Pixel Ripped 1978 – The Review

September 17, 2023 ·

When you think back to the different eras of gaming, which one sticks out the most? For some, it could be the current generation of consoles that some of our favorites are born from to those that we have played, but this time, for the best version. For some, playing with the variety of handhelds, only to wonder at the time, how they would improve. And for some, it could be from the times when video games were finally able to be played at home with brands that hold a special place in our hearts. Gaming is something we all enjoy and have in common. So does the developer, ARVORE, continue to bring its flavor and give us a trip down memory lane? Let’s find out with Pixel Ripped 1978 for the PlayStation VR2.

Pixel Ripped 1978 is the newest game in the Pixel Ripped series. In it, our hero Dot has to once again fight against the evil Cyblin Lord, who has a very complex plan: to hack into the game creator’s past and make himself the protagonist! But Dot isn’t alone in this crazy endeavor through time – she has the help of Bug, Pixel Ripped’s creator herself, as they join forces to dispel Cyblin Lord and launch the game on time. So before jumping in, joining forces, and meeting deadlines, there are a few things that you should be aware of. First, find your favorite chair. Saving the day can be stressful, so you might as well try and be comfortable while doing it. Second, make sure those Sense controllers are fully charged. Dot is counting on you to stop the Cyblin Lord, and you wouldn’t want to disappoint Dot, would you? Third, I am not going to spoil anything for anyone. And finally, just have some fun. With all that said, let’s continue…

Before we go any further, some may wonder if you need to play the other games in the series to fully understand what is going on and the fun of playing a game within a game can be. It does help to play them, but you will not be too lost if you haven’t. But Pixel Ripped 1978 takes us on an adventure and we can finally see how it all began, and this time you have some strong backing with Atari on your side.

When starting the game, you are greeted with that Atari nostalgia seeing the Atari 2600 and Atari 400 systems. You may want to go into Settings to make sure everything is the way that you would like it. Once you are ready, it’s time to start the game. Inside your house, there should be two things that should be the most notable and that is the music and the graphics. Take the time to look around the house as it’s pretty fun to see old pixilated equipment including the T.V. with an antenna. Here you learn about how the Sync connects Dot to a player. And with this Sync connection, Dot can receive new and important powers. And just when everything should be as peaceful as can be. This also starts the tutorial of sorts where you will learn how to move and interact. That’s when the door opens and where you can start to interact with the different citizens. But pay attention to the citizens as some seem to be more detailed than others.

You do have a weapon that you pull from your shoulder that will allow you to hit certain objects. So feel free to move throughout and interact with what you can because you can proceed, you will have a small quest that you will have to complete. But it’s when you are being told that there are readings of the Cyblin Lord from the past. This is where you will have to time travel back to where he was last seen. This is when things start to become worrisome as you can see the town that is falling apart. As you head back in time, you will be told of the gauntlet, or as I like to think of it, as a very early prototype for the Power Glove. This gauntlet that is on your wrist, will show your health, how many cartridges you found, powers that have been obtained, and even Master’s Tips.

But, it’s when you can switch from that pixelated type of gameplay to the real world where you play as Bug. And this is where you are playing a game within a game that has that unique play style. You are at your cubicle playing different games on the Atari system via cartridges with your Atari Joystick where the one and only button has seen some better days as you are trying to make sure there are no bugs in your game. This is when you will start having different coworkers come up to you wanting you to try out new games such as Cyblin Whipped. Even while playing, try and take time to look around your cubicle and your surroundings as you never know what type of classic nostalgia will show up. As you are playing the games on the monitor, which you will need to hit from time to time, it’s when you get to certain points where you can then Sync up and enter the game.

When you enter the games, you will want to make sure you interact with all that you can as there will be parts where you need to clear certain obstacles that hopefully, will lead to finding new rewarding powers, health, new weapons, and trying to find the golden Atari Cartridges that even Veruca Salt would be begging her Father for one.

Things do start to get a little more chaotic at times when you are in your cubical and trying to play the game only to keep getting interrupted by your coworkers either by coming up to you or throwing things over, having the phone ring, and listen to some familiar voices, interacting with the atmosphere around you, and etc.

Let’s talk about the graphics and the sound. When looking at the graphics, ARVORE brings what works and continues it here. Being able to play a game within a game and then be transported into those games to really have the VR shine here is something that should be experienced and appreciated. My favorite parts of the game are when you are in the living room and have the action right in front of you as you play using the Atari C-380 system. With the sound, from the moment you start up the game to playing within the games that you are trying to get the bugs out, the combination of both simple nostalgia and updated music and sounds just added to the overall experience which many should enjoy.

There are a few things that I would love to have seen. First, there is a library of Atari games that have been made that a lot of players may not be aware of. This would have been a great opportunity to incorporate them here and give them an updated feel to them. Second, when fighting against enemies, it was not too hard, in fact, there were times that I was hoping for more only to be thinking that was it. Third, more quests while exploring. While the exploration is fine, I just wish I was able to do more while exploring. But finding those golden Atari cartridges did help and is a very nice touch. And finally, more incorporation of the PlayStation VR2 features throughout. Sure we have the vibrations of the controller and headset, but it would be interesting to see all of the features used to the best of its abilities.

Pixel Ripped 1978 brings not only the ARVORE flavor but also the history nostalgia to make us appreciate how things started to how things are going now. We sometimes keep moving in directions at such a rate, that we may forget where we came from and how we ourselves started. If we don’t remember our own past, we may repeat some of those same mistakes not worth repeating. But if we take what we have learned and apply it to what we will soon learn, then progression and personal growth will be the greatest reward.

Pixel Ripped 1978 is out now for the Quest 2/Pro on the Oculus Store, PlayStation VR2 on the PlayStation Store, and Steam VR. A review copy was provided.

To learn more about ARVORE Immersive Experiences, please visit their sitelike them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and follow them on Instagram.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I need to find the last of those Atari Golden Cartridges.

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