by Kiran Sury
reviewed on PS3
Into the Belly and Out of the … (cntd)
The second episode takes place in the mining facility once more and features gameplay similar to the first game, but with new enemies. The third episode turns off most the lights, giving you a new enemy – the dark. You fight your way from light source to light source, lest you stay in the shadows too long and succumb to ghosts. Finding ways to illuminate survivors and treasure so you can pick them up is fun, but you’re often forced to guess which way the next light source is, which isn’t. You receive a light ship, but only on the last stage. While the last episode is certainly the most unique, it is also the weakest of the three, as the loss of vision takes away from, rather than enhances the game.
Boss fights return, and they are even more elaborate, multi-stage battles. Unfortunately, the one-hit death mechanism means that you’ll have to restart these levels even more than the regular ones until you can perfect the sequence. It takes what could have been an innovative interesting challenge and breaks it up. You’ll play and enjoy it, then die at the next segment, then play until you get up to that segment and beat it, only to die at the next segment and repeat the cycle. To make matters worse, if you replay the last stage of each episode in your search for missing treasure or survivors, you must defeat the boss again for it to count. An indicator of how many gems are left in each level and the ability to save in the middle of a stage do help to salvage the experience.
The graphics are as good as the first game, even in the third episode where everything is mostly black. The shading changes when you venture into the darkness, and you can see green outlines of where you need to go, like the Matrix. It’s nice to see the game now using the whole color wheel, instead of a lot of red, blue, and brown. Music is once more courtesy of High Frequency Bandwidth, which keeps some themes from the first game while adding in new ones. It’s just as entrancing as the first game. The third episode in particular adds some jazz to the techno mix, and the results are just fantastic.
Are You PixekJunky Enough?
2 brings competitive multiplayer to the Shooter franchise. Two players can meet online to fight it out in a Mario-kart powerups meets hide and seek game that is as fun as you are good at it. Buying powerups and using them at the just the right moment to wreck your opponent is fun, but I don’t see many players continuing after they’ve ranked up and gotten the associated trophies.
PixelJunk Shooter 2 is made for fans of the first game who have the skill and the patience for a more challenging extension of the excellent original. If you’ve never played the original, I highly recommend that you check that out before purchasing this. If you have, but took it at a mellow pace, this game may be too difficult for you. Two-player coop helps with the challenge. One thing is certain – when Shooter 2 says into the belly of the beast, it isn’t kidding around.
No Pros and Cons at this time