The sequel to 2018’s retro VR adventure offers double the action and triple the nostalgia.
Growing up in the 1990’s, few things were more important to a child than their Playstation or Nintendo 64. Today, the 90’s is considered to be one of the most important eras for video games, marking the dramatic transition from 16-bit to 32-bit platforms as well as the introduction of affordable at-home consoles.
A direct sequel to the original 2018 retro VR experience, Pixel Ripped 1995 honors this historic era in gaming with a captivating adventure that takes players through a diverse catalog of 32-bit video games based on real-world titles.
Similar To Pixel Ripped 1989, players once again step into the digital shoes of the games hero, Dot, an armor clad digital warrior tasked with protecting the Pixel Stone from the Cyblin Lord and saving the video game world from total destruction. Using the powers of the all-knowing Master, players “sync” with 9-year-old gamer David and play their way through 6 levels inspired by famous 90’s brawlers, platformers, space shooters, and action RPG’s.
Much like the original, players are presented with a variety of “real-world” distractions designed to throw them off their game while they play. This includes nagging parents as well as the cliche neighborhood bully who claims they have a family member that works in video games. Luckily, there are plenty of anti-distraction tools at your disposal. In the first level for instance, players can use a toy dart gun to knock over certain objects before one of the parental units turns off their console.
Each level is capped off with a final boss fight, in which the video game characters invade the real-world for a chaotic mixed reality battle in which the environment itself can be used to the players advantage. The first boss, for example, will avoid your attacks by clinging to several Jenga towers scattered across the floor. Using the aforementioned dart gun, players can knock down the structures, exposing the boss to their laser blaster.
This unique level design is where 1995 shines brightest. One of my favorite moments comes fairly on in the game; after seeing your copy of Pixel Ripped destroyed following an encounter with the Cyblin Lord, players travel with their father to the local video rental store to acquire an additional copy (once again this is 1995).
The only problem is the neighborhood jerk grabbed the last copy and won’t give it up unless you can collect all eight diamonds hidden throughout a game called Rad Racoon—a very obvious parody of Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s an impossible task (their are only seven diamonds in total), luckily you’re able to cheat by using specialty items from another video game in order to navigate around certain in-game obstructions. It takes some practice at first—jumping between two consoles can be a bit jarring—but once I got the hang of it I quickly began to enjoy the chaotic back-and-forth.
My primary issue with Pixel Ripped 1989 were the lackluster 2D platforming elements. Each level began with you playing through a 16-bit title on a conventional CRT television or handheld gaming device. These portions of the experience were often unnecessarily long and rather boring to complete. While the upgrade to 32-bit gaming adds more depth to the experience, the 2D games featured in Pixel Ripped 1995 also fall a little flat.
Still, Pixel Ripped 1995 offers a significantly improved experience that’s guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any 90’s gamer.
Image Credit: ARVORE Immersive Experiences