Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
15 December 2006
Comments: Every Extend Extra (PSP)
The abstract synesthesia shooter Every Extend Extra, available on the PSP, is a beautiful piece of work with some practical failings. I don't think it's possible to review this kind of game in the traditional sense, so I'll simply offer some comments on my experience.

Writing out how the game works in detail is complicated, even though the game itself is simple. It's easiest to just watch it being played. Suffice to say you earn points by detonating yourself near enemies, are rewarded by causing chain reactions as enemies ignite each other, and if you don't earn points quickly enough then either you run out of ammunition or a timer runs out. In either case, your game ends. Each level takes a fixed amount of time before the boss appears. Further, the graphic design varies from level to level though the gameplay doesn't.

The music reacts in time to your actions. If you've seen Rez, then you've got the gist of it.

I cannot stop playing this game, and I've even found myself playing in my head as I sleep. Like many other addictive games, it presents a power to bring order to a randomly generated situation, and rewards satisfyingly when you find that sweet spot which clears the screen. With short, intense games it is precisely the kind of game that Sony needs on the PSP.

The instructions, on the other hand, are a bit of a mess. The tutorials, for those of you who don't read the manual, are buried at the bottom of the Options menu. They don't tell you everything, though, and I'm just now learning to use the R+L method of detonation. It also suffers from load times that go on too long, especially for the relatively spare graphics used in each level.

I grabbed it for $20 and that's just the right price for me. Any more and I'd've felt a bit ripped off.

If you'd like to try something similar the original game, Every Extend, is available for Windows here.

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--Matt Matthews at 11:09
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