Monday, July 18, 2016

Review #338: Hot Pixel

 And on this episode of 'Do not judge a game by its cover' we've got...
 One of the, I think best games on the Gameboy Advance is Warioware Inc., a game which was all about random, simple minigames strung together one after the other. While the premise wasn't original, it was the first time a game like that hit mainstream, and it was a hit. Hot Pixel aims to replicate that success on Sony's first handheld, to a mixed success.

 So, what is the game about? At its most basic, you are given three lives, and minigames will be thrown your way. You'll have to figure out what to do out of a single sentence, like 'Eat Pink', or 'Dodge', and you have to fulfill it under a time limit. Failing a minigame will cost you a life and instantly throw you into another minigame, while winning the game will present you with another minigame. It's simple, it's fast paced and it's a blast.

 The game has a decent variety of modes: Episodes, which are 10 and are the game's main mode, playing games in these episodes will unlock them in the other modes. Instant Action which puts you instantly into a random game playlist, there's also Playlist, where you can customize which games to play and the rules under which will you play: Dynamic or static difficulty, amount of games to win, amount of time to survive playing, etc. There's also 'Xtra Games' which consist of 9 'enhanced' versions of some of the mini games as well as an exclusive 2D shoot'em up. Lastly, there's a Multiplayer Mode, but since nobody owns a PSP anymore, I really couldn't try it.
 While the back of the game's box boasts 'over 200 games!', that's a bit of a lie. Inside the UMD there's only 130 games, the other 70+ must be downloaded from '' and get them into your memory stick via cable. And even then, there's a ton of repeated ideas between games. I can't count the number of 'Eat X' type of games, where you must collect something while avoiding another thing, the graphics may change but the gameplay remains the same. There's also a bunch of Breakout/Arkanoid clones thrown in for good measure.

 But really, the game's biggest downfall is its lack of personality. They went for an urban-hip-hop-ish direction, but it's not kept on every game, some went for simple single-pixel graphics and a few others went for an oldschool Atari-esque approach. It lacks the personality and uniformity that WarioWare minigames had, and it suffers for it. It doesn't help that most of the more urban-looking games also look relatively ugly, in contrast to the more caricaturesque games, which look much more appealing. These minigames won't be remembered by how they looked, but by how repetitive in nature they are.
 Altogether, unlocking every game will take you about an hour, and this includes multiple replays of each episode in order to find every game. You could potentially log in more time if you aim to get Silver and Gold Medals in each minigame, but you'll be rewarded with a couple of lame videos. That said, this game isn't meant to be 'finished', so to speak, but to play in different sessions to waste time, and that's where the game's strength lies. Sure, the lack of variety keeps it from being as addictive as Warioware, but the game's premise will keep you hooked for a while, guaranteed.

 I liked Hot Pixel. It leaves a lot to be desired, but there's not as many games of this kind as you'd think, so any alternative is appreciated. It lacks the staying power of Warioware, but it's still a decent game that fulfills its goal: Fast-paced mini-games at a breakneck speed.
 6.0 out of 10

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