Sunday, August 5

Review: Pixel Action Heroes [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Reviewing something like Pixel Action Heroes can be a challenge, as so much of whether you’re going to enjoy it hinges on your expectations and the type of experience you’re looking for. Keeping in mind that a major chunk of the inspiration for it comes from Minecraft on a visual level it’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it’s very much consistent with its inspiration. To its credit the various action hero characters it has that come from a variety of classic movies and pop culture sources look reasonably good in the constraints of this visual style and help give it a somewhat goofy quality.

When it comes to gameplay there’s a creative aspect to it, just rather than the intent being for you to create elaborate worlds to explore the goal is really to design your own levels to shoot people in. With this limited scope in mind it’s at least a nice change of pace in what you’re looking to construct and affords you with a different focus. The controls are in the same vein as you’ll lay down or remove blocks in order to construct your space. There’s also a skin editor that will allow you to create your own custom character look if you’re so inclined, just working a pixel at a time be ready for an arduous process.

While the creative aspects are novel, and may excite some people, the meat and potatoes of the experience is using those levels and skins for gameplay. The result is a bit primitive, to be sure, but especially for older gamers I’d say there’s an almost nostalgic Goldeneye-esque vibe to the shooting that’s fun. Offline you can practice against regular bots or indulge in the waves and periodic bosses of the Zombie mode, but the fun kicks in far better against other people. Online play works pretty well, though you may need to spend a little time and even check more than one region to find people to play with. This is very much old school Deathmatching and nothing more, and predictably be ready for campers, power-up hoarders, and all of the rest of those classic staples of this style of play.

There’s no doubt that enjoyment of Pixel Action Heroes is going to be driven by the audience. Anyone expecting impressive visuals or anything resembling modern shooting action will be sorely disappointed. This is very much a combination of Minecraft creativity paired with old school Deathmatch shooting action. While it won’t be for everyone, people with nostalgia for the likes of Goldeneye or classic Quake Deathmatch, who may want to set up a level of their own, may get a kick out of it.

Score: 6

  • Offers up a Minecraft-esque experience for creating FPS levels
  • A classic Deathmatch experience akin to the likes of Goldeneye or Quake

  • If you’re looking for modern shooter sensibilities you’ll be sorely disappointed
  • The various characters are fun, but the repetition of their catchphrases can get annoying after awhile