Every Extend Extra - PSP Review
|8/2/2007||Funtastic||Buena Vista||Q? Entertainment|
If you've ever played Lumines then you should know that this game is from the same Japanese development studio - Q? Entertainment. Rather interestingly this isn't an all-new title but in fact Every Extend Extra is a redeveloped flash based PC game. There have, though, been several enhancements, most notable of which is the enhanced visuals and music. This is an interesting title but unlike Tetsuya Mizuguchi's previous game is a combination between puzzle and shooter then straight puzzle game.
|Every Extend Extra is a visual treat.|
Actually calling Every Extend Extra even partially a shooter isn't really the appropriate term as your only weapon is a blast which obliterates all enemies around you giving you clear space to move around in. These blasts, or Extends, are limited in number as you only start with around a dozen per level. As you set off the blast, which can be charged to cover a larger area enemies will explode and, if other enemies are close enough, will detonate them creating chains of explosions. It's easy to play, but mastering the timing to achieve massive chains will take some time.
When you do blow up enemies they will often drop power-ups. These include speed-up, additional time and points which give you additional detonations, or extends. At the end of each of the levels you'll also encounter a boss which will take plenty of beating. Most will give you a short time limit, but also some massive combos to achieve to inflict damage.
|The games second level.|
In terms of game modes Every Extend Extra includes an Arcade mode which, as with all games, lets you get straight into the meat of the action. Next up is a Caravan mode which allows gamers to select what levels they want while a Boss mode allows you to battle against the bosses in the game. Multi-player gamers will be pleased to hear the game includes a Versus mode through Wi-Fi connection, as well as the option to game share.
The one thing that really holds this game back from being brilliant is the pretty steep learning curve when you first get your hands on the game. It takes a while to get to grips with not being able to blast everything on the screen and conserving your weapons until the opportune moment to create a chain reaction. This isn't a game where you will be destroying every enemy on screen. Another disappointment is that while very tough, and taking some time to beat, the game only includes 9 stages to battle through. I would have certainly expected quite a few more.
|The PSP version looks wonderful.|
The game comes with a couple of added bonuses. The first is a playable demo of Lumines II - Q? Entertainment's sequel to the hit launch title on the PSP. It's a pretty good demo to with a playtime of around 15 minutes. Certainly it acts as a great diversion when you get a bit frustrated with Every Extend Extra. The second is a recreation of the original game for the PSP. This shows you exactly where the inspiration for the game came from and is a nice alternative play.
Graphically this PSP title has certainly been improved over the PC original however thats not surprising given the larger production team, and that the original game was developed as a small project. The backgrounds are varied as are the enemies however it's the visual effects during explosions that standout. The frame rate is rock steady which is good to see given the amount happening on screen at once.
As with other Q? Entertainment titles one of the key aspects is the music. While it isn't as well integrated as that in Lumines it does set the tone of each of the levels perfectly. The music is primarily dance/techno based but it sounds wonderful - especially when you've picked up a couple of speedups and there's a tonne happening on screen at the same time. There's no bands' that you'll recognise but the main artists qp and USCUS have done a brilliant job with the audio. Unlike many other games you won't be heading for the volume control that's for sure.
|The effects are simply stunning.|
Every Extend Extra is a great title which will offer a challenge to anyone who plays it. Importantly the gameplay is addictive, graphics and audio polished and there are plenty of game modes to keep you busy. Well worth a purchase.
Review By: Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||The visuals, and especially the effects, are quite impressive.||83%|
|SOUND||Plenty of varied, and upbeat music with some nice effects as well.||85%|
|GAMEPLAY||Engrossing, takes a while to get the hang of effectively. Quite hard.||76%|
|VALUE||There's quite a few game modes, but little variation overall.||77%|
|OVERALL||If you like your puzzle/action games then Every Extend Extra is a game well worth hunting down.||80%|