Port roundup: Pumpkin Jack, Yupitergrad & Overcooked

Pumpkin Jack, Yupitergrad and the Overcooked! All You Can Eat bundle are all heading to new/different platforms this week or in the near future – time to take a look at three of the excellent ports that are coming out.

Pumpkin Jack is now available on PlayStation 4

Remember the seemingly endless string of horror-themed games we received during the Halloween season? Pumpkin Jack from Headup Games was part of that string, but despite a multi-platform release it wasn’t available for PlayStation 4 owners until now. Perhaps it feels a bit awkward in terms of its spot on the calendar this year, but in many ways this was 2020’s version of the MediEvil remake that Sony launched in 2019.

That’s quite the reference, but when you play Pumpkin Jack it’s easy to see where it comes from. This is a colorful 3D platformer that embraces classic Halloween themes while not taking itself too seriously. Unlike games like Remothered, Little Hope and Amnesia, this one isn’t out to be creepy or scary, but wants to offer a fun 3D platformer similar to the PS2 classics that defined an era in gaming that we’ve seen rebooted and remastered many times over the past two years.

Pumpkin Jack is the protagonist in a story where the devil has unleashed his cartoon-like minions upon the Boredom Kingdom. As you might expect judging from that name, that’s actually a good thing here! Your job is to make sure it stays that way, and stop the wizard trying to push back and restore boredom. Seven meaty levels stand in the way of your success, and they’re filled with enemies, puzzles, traps, boss fights and plenty of personality.

pumpkin jack2

The actual gameplay core of Pumpkin Jack is fairly formulaic if you’ve played a classic 3D platformer before – basic jumping, combat that’s not overly complex, and solid and responsive controls. Boss fights are always a case of dodging attacks and then striking when they’re vulnerable, while puzzles range from fun physics-based challenges to extremely mundane minigames.

Most of all, however, this game is fun! The gameplay, which features plenty of combat, gradually expands as you gain access to new weapons and abilities, like the option to ‘launch’ a crow buddy of yours towards enemies for a ranged attack. There is also a fair share of collectible items for you to find in the game, giving players a reason to start up another playthrough once they’re done. But most of all, this game is fun because its visual style and narrative bring the Halloween spirit without trying to terrify you. With some witty dialogue and colorful characters, this is one to play and then reinstall when Halloween comes around again.

Yupitergrad swings onto PlayStation VR

It hasn’t been that long since we took a look at Yupitergrad on Oculus, but it’s now also become available on PlayStation VR. We enjoyed it a lot on a Quest 2, so how does it hold up on Sony’s headset?

It’s been a pretty exciting week for PSVR fans with the confirmation that Sony is working on a second generation of VR for the PlayStation 5 generation, but while we wait for what will almost definitely not arrive in 2021 it’s nice to see quality games like Yupitergrad make their way to the PSVR headset, and it’s a title that held up quite well in the conversion.

yupitergrad

Of course, Yupitergrad’s cartoon-like visual style is well suited to the slightly underpowered (compared to PC-based VR) experience that is the PlayStation 4, as a relative lack of detail helps in keeping the frame rate nice and solid – something that’s especially crucial for a game where mobility is central to the whole thing.

What’s perhaps even better news is that the Move controllers are well suited to Yupitergrad, which has you swinging around in space using your extendable plungers for mobility. As such, it gets around the biggest limitations of the controllers that are now over ten years old for a great web-slinging adventure that doesn’t feature anyone Marvel-related. If you’re on PSVR and were looking forward to this one, don’t be afraid to pick it up as soon as you can.

Overcooked! All You Can Eat heads to current/last gen consoles

It’ll take another month, but Team17’s excellent Overcooked! All You Can Eat bundle/remaster is heading to current consoles as well after a successful launch on the PlayStation 5, where it’s the go-to game for local AND online co-op.

We’ve sung the praises of the Overcooked formula a number of times already by looking at both the core games and some of the DLC releases for them, but there’s a definitive version out there now in the All You Can Eat release that came out late last year. It features all of the content from the first two Overcooked! games, along with all of the DLC for them – if you never got into the digital kitchen earlier, that alone is plenty of reason to pick it up.

overcooked

It also features a number of exciting new bits of content and functionalities though, including the ability to take the experience online (which of course is perfect during a time of lockdown where you can’t have people over for a few rounds). On top of that, online multiplayer is also of the crossplatform variety, which makes sure there is always someone out there to play with.

Add a new assist mode to that (which makes the game a bit more forgiving), higher quality visuals that support 4K graphics and a new exclusive content that includes none other than the Swedish Chef as a playable character, and this is a brilliant selection of all things Overcooked. Adding additional platforms will only enhance the appeal of the online multiplayer, and the biggest drawback is undeniably the fact that you might already own one or more of the Overcooked games and possibly even their DLC addons.

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