PixelJunk Eden 2 evaluation: a trendy sequel to an indie traditional
PixelJunk Eden was forward of its time. The thought of a download-only indie sport with arty, summary 2D graphics and a pulsing techno soundtrack doesn’t sound remotely uncommon in 2020, however there actually wasn’t very like Eden when it dropped on the PS3 in 2008. Developed by Kyoto’s Q-Video games, with music and visuals from local-artist-turned-creative-director Baiyon, Eden was a hypnotic triumph, if just a little more difficult than its chill vibe might need led you to count on.
Now we have now a sequel, PixelJunk Eden 2, which is popping out right this moment as a Nintendo Change unique. A lot of the content material and music is repurposed from a 2018 cellular sport, Eden Obscura. If it’s new to you, although, Eden 2 will really feel like a real sequel — and one that may be friendlier to play than the unique.
The essential premise is an identical. Each stage is ready in a backyard, and your aim is to assist your tiny character attain a glowing “spectra” someplace on the map. You do that by rising the vegetation within the backyard. Consider it as a platformer the place there aren’t many platforms till you set them down your self. There are seeds positioned all through the extent, and also you fill them up by swinging on a thread to gather floating pollen spores close by. As soon as a seed is full, you possibly can bounce or swing into it and trigger branches to sprout out, which is able to aid you get to extra seeds, spores, and, finally, the spectra.
If this sounds esoteric, it’s a lot less complicated in apply. The complete sport is performed with a single analog stick and a bounce button, and actually all you must grasp is the physics of swinging round.
Eden 2 can also be much more forgiving than its predecessor, which had a brutal time restrict and would ceaselessly ship you plummeting all the best way to the underside of the backyard when you missed a bounce. Among the ways in which Eden Obscura tailored its controls to be extra forgiving on touchscreens have made their manner again to Eden 2’s conventional interface; you possibly can hover in place, for instance, and bounce a number of instances earlier than touchdown. Eden 2 additionally brings you again to your jumping-off level when you fall too far, and there are checkpoints across the map that reset the time restrict — although, actually, I feel the sport can be higher off dropping the time restrict altogether.
The visuals and music are acquainted however no much less mesmerizing. Baiyon’s soundtrack has a extra natural really feel than that of the unique, which was very a lot of its time; its sparse minimal techno may’ve been lifted straight from a mid-2000s Kompakt compilation. (I say that in a great way: Eden was a post-club staple of mine for years.) That is nonetheless positively a sport you need to be enjoying with headphones or at loud quantity.
Eden 2’s construction is just a little odd. It serves you up a choice of ranges, every of which you must end as soon as to be offered with one other set. You possibly can’t replay any of them at will, which is in distinction to the unique sport’s map display screen that allow you to bounce immediately into every stage. I just like the shift to less complicated menus, however I’d have most popular to start out out with extra typical development.
Nonetheless, PixelJunk Eden 2 is a straightforward suggestion. It resurrects an indie traditional and makes it a lot much less irritating to play, which I’d name an enchancment for one thing that must be good for zoning out. Eden 2 isn’t fairly as novel a prospect as the unique was 12 years in the past, nevertheless it nonetheless manages to face out as uniquely trendy.
PixelJunk Eden 2 is out right this moment for the Nintendo Change.
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