PS Vita Review: PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD

Alright everybody, single file!

Alright everybody, single file!

By: Uma Smith

PlayStation 3 owners got to enjoy the magic and mayhem behind PixelJunk Monsters when it first released back in 2008. Then the game got the portable treatment for the PSP as well as further distribution for both the PC and MAC OS. Well, finally, there has been an additional upgrade now that the Vita is yearning for this tower-defense action to come alive. With the arrival of PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD, will there be a rainbow at the end of this road?

CONTROLS (4.5/5)

In addition to the d-pad and face buttons, you’ll also be able to make use of the touch screen. This is vital when you’ll need to control your character while swiping away at the different tower options that you want to choose from before finally building. The whole idea is very convenient, making the experience a pleasant one.


The name says it all when discussing the graphics behind PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD. If you enjoyed the way the game looks in previous versions, then you’ll find this Vita port to offer the same high quality appearance, but with the added high-definition treatment. Everything from characters to environments has the nice, rich colors that just liven the scene.

Despite the tower defense nature of the game, the overall feel is somewhat peaceful due to the type of music playing in the background. The soundtrack makes the atmosphere calm and relaxing even though you hear the battles taking place on screen. It’s satisfying yet disturbing to be at harmony when characters are getting attacked. Nonetheless, the auditory effect reflects the game’s light-hearted and friendly approach.


You take control of Tikiman as you protect his children from a variety of monsters that come in several waves. On each level, there are trees that you use to construct towers, each of which possess distinct attributes, including rate of firing and range of attack. These will help you defend against these monsters.

Wave after wave, the number of these creatures increases, which means you’ll need to either build more towers or upgrade them. Destroyed enemies usually leave behind coins and occasionally gems, which then can be used to upgrade and research new towers. Once you’ve complete the level, a rainbow appears.

The strategy you want to approach here is to first learn the layout of the level and then determine the best arrangement of towers. Monsters HD does get mighty difficult so you may end up replaying levels multiple times in order to come up with the best plan.

There is plenty of content here with the 70 levels. However, what will give you incentive of coming back to this game are the special challenge levels that you come across on each island. If successful, you’ll be able to unlock the ice and fire towers that were offered in the PlayStation 3 version.

Ultimately, PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD gives a nice blend of action and strategy. On top of that, the multiplayer feature adds a huge bonus to its entertainment value. By having a friend join in on the tower defense action, you’ll have even more fun with the co-operative approach. Still, the degree of difficulty is quite high so if you’re yearning for some challenge, then you’ll definitely be taken away by this game’s antics.

OVERALL (4.25/5)

PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD can get really tough, but because of its HD graphics and enjoyable gameplay it can be very addictive as well. Regardless, you’ll find that $14.99 is a fair price to pay for a phenomenal PlayStation Vita title like this.


About Herija Green

Avid gamer, adventurous lover and all-around damned handsome man...
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