Pixel Ripped 1995 PSVR2 - Let's go Retro!
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Pixel Ripped 1995 is the second of the series of nostalgia fuelled Virtual Reality games. In case it wasn’t blindingly obvious, this one is set in 1995; the glory years of gaming.  

The game released a couple of years ago for the first PlayStation VR. Earlier this month, the developers Arvore released a PSVR2 update for the game. Does it still retain the charm it once had? 

Thankfully it’s a resounding yes. The upgrade didn’t fiddle around with a winning formula. Arvore added a shiny new graphical polish, vibration features for the headset and the use of adaptive triggers. All plus points. 

The best part of it is, if you already own the game, the upgrade is FREE!

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

For those unfamiliar with the Pixel Ripped series, it is a very clever and very visually appealing game which has you, playing as a boy named David, who is playing a game on his console. Very meta. While playing the games, you need to complete other tasks in order to continue your gaming session. For example, while playing a Legend of Zelda type game, you will need to pick up your NERF gun and fire it at different objects in your sitting room to prevent your mother from switching your console off, all the while ensuring that you are paying attention to your screen. 

As the levels progress, the gaming world and the real world begin to intertwine. David goes from controlling his on-screen character Dot (blatantly based on Samus from Super Metroid) to teaming up with her to defeat the evil Cyblin Lord. 

SNES or Megadrive? – The original Oasis or Blur

There are tonnes of nods to the games that made the 16-bit era so special. You will get knock-off versions of Zelda, Sonic, Super Castlevania, Road Rash, Super Mario and many, many more. Each section is different to the last. This can sometimes make you wish that the sections that you really enjoy are longer and more fleshed out. But on the flip side, the sections you don’t particularly like, don’t stay too long to become a burden. 

There is even a section of the game that sees you in a Video Rental shop dashing between two demo stations. Now that might not sound particularly special to you, and if that is the case, I assume that you were born this side of the millennium. Those cabinets set up in rental shops to let you try a game were amazing. A section set in an arcade also tugs on the old nostalgia heartstrings of people my age. 

Blast from the past

The visuals for the majority of the game are really impressive. You will immediately recognise the games that the developers are recreating. For other sections, the ability to make 2d pixels come alive in a 3d world in a VR environment can’t have been easy but the developers have managed it brilliantly.  

The only thing that lets the graphics down are the models for the “real world” characters. They are too cartoonish and also not cartoony enough. It seems like two artists were fighting, one wanting to have realistic character models, the other wanting them to be more cartoon-based, so they met in the middle. 

The voice acting, especially that of your mother, is a little hammy though and perhaps could use some improvement. This doesn’t take away from the fact that everything else is aurally spot on. The blips, beeps and tinny music that made earlier games so memorable are alive and well in this game. Honestly, the way that the developers have recreated the authentic feeling of that decade is second to none. 

The game is relatively short and if you have a spare afternoon, you might even go through it in one sitting. This isn’t a bad thing by any stretch though. Pixel Ripped 1995 is a well-paced, well-thought-out gem of a game that never out-stays its welcome. I would prefer if every game was as tight with minimal filler. 

Short, but very sweet, Pixel Ripped 1995 is a game that will delight anyone who grew up in the 16-bit era. Cannot recommend highly enough. 

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About The Author

Grumpy Old Man. Believes things were better when he was young.

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