Sunday, October 21, 2007

This is your Brian on drugs

Feeling a little bored of the endless stream of FPS games out for Xbox I decided to have a look at the XBLA offerings. New additions this week included Speedball 2 - Brutal Deluxe (SB2) and Every Extend Extra Extreme (E4). I was a massive fan of SB2 back in the days of Amiga but was not expecting to be as blown away as I am by E4.

Lets quickly skip over how disappointing SB2 is. It's looks and feels like a direct port of the Amiga version which given the way that titles of that era can be polished and updated for XBLA that is unforgivable. No amount of nostalgia will get me to spend £5 on this clunky, black bordered let down.

Now, onto the good stuff. The remarkably named Every Extend Extra Extreme is a cross between a bullet hell shooter and a rhythm game. Having only seen screenshots for it I was ready to not like it well in advance due to my utter disregard for bullet hell games however Sunday afternoon boredom led me to play it none the less.

The simplest explanation of the game is: blow yourself up at the right time to the beat of the music to make really cool chain reactions for points and power ups. So far so dull right? wrong! This game has sucked the afternoon dry of time before I even noticed. 4 hours later and I am still hooked. Not bad for £5 XBLA game.

The key to the game is to blow yourself up right on the beat, repeatedly and pick up the right balance of power ups to get your score multiplier up. Getting this right leads to scores in the trillions.

Back in the days when my weekends were put aside for regular and heroic substance abuse we used to put the playstation on with some tunes and that demo that came with the console, you know the one, it had the disembodied heads and dolphins flying through space. If this had been available at the time it would have been all we played on a Saturday morning and it would probably have come back out for Sunday's pick-me-up session (usually a pill while watching Wildlife on Two followed by Star Trek Voyager).

This game makes me want to be on drugs. Kids today never had it so good.