Every Extend Extra Import Hands-On

We jack into a Japanese copy of the next techno-throbbing, neon-soaked puzzle experience from Q Entertainment.

21 Comments

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Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Q Entertainment has already released two games--Lumines and Meteos--that blend unique meditations on fairly traditional puzzle game concepts with very pronounced artistic styles. So it's little surprise that the company took an interest in Every Extend, a homebrewed PC freeware game that Q Entertainment has enhanced significantly and turned into the upgraded Every Extend Extra for the PlayStation Portable. We've been playing the import version since it recently hit store shelves in Japan, and we're here with our thoughts, as well as a big heap of new gameplay videos for your viewing pleasure.

Every Extend Extra takes the idea of a top-down space shooter, abstracts the setting, and then turns black to white by making the repeated destruction of your "ship" a key gameplay mechanic. You control a simple star-shaped cursor on a static field as slow-moving shapes and the occasional bullet-spewing enemy drift onto the screen. Conventional wisdom would tell you to hammer on the fire button to clear the field, but there is no fire button here. Instead, you can hit either the square or the circle button to explode your cursor, which creates a shock wave that explodes any objects caught in it, and then those exploding objects create their own shock waves, potentially making for some massive chain reactions.

Grab your glow sticks--Q Entertainment is back with more techno-laced action.
Grab your glow sticks--Q Entertainment is back with more techno-laced action.

Those massive chain reactions are key to your survival, since you start out with a limited number of times you can explode, and you earn more by scoring big points. There's also a countdown timer for you to contend with, and though you can gain additional time by exploding certain enemies, we found that the timer added a good sense of urgency. As an exclamation point of sorts, each level of the arcade mode ends with a unique boss encounter that usually demands that you create chain reactions of a minimum size to advance.

We spent most of our time in the game's arcade mode, which is divided up into a series of different levels, and in what has almost become a Q Entertainment convention, each of these levels comes with its own visual style and background music. What we've heard of the music so far remained generally consistent, with lots of vocally driven techno music akin to that of the Lumines soundtrack, but the visuals change much more dramatically from level to level. We've found ourselves fighting gray cubes, horseflies, and what appeared to be written Japanese characters as neon signs, concentric rings, and abstract wireframe shapes scrolled by behind the action.

After playing through the arcade mode for a bit, we gained access to the caravan mode, which let us jump to any of the levels we had already played through in the arcade mode, as well as a boss attack mode that functioned similarly. Additionally, Every Extend can be played in its original form, which we found provided a sharp contrast to all the production work that Q Entertainment has done in adding the Extra.

The constantly changing art style is one of the things that will help keep EEE fresh.
The constantly changing art style is one of the things that will help keep EEE fresh.

We also played a few rounds of the two-player versus mode, where we were challenged to create chain reactions around a massive meteor-type object that hangs out in the upper right corner of the screen. Though our opponent didn't appear on our screen, damage we did to the rock caused the rock on our opponent's screen to expand further into our opponent's playfield, and vice versa. Of course, if you can make this rock big enough, you'll crowd out your opponent entirely and take the match. There's a good tug-of-war dynamic to it, and since there's no time limit, we could see multiplayer games going on for a while.

The gameplay hasn't impressed us as being quite as deep or challenging as Lumines or Meteos, but we still had a good time with Every Extend Extra, thanks largely to the game's inspired and constantly changing art style, something that we're certain will appeal to fans of Q Entertainment's past works. Every Extend Extra is set to hit North America later this year.

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Avatar image for jakeboudville
jakeboudville

looks sweet

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The_Weekend

I guess my eyes will be full of glitter after ending one level ... need new glasses after this game.

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dcangel

The original Every Extend is awesome, and the involvement of Q Entertainment with this interpretation is making me seriously consider buying it.

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Kenshin43va

hello eva body i like the game its a o k /

Avatar image for masterchief_123
masterchief_123

i find that with these types of games the makers think it will make up for their shortness by making them extremely hard

Avatar image for KidCactus
KidCactus

I've imported it, and I must say it's one of the most frustrating games I've ever played. I just don't seem to get any better, and it very much feels like random how far I'll get. I've only finished the first two levels, and just can't get past the third boss. And some times I even fail on the first boss! Totally random! :D

Avatar image for tonchi2k
tonchi2k

I just received this game last week from Play-Asia.com, and I haven't stopped playing it! It's just awesome. I highly recommend it, especially if you've played Rez and Lumines and loved both of those. The music, visuals and gameplay are stunning and it's very import friendly. If you can't wait, order the Japanese version. Another hit in my book!

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HeWhoYerfs

I just want to know why no site or review I've come across has mentioned Omega, who made Every Extend in the first place.. How is Q! related to Omega, does he work for them, or did they buy the concept from him, or what?

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whiplash

I hope there's decent multi-player. (I live in a 3 PSP household!)

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Zaxex

I've got lumines (awesome) and quite liek puzzle games, considering that i've recently started importing i might order this soon, i like what i see :).

Avatar image for StanAce
StanAce

I'm sorry but whoever made the videos, doesn't know how to play Every Extend. =P You need to get as many quickens as possible early in the game in order to get a higher score.

Avatar image for jerrt
jerrt

i have played this game and it is addictive, a little hard at first, and very strategic. you really have to work with this one, but that is how games should be. There is a nice tutorial mode that helps explain the finer points via a demonstration/"you try it" sort of system. [suggestion: if you start the tutorial mode, don't exit. i got almost done and then accidentally exited. i have to do the whole tutorial over again to learn the last few tricks] even for those that dont' speak japanese you can figure out most of it, but mastering it will take some time. oh yeah, and it looks great A+ to the man that has brought us so many other original game styles. [:

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TintedChimes

More games for the PSP is greatly appreciated, I wonder how much this will be, this game looks like starbright even though the game play is entirely different.

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faridmon

looks fun but i don't have a PSP, so am waiting to the next Q Entertainment game for the DS, is Meteos Disney Edition sequel to Meteos?

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TanKLoveR

Looks fun.

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supercrap1

Ps2 port please.

Avatar image for UnluckyLuke
UnluckyLuke

Having played this, I can see how it might not be percieved as too deep, but I view it as more of a shmup than a puzzle game. And it's great. The music is great, the backgrounds are nice, and the gameplay is amazingly addictive. Can't wait for a US release.

Avatar image for Zadillo
Zadillo

Looks pretty cool. I'm not sure if this instantly grabs me in the way that Lumines or Meteos did when I saw them, but I still think I'm down with it. I love the visuals, and it does seem like an interesting twist on some of the conventions of the puzzle and shooter genres. Hearing that it has a similar musical soundtrack to Lumines probably seals the deal for me.

Avatar image for darkheart73
darkheart73

this looks great and absolutely stunning

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genoj00

looks fun and its not a port! count me in.

Avatar image for tricache
tricache

Looks like a fun game...might have a look at it when its comes out