rewards as much as winning the lottery! In case i hadn't mentioned earlier, this game is hard.
Obviously you would expect the graphics would not be on par with Call of Duty 4, what with this being a retro-style game. Surprisingly though, this is as colourful and as refreshing on the eye as most Klik games out there. Some of the best parts of the visuals include the flashing enemy laser fire and the way the screen turns red when you take your third hit and die. And no -Codemonkey- game would be complete without some kind of flashy explosion effect - Pixels and Oversized Guns does not disappoint! Again, in keeping with the games' tone the explosions are flat but spectacular. Additional effect is given via a neat little camera shake, something that you would think would be implemented by more Klikers! As pretty as it is though, this game is hard.
The music is suitably 8-bit in the way it sucks the player into the game. The sound effects are spot-on, making jumping as satisfying as games such as the Mario and Sonic games. Very good. doesn't disappoint. The game is very hard though, in case i haven't mentioned that already.
So with 5 rock-hard levels this may appear short. Thankfully, the slightly difficult gameplay makes this last a little longer. With a fair bit of practice it may be possible to finish this game in 10 minutes, but the practice needed to do this would mean the game has lasted somewhat anyway. Difficult? Yes! Unfair? Well, no. That is testiment to -Codemonkey-'s talents as a coder to make such hard but fair games. Everytime you die (and this is often) you know this is your own fault! Because of this, you'll find yourself coming back to this again and again. And it's a good thing that there are infinite continues too, because this game is hard!
So to conclude, a fairly hard game that is both fair and classy in its retro approach. Do yourself a favour and take a walk up memory lane. Or if you weren't around in the 80's, come and see what you've been missing. Oh, and don't be such a wimp, this game can be beaten.... though it is hard!
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