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Originally launched in 2020 for Steam and PSVR, Pixel Ripped 1995 returns with an enhanced version, catering specifically to PS VR2 enthusiasts. This iteration offers a nostalgic trip down memory lane, allowing players to relish those leisurely Saturday mornings spent glued to their gaming consoles. With significant upgrades, such as polished visuals, improved performance, and the incorporation of Sony’s Sense controllers’ advanced features, the PSVR2 adaptation of Pixel Ripped 1995 stands as the ultimate rendition of ARVORE’s homage to the 1990s and the classic console rivalries of yesteryears.

The game is a sequel to the original Pixel Ripped 1989 which transported gamers to the late 80s, allowing them to relive cherished video game moments through a unique and delightful virtual reality adventure. As an avid gamer, it really spoke to my childhood playing games with my brothers. This sequel incorporates the six-year gap into its storyline, showcasing a shift to the 16-bit era and the introduction of 3D consoles within the in-game experiences. Notably, Pixel Ripped 1995 surpasses its predecessor by offering enhanced variety and improvements. ARVORE’s team undeniably delivers another virtual reality triumph with this instalment.

Continuing from her adventures in the initial game, the gaming protagonist Dot returns, seeking aid from a real-world gamer to navigate various video games and safeguard her home from a malicious adversary. Fortunately, Dot partners with David, renowned as the world’s finest gamer. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? However, David faces challenges—a disapproving mother, pesky troublemaker Mike, and a set of demanding video games, making his mission to assist Dot far from straightforward.

A unique aspect of the Pixel Ripped series lies in its gameplay approach: players don’t directly engage with the video game; instead, they witness it displayed on a screen within a virtual world. This feature goes beyond mere immersive trickery, ingeniously intertwining with the gameplay in several inventive ways.

A prime example of this occurs during the night-time level (a clever nod to Castlevania), where you must conceal your late-night gaming from your mother. How? Swiftly turning off the TV screen when you hear her approaching. This scenario triggered my own memories of sneaking late-night SNES sessions in my younger days – a relatable experience for many gamers, I’m sure.

Pixel Ripped 1995 places a significant emphasis on multitasking. However, juggling between playing various video games and managing your surroundings can be challenging. Numerous distractions emerge in the ‘real-world’ as you play, demanding inventive solutions. It’s far more complex than merely indulging in a game.

Certainly, the majority of your time in Pixel Ripped 1995 revolves around playing video games as David, and I’m pleased to say that it offers a diverse selection of titles spanning different genres. From beat’em ups and platformers to top-down shooters and racers, the game provides a variety of challenges, delivering a range of retro-style experiences. Amidst the distractions of the real world, these games offer a genuinely enjoyable time, especially for gamers who relish old-school fun.

One standout feature is the boss encounters at the end of each game, breaking out from the virtual realm into reality. Thankfully, Dot accompanies David, offering support during these encounters. However, being a kid, David must get creative in his approach. While he lacks the skills of a seasoned warrior, he utilizes clever tactics such as throwing bananas out of a car window and wielding a nerf gun against foes. These boss battles are incredibly enjoyable and showcase some of Pixel Ripped 1995’s most inventive ideas.

Many gamers will find comfort in the familiar atmosphere evoked by these games, referencing classics like Castlevania, Star Fox, Metroid, and Sonic, both within the games themselves and the surrounding environment. Even if you didn’t grow up with games from this era, you’ll discover at least one Easter egg that will bring a smile to your face. The game particularly resonates with 90s kids who experienced the 16-bit era – a sentiment I personally share. I can attest that it kept a smile on my face throughout my entire playthrough.

Pixel Ripped 1995’s enjoyment factor is further elevated by its engaging gameplay. While I was already a fan of its predecessor, Pixel Ripped 1995 offers increased variety and refined design. It’s notably less cumbersome than the previous game, especially when attempting to discreetly play in situations like a classroom, which was a real challenge before. Additionally, the game takes you to more captivating locations that genuinely transport you back to the 90s. I never expected to step into a vibrant arcade again, but Pixel Ripped 1995 allowed me to do so in a truly nostalgic fashion.

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Conclusion

I absolutely loved my time in Pixel Ripped 1995, but it’s disappointingly short with only six chapters that can be completed in one evening. Although there’s replay value in finding Golden Cartridges, additional levels referencing classic games would have been great. If you’re a fan of retro games and the 16-bit era, the improved PS VR2 version is a must-try. It’s a nostalgic love letter to classic gaming, offering superb controls and enhanced visuals. Despite its brevity, it’s a fantastic escape into the past and you should definitely consider adding it to your PS VR2 library.

Pixel Ripped 1995 Pricing & Availability

Pixel Ripped 1995 is available now for PS VR2 via the PlayStation Store for €19.99

REVIEW: Pixel Ripped 1995 (PS VR2)
  • Overall
4.5

Summary

Pixel Ripped 1995 is a nostalgic love letter to classic gaming, offering superb controls and enhanced visuals. Despite its brevity, it’s a fantastic escape into the past and you should definitely consider adding it to your PSVR2 library.

John Reilly

John is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheEffect.Net. His favourite gaming series is Uncharted and his favourite film is Interstellar. He is also known to quote 'Father Ted' and Keith Lemon more than is normal. John@theeffect.net