Guilty Party – Retro Redress

Crime – Giving up on Pix The Cat due to peer pressure

Redress – proudly play Pix The Cat and share my enjoyment with others

I like to think I’m a fairly independent person, capable of making my own mind up. I’d also like to think that I’m someone who would confidently stand up for a game I liked. However, there was a time I didn’t do that…

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I’d received Pix The Cat as a PSN monthly free game in 2015 and was really enjoying it. I was surprised – it’s a score based arcade game, which isn’t what I usually play. I was ready to tell my friends about how much I was enjoying Pix during our monthly ‘Complain about PSN free games’ rant, when one of my friends slagged it off. I’m not sure what happened…maybe I felt intimidated? The friend in question really knows his games and is great at completing them. I think I’m a bit insecure about being good at games. I always struggled with games as a kid/teenager due to lack of ability and resolve. To me, beating games is a big thing and I have a respect for people who are good at video games. It’s part of the reason this blog exists – so I can get better at playing and beating games. Sometimes, I feel like a fraud when I class myself as a big fan of video games and write a video games blog when I haven’t experienced lots of great games.

Anyway…I stopped playing Pix and deleted it from my PS4, convinced it was childish fare and that I was wasting my time playing it. Over two years later, I saw Pix in my PS4 library as I was preparing for Sony September¬†and remembered the fun I had playing it…and the shame I felt after ditching it. I decided to download Pix and play it again. Why ditch a game I was enjoying so much? What better way to spent a Friday night?

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So, there is the rascal in question, ready to start the game. To give more details, Pix must collect all the hatched ducklings from their eggs and place them in all the circles. It’s a bit like Snake meets Pac-Man…the ducklings follow Pix around the maze in a row and you can’t collide with the chain of ducklings. Pix can also get stuck if he bumps into an obstacle, so you have to watch where you are going. The trick is to memorize the best route for each level and complete it quickly, so Pix can earn more points. The more ducklings Pix successfully collects, the faster he can go and the higher his score combo goes.

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Firing up Pix again, the first thing I remember is the music. It’s great – just a constant, bumbling tune that is a great accompaniment to a cat collecting ducklings in a maze. That might sound like a daft thing to say but, go out of your way to listen to the Pix The Cat soundtrack….it is absolutely perfect for this game. Alas, my first go ends quickly as I have forgotten all the mazes. Let’s try again…

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My second go doesn’t go much better, despite me sending both my cats off to bed. It’s hard enough to play games, never mind with two cats trying to attack my laptop. I’m getting better at the game, but more importantly I’m really enjoying it. It’s not just about getting a high score, it’s satisfying to guide Pix around the maze. The controls are tight and you need good reflexes to keep Pix moving round corners and obstacles. The feeling of success in navigating Pix around three corners in rapid succession is it’s own reward.

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My third go sees me struggle…mainly because I was trying to take the above screenshot. Pix doesn’t slow down at any point, never mind to let you take pictures. I’m starting to remember all the mazes now though, so I’m feeling more confident.

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My next go sees me fly out of the traps…but make a very silly mistake that sees my good run fall apart. It’s sad really as I was doing really well. Still, I beat my high score and unlocked the Arcade Main Grid, so I’m doing better.

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As my Friday night draws to a close, I decide to play one last game of Pix The Cat. It’s all or nothing now! Unfortunately I make the same mistake as on my previous go and end up falling apart completely. It’s a mistake that tells me it’s time to go to bed….still, at least I unlocked some cool artwork.

Verdict – I’m glad I played Pix The Cat – it’s a really fun game, accessible yet quite challenging. It proves to me that you should trust your own judgement when playing games and have more confidence in your selections. Everyone has different opinions, which is the fun of gaming – so many games and so many different people playing them. Some people will like the games I like, some won’t. The important thing is if I like them or not.

After all, the whole reason we play games is for fun…and that is the lesson I’ve learned from this redress. The reason I started this blog was to play the games I hadn’t played or neglected, while chatting to people about video games. So far, it’s going really well and I’m having a blast. But ultimately…it’s not about the amount of posts or completing every game and challenge (though I will try!) It’s simply about enjoying video games. I’m happy to say that, right now I’m enjoying video games.

That epiphany is quite a nice way to finish a Friday night….