The first Pixel Ripped game gave players a great feeling of nostalgia, playing homage to the arcade and 8-bit console games of the late 80s.
ARVORE’s sequel to the excellent Pixel Ripped 1989 thankfully doesn’t need you to have played the first game to appreciate this new one, as it wasn’t available on Oculus Quest (though you can pick it up on the Rift store and play over Oculus Link). Now, though, it focuses on the mid-90s and the 16-bit era, with its platformers JRPGs and new consoles.
The game, like the one before it, focuses on Dot, a Samus Aran-like character within a game who is fighting an evil enemy that gains the power to jump into our reality. Thankfully, Dot is given the power to jump into the body of a young gamer, David, in 1995 to help defeat this Cyblin Lord once and for all. Not everything goes to plan, though, as David also has to fend off his mum, who is disappointed with his constant gaming and a bully who taunts him at every opportunity.
With nods to a thinly disguised SNES and Megadrive, some arcade classic style gameplay that takes in everything from 16-bit platformers to JRPGs, Zelda to the infamous rise of animal mascots as game characters, Pixel Ripped 1995 is a love letter to the 90s gaming scene and those who lived through it.
The gameplay is fun and varied, with a mix of playing a version of those old games and trying to cope with David’s other distractions in the real world in a more natural 3D VR environment. The change from one format to another is handled really well and I never found myself fumbling the controls when going between the more traditional games and the VR environments.
The visuals are a good mix of traditional 90s gaming tropes and the more cartoony look of the 3D world outside. The cel shaded virtual world feels solid and with plenty of detail while the games themselves have elements of realistic graphics for the time mixed with a few modern twists but these never feel out of place, given the context of the story. There’s perhaps some more room for exploration and movement within the game world in sequels though it does mean this is a good game for those who easily get motion sickness or have less room to move around. Some of the environments require stretching out a little (the consoles at the game shop, for instance) but otherwise you’ll be stationary for the most part.
I love playing through Pixel Ripped 1995, it’s a solid story with some excellent voice acting, humour and plenty of love for 90s gaming. While there’s no Quest specific elements, it feels comfortable and is another great addition to your VR library.