Fans of the PSP game Every Extend Extra are well aware that Every Extend Extra Extreme has been coming for Xbox Live. With a name so difficult to remember that even Xbox Live shortens the name to E4, there is no doubt that gamers will be utterly confused when they first play E4. If we were to simplify what E4 is about we’d compare it to a music visualizer with intense explosions and a high point system.
The game itself, like its title, is very confusing when you first dive into it. If you’re like this reviewer and you dive in with no intention of reading the instructions then you’ll be at a loss for what exactly you’re supposed to be doing. At first glance it appears you’re just randomly blowing up your ship causing a flash of Technicolor explosions across the screen. You’ll see a number of points and bonus flash across the screen, but you may not understand how or why you’re accumulating points. One thing is for certain: you have to stay alive. How exactly that’s done wont be necessarily clear unless you’ve played the game before.
The crux of E4 is to navigate your ship and blow yourself up to destroy the surrounding enemies who then set off a chain reaction that blows up more enemies. In addition, you’re doing this against the clock and if you have any intention of racking up the points you’ll have to detonate reactions, but at the same time un-detonate (using the A and B buttons) them to scoop up power-ups before running into enemies to increase the value of your chain reactions. If that isn’t confusing enough, you’ll have to do all of this in rhythm to the music if you expect to get the most points.
As confusing as the premise of the game sounds there’s actually a lot of depth to the gameplay. Basically, once you get accustomed to the rhythm element you’ll be grabbing powerups and creating chain reactions with little effort. I guess the best way to explain it is that you’ll be blurring the visuals out and react to the beat of the music. The same game can be played over Xbox Live where the idea is to accumulate more points than your friends, but other than that the gameplay remains the same.
If you’re into customization E4 includes a “Wiz Ur Muzik” mode that allows you to import your own tracks into the game. It is this mode that makes up for a few of the game’s shortcomings. You’ll also realize how important rhythm plays a roll in the game when you use music that you’re comfortable with.
If all of this sound too confusing for you then you might want to stay away from Every Extend Extra Extreme. If you’re a fan of classic arcade games like Tempest or missile Command then or even the more recent Geometry Wars Evolved you may find an interest in this visually trippy shooter.
- Score: 7.2
If rhythm and trippy visuals are your thing then you’ll find this bazaar shooter worthwhile.
— J. Thomas