Import Review: Every Extend Extra

So, I’m sure some of you have played that cool PC demo, Every Extend. If not, I will give you a few moments to download and play it…….Done? Alright. So now that you’ve tasted the delicious fruit that is Every Extend, you’re probably craving for more, right? Right. That’s where Every Extend Extra comes in, the new game from the mastermind behind Lumines and Meteos, Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Interested? Excited? Read on, sir or madame, and be amazed at the wonderful new PSP game, Every Extend Extra.Fuck GTA. This is the PSP’s killer app.e3screenEvery Extend Extra is everything you’d expect from Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Fast, awesome music, psychadelic visuals, and fun, addictive, unique gameplay. This game is, to be blunt, “the shit.” Let’s kick this review off with a little bit about the gameplay, shall we?Gameplay (9.5/10)A 10 out of 10 denotes perfection in a game, and Every Extend Extra would be a wonderful example of a game whose gameplay shines in the sea of shit that is the PSP library. But alas, no one’s perfect, and E3 has it’s flaws. But we’ll save those for later.In case you decided not to play around with the PC demo up there, I’ll give you a rundown of what the game is like. Every Extend Extra is like a shmup*, with a big twist: You don’t shoot anything. It has the same frantic, dodge-everything attitude of a shmup, but it’s not a shmup. So, what’s the point of the game? Suicide. You blow yourself up into enemies to try and make long chains, increasing your score and giving you more “stock,” or lives, to continue blowing yourself up. The game can feel sluggish at times, but that’s where pink enemies come in. Killing these pink enemies will grant you “quickens,” speeding up the pace of enemy movement, and thus putting more enemies on screen. Quickens come in the form of pink crystals. There are also green crystals that you get from killing green enemies (these give you points), and yellow crystals from mini bosses (these give you extra time.)e3screen2At this point, after maybe 5 quickens, you may become overwhelmed. The music speeds up, enemies are everywhere, you’re trying to dodge bullets as mini bosses pop up, the time is ticking down, crystals are everywhere, but you can’t move. This is where E3 shines. The frantic gameplay has your adrenaline pumping as you manage to get yourself a 40+ chain, only to respawn and get another one. At some points, you may forget that you do have a set amount of lives. In order to get more lives in this game, you need more points. Blowing yourself up usually pays for itself. In the bottom left corner of the screen you will see a point amount. This is the amount to your next “extend,” or life. Stock is valuable as it is a factor in your rank at the end of the stage.After a while of killing yourself repeatedly, as well as others, the screen will be cleared and a boss will appear. To kill bosses, there are certain requirements you must fulfill. For example, you may have to blow yourself up, and have a chain of 10 hit the boss. After killing the boss (they respawn in a new form) a certain amount of times, depending on which boss, a pink counter will appear next to them. All you have to do is get a chain into them, and the counter will go down, depending on the size of the chain. When it hits 0, the stage, or “drive,” is over.At the end of your drive you’ll be given a rank. Either SS, S, A, B, C, or “Dot Eater?”(Ikaruga reference ftw!). Depending on how well you do, you may go to different levels. If you suck, you will play 7 levels and view the credits. If you’re awesome, you can play up to 9, with 2 bonus levels. I’m not entirely sure if that’s the exact amount of levels, but it’s near there. Unfortunately, I suck, and have only played 7. This is the main problem with E3; You can’t play the entire game through without practice. This is a game you have to keep coming back to, and the game could end up getting repetitive and generally annoying. We’ll talk more about that in the “Replay Value” section.Sound (9/10)The music in this game will keep you focused the entire time. A big mix of techno tunes appear on the soundtrack, that get faster and faster as the game does. Like Lumines, the music is fun and compliments the gameplay perfectly. The sound effects all fit well, and change between stages, like in Lumines. I’m not the type of person to listen to music in video games, but I could easily see myself listening to this CD, and hell I even find myself rocking out while playing the game.Graphics (9/10)e3screen3The graphics are not meant to be awe-inspiring, but they accomplish what they set out to do; Which I assume is “look fucking cool.” They look awesome, and, like the music, change between the levels. The different explosions and enemies between levels are all unique and interesting to look at, and the background design is amazing. The only gripe I have with the graphics is the somewhat lackluster boss design. It seems like they really took no time to make the bosses, and just threw together some cool-looking shit and made up some attacks. The game could have benefited from some more interesting bosses.Replay value (9.5/10)The game’s one major flaw is also it’s major drawing point. Some people may not be attracted to the fact that they can not play all of the levels right away, but to me, it’s a challenge. I like going back and practicing until I can achieve an S class on a level, and get to the better ones. Old school gamers and hardcore ones should come back to this game over and over again, enjoying the pretty graphics and fast-paced gameplay. It’s a total ego-trip to get an S class in a level, especially when your friends suck. It’s an easy game to pick up and play, a characteristic that the PSP library lacks.Final VerdictBuy this game. Import it, download it, whatever, just get it. Or at least practice on the original Every Extend until it’s released here in the US. This game is truly one of the best games available for the PSP currently, so dust that brick off and get this damn game–You won’t be sorry.Let’s bookend this review for emphasis.Fuck GTA. This is the PSP’s killer app.*Shmup=Shoot ’em up.