Whenever I review a game I truly enjoy, I often find myself keen to play it again on other platforms when applicable. Mainly to gauge how the game feels and performs on the other hardware, but more often than not it’s just because ! want another shiny platinum trophy to glisten proudly in the imaginary trophy cabinet. When it comes to Pumpkin Jack, the chance to revisit the game in its PS4 rendition satisfied both of my reasons to revisit the Arc-En-Ciel Kingdom.
Pumpkin Jack was arguably one of the biggest surprises of the year in gaming for me in 2020, coming out of nowhere oozing with a style and charm similar to the myriad of mascot 3D platformers that came and went in the late 90s to mid 2000s. It’s gameplay while simple was remarkably solid, with the experience buoyed by a silly Banjo-Kazooie-esque soundtrack and an amusing plot that featured some well written and humorous characters.
Given that I originally reviewed Pumpkin Jack on PC, this short review will largely focus on the game’s performance and feel on the PS4. If you want to know my thoughts on the entirety of Pumpkin Jack, click here for my review of the PC release.
One Angry Pumpkin
When it comes to performance, Pumpkin Jack on PS4 is almost the same as it is on the PC. It runs well, maintaining what seemed to be a consistent frame rate without much in the way of frame drops. There are stutters that occur whenever coming across the health cauldrons that trigger an auto save or randomly when traversing through the games spookily detailed levels, but they don’t do much more than slightly hinder the immersion. Upon revisiting the PC version, I did witness a sporadic stutter every now and then, but they felt more apparent on the PS4.
The only other noticeable difference throughout my playthrough was the omission of RTX enhancements such as ray traced reflections, shadows and DLSS support. The game is still gorgeous without the additional visual treats, but it is sad losing them nonetheless. This was always going to be the case given that the PS4 isn’t capable of ray tracing, but hey, maybe a future PS5 port will let me see Jack’s reflection in the water again.
Pumpkin Jack still looks very stylish
As to be expected when it comes to performance, Pumpkin Jack remains best played on PC. It has the additional performance and aesthetic benefits of DLSS and RTX support (granted, if you have an Nvidia RTX graphics card), while it doesn’t appear to stutter as much as it does in the PS4 version, however it is largely a non-issue.
Other than that, Pumpkin Jack remains the same fantastically charming 3D platformer that took me by surprise late last year with its entertaining characters, kickass soundtrack and surprisingly solid platforming gameplay. Pumpkin Jack is worth a crack on whatever platform you can get your hands on.
Reviewed on PS5 (PS4 version played) // Review code supplied by publisher
- Nicolas Meyssonnier
- PS4 / Xbox One / Nintendo Switch / PC
- October 23, 2020