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Roundtable Preview: PixelJunk Shooter 2

Posted by on February 28th, 2011 | 0 Comments | Tags: ,

We did one of these for Dead Nation, so why not bring it back again for PixelJunk Shooter 2. Ben, Brad, Eric, and myself all thought up some questions and answered them. Consider this a sneak preview at the game.

Multiplayer Madness

First up how would you describe the multiplayer?

Ben: I honestly didn’t expect much when playing it for the first time, but I found myself playing more and more, and suffice to say I’m relatively hooked. It’s a fresh take on it, and it’s extremely fun. Totally worth sinking time into.

Brad: Frantic fun. Been dying to get into more matches.

Chris: This is all I have been thinking about for the past week. “Frantic fun” is putting it mildly. This is some of the most intense action on the PlayStation network, and that includes retail purchases. I can’t wait for the game to go public so I can play it more.

Eric: I get as animated, if not more, playing PJS2 MP than I get playing an FPS online. I’m talking screaming at the top of my lungs, nearly chucking my controller. It’s seriously the most animated I’ve gotten with an online multiplayer game in a while. I think the reason for this is the fact that it’s a 1 on 1 cat and mouse affair. It’s interesting because when you’re on offense, the name of the game is stealth. Really, this is tactical espionage action without guns, chokeouts, or crawling in the prone position. It’s so crazy knowing that you’re invisible to your opponent unless he spots you with his conical sonar. Should you slowly glide to the next survivor or risk being seen by speeding around?

Have you been using any strategies in muliplayer?

Ben: The grapple is your best friend. Hook your opponent quickly in the defense stage, and blow them away as fast as possible. It’s a surefire way to get ahead if executed quickly.

Brad: So far I’ve only used entry level stuff, but hopefully once I log more games I’ll be able to pull off some dirty tricks. I love the idea of camouflaging as a survivor

Chris: Too many. Having played the game a lot versus the devs at Q-Games, I have been given some insight into strats they found during development. Magma Ball + Heat Resistance is a good combo, Speed Up is good for levels with lots of water, and one that I use a lot is Tomahawk + Reverse Controls. That last one can be deadly if executed at the beginning of a round.

Eric: I wonder what strategies will arise after the game is out for a while. Right now I’m just playing without thinking too hard, relying on my Metal Gear grit to keep me hidden no matter how close my opponent gets to me. I love getting chased around an environmental piece and not being discovered, or hanging out in unlikely places, floating behind the veil. I’m sure the differences in each level will lend themselves to different strats.

Let’s talk single player now. What are the major improvements in your eyes.

Ben: Dude, the spin attack. That thing has saved me so many times that it approaches comedy. It makes getting out of a pinch so much less frustrating, and I couldn’t imagine leaving it behind to replay PJS1.

Brad: A simple equation: a lot less grinding for jewels + more memorable bosses = overall more fun.

Chris: I am with Ben on this one, that spin attack is something. You can quickly take out a whole line of enemies with one dash. Another thing is that I completed this game 100%, unlike PJS where I just grinded enough to get through to the final boss. I guess I just had a lot more fun playing this one.

Eric: The game just seems to be much better overall. I was slightly skeptical of it because I thought the first Shooter was overrated, to be honest. It’s good, no doubt, but my buddy and I beat it in one short sitting, collecting most of the diamonds and survivors on our first playthrough. That being said, there wasn’t much there in terms of replayability (for me, at least). The sequel fixes this issue on a few fronts. For one, it’s lengthier overall. There are 5 levels each in 3 separate zones, and each of the levels is decidedly lengthier than those in the first game. That’s what I’ve experienced, anyways. It could just be my perception, but I’m spending 20+ minutes on many of these levels, and Chris mentioned that the final level takes a long time to get through. Another way Q has fixed the replayability issue that I had with the first game is the addition of an online multiplayer battle mode.

What was your favorite moment in playing the game thus far.

Ben: I have to say that the bubbles were totally awesome to play around in. I couldn’t get enough of the swinging around a point.

Brad: Some heated multiplayer turns.

Chris: Being the #1 ranked in both Online and Single Player. Besides that there are the numerous beatings I have given Eric. I think he is afraid to play me, just saying 🙂

Eric: My favorite moment in PJS2 is facing the second boss. I’m a huge shmup fan, so the addition of challenging shmup sections in PJS2 is fantastic. I love the nods to Space Invaders and Galaga, and there are a few near-bullethell moments that had me focusing as if I were playing a serious shmup

What do you think of the new suits and environments?

Ben: They are astoundingly cool at times. The Hungry suit changed up the gameplay to an alarming degree, which made for a nice change of pace, even if the controls for the suit felt a tad unnecessarily restrictive. So far, I’ve only completed the first world, but the environmental variety was quite simply outstanding. The animations in the belly of the beast were unnerving, and everything just looked astounding. I haven’t had a chance to try the light vs dark mechanics, but the game does generally feel a little more “bullet hell” at points, which is totally ok in my books.

Brad: Didn’t really like the hungry suit, but it definitely changed things up. Thought the second world was uninspired, but the first and third world are very unique.

Chris: I really liked the light suit. That is probably due to the fact that you are in complete darkness with the light suit, it becomes a more exploratory based game. Also some new enemies show up too when using that suit. Unlike Brad, I enjoyed the second world. The shmup aspects were a great change of pace from the first game and the other levels in Shooter 2.

Eric: I don’t mind the Hungry Suit, but that’s probably in part due to the fact that I love Dig Dug. The tongue that you shoot out instead of your grappling hook had me laughing a bunch. I haven’t played the dark area yet, but it looks cool. I like the belly of the beast levels. They require you to be a bit more careful when zooming through the levels since crashing into a purple wall leads to your ship getting poisoned. The different liquids/gases play off of each other well in the belly levels. You’ve got acid that can be cured by water, the purple bubbles that you have to grapple through(and if popped spew acid), and the gas, which is ignited by fire.

Final words?

Ben: This game totally improves on every aspect of the first title to an alarming degree. It really is staggering.

Brad: I had better take a picture of me ranked #3 on one of the levels, something tells me this game is going to blow up.

Chris: Be sure to check out the review tomorrow!

Eric: The game surprised me in that it retains the core mechanics of its predecessor while improving on everything else. As I mentioned before, I was a skeptic when I started PJS2. It didn’t take very long before I was a believer. PJS2 is a top-tier PSN game