Monsters supports two player co-op through both ad-hoc and online connections. Ad hoc connections are a breeze, as the game simply searches for a partner. However, connecting with a friend online is needlessly complicated. Rather than utilize your PSN friends list to make a connection, PJM requires you to create or join a chat room, which up to seven other players may join. People who join your room can then be added to your in-game friend list, which will let you know if people are online, and you can join whatever room they're in. Unfortunately, there's no quick way to just invite a friend to your game without first joining a room.
Once you've connected, the player hosting the match chooses a level to play - all levels are unlocked regardless of your progress in the campaign, which is nice. Of course, this means that progress gained in co-op doesn't translate to anything for your solo play. Both players take control of their own TikiMan, with their own pool of money to draw from. Coins picked up by a player go into their specific reserve, which means someone can definitely end up being a money hog and screw their partner out of being very useful.
Upgrade crystals go into a shared pool, which mitigates this problem slightly, though I found that some people are too gung-ho about upgrading individual towers so unlocking the second tier of structures would be hard. If you're going to play online, you'll definitely want to provide some sort of voice chat to help strategize, as the TikiSpeak wheel is not very useful (and mid-battle it's almost pointless to attempt to use).
Having another player around certainly helps alleviate some of the more devious difficulty spikes, but to me, the only real benefit to be drawn from the co-op is the ability to combine your dancing skills to upgrade towers faster. Otherwise, it was mostly an exercise in preventing my partner from coin hoarding, and slogging through the same levels from the campaign. If co-op progress could be ported to single player, I might be singing a different tune. At the very least I'd at least have more rainbows.
If you're already a fan of PixelJunk Monsters and can't get enough, this is an easy buy. For the rest of us, it's hard to ignore that this is simply a port of a game some of us have already played through twice. Still, it remains a solid, quirky tower defense game, and who hasn't had enough of those yet?
The Co-Optimus review of PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD is based on the Playstation Vita version of the game. Codes for review were supplied by the publisher.
The Co-Op Experience: Two players work together in this tower defense game to stop monsters via online co-op or local wifi co-op.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.