Every Extend Extra Extreme Review

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Publisher: Q Entertainment
Developer: Q Entertainment


Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Time your own self-destruction to the beat to take out thousands of enemies in massive chain reactions – all to the engrossing rhythm of trance music.

Rating:
Kyle Ackerman


Every Extend Extra Extreme (E4) is another one of those games that feels like it was designed for play under the deep influence of a controlled substance. That puts it in the same category as games like Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and Space Giraffe, games in which swirling colors and wild sounds overwhelm the senses. But with E4, anyone with a sense of rhythm will immediately fall under the sway of the beat.

Within moments of loading E4, I was tapping my foot and bobbing my head. It didn't take long to find the E4 groove, and then it was just a matter of falling into a gaming trance and keeping the beat going as long as I could. In this game, timing and planning mean a lot more than twitch coordination. By the time I'd played the "Infrared Radar Tactics," I had trouble stopping. That level had ghostly vehicles constantly pinged by a radar-like display until I detonated and left the screen flowing in a cascade of colorful explosions.

E4 looks like a standard arcade-style shooter – the sort of game where you fly a ship around the screen and blast away at the myriad shapes that hurtle around on dozens of collision courses. E4 does have a mode like that, but most of the time your goal is to blow up your own ship. By doing so, you detonate the many enemy ships that cruise around the screen. Those, in turn, can blow up still more ships, setting off extended chain reactions.

Some explosions result in power-ups that increase the time you have to play, add bonuses, or speed up your enemies. That might sound like a bad thing, but the faster things go, the bigger the chain reactions you can create. And big chains mean big points – with even more points available if you detonate on the beat. The scores grow exponentially, so the game conveniently displays its leaderboards in scientific notation – and how can you not love a game with a driving beat that also rocks your inner math geek?

E4 boasts several play modes. "The Game Unlimited" and "The Game Time Limited" have you blowing up to the beat with as much time as you can accumulate, or a set span, respectively. "Wiz Ur Muzik" lets you play along to any music you decide to add. While it only works well with music that has a regular beat, and takes a little effort to set up, it's incredibly fun to play with your own music. Then there's "The Revenge," where you take potshots at the enemies (complete with bosses) instead of blowing yourself up. Finally, there's the ability to play against another player over Xbox Live.

If you have any passion for music to match your passion for video games, E4 should be good for a regular break from your daily gaming grind, providing hypnotic, arcade-style action. Even if you aren't a fan of the driving dance music that comes with the game, you can record your own tunes. Of course, if you can't find a beat to save your life, this game will completely elude you. And while this game was previously released for the PSP, it's better on a bigger screen, pumping through full-size speakers.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on November 3, 2007 1:06 PM.

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