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Every Extend Extra Extreme – Xbox 360 (Live Arcade)

Every Extend Extra Extreme – Xbox 360 (Live Arcade)

e4 headerPlatform: Xbox 360 (Live Arcade)

Developer: Q Entertainment

Publisher: Q Entertainment

Release Date (NA): October 17, 2007

Genre: Puzzle, Shooter

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Did you know that the Xbox Live Arcade is an excellent way to get involved in some amazing indie games? Okay, you probably did. But maybe somebody reading this had no idea! Not all games have the backing of major developers like Electronic Arts, Bethesda, Valve, and Naughty Dog to name a few. But indie developers are stronger and more revered now than ever thanks in part to their abundance of uniqueness and creativity paired with a lack of a “proven formula” to (mis)guide their efforts into doing what’s safe, further widening the gap between them and the major franchises. One such wonderful creation made its way onto the Xbox Live Arcade from Q Entertainment, the Tokyo-based development team famous for their previous PlayStation Portable puzzle games Lumines and Every Extend Extra. These two particular portable puzzlers would make their way onto the big screen in fully revamped and special versions via Xbox Live Arcade. We’ll discuss Lumines Live! in a future review, but right now we’re going to dive into the rhythmic brain-thumping puzzle game known as E4 (or Every Extend Extra Extreme).

Basic look before things get trippy and outta control

Basic look before things get trippy and outta control

The concept for Every Extend Extra Extreme comes from the 2004 freeware title Every Extend. Q Entertainment took Every Extend and expanded upon it for the PSP, and then expanded on that title to create E4 for the Xbox Live Arcade. The way they tell you how to play the game goes like this:

“The point of the game is to drive your craft to the rhythm of the music and detonate it on the beat to get maximum impact. The energy released engulfs enemy crafts, causing massive chain reactions and amplifying the beat. Get into the flow of the music to destroy those enemies and score even bigger points!”

Sounds confusing right? Well, it is very confusing at first, but with some gameplay experience, it’ll start to make sense. Essentially, you control a ship that you can detonate at any time. If the enemies are within the blast radius of your ship, they will be destroyed as well, also extending their blast outwards, further affecting other enemies within the blast radius. And thus the chain reaction can go on and on until there are no more enemies to explode. Sounds simple right? Well, it is simple, and extremely cool.

e4 4

The thing that makes E4 so different and exciting is the emphasis on the chain reaction as well as the rhythmic focus of the chain reactions. A percussive beat is layered into the techno music each time an enemy is destroyed, changing the landscape of the musical environment surrounding your ears as well as the general enjoyment of the music as a whole. But the music isn’t as focal as it is in the game Rez, instead opting to place emphasis on super high scores!

e4 5

E4 offers four single player modes to enhance your gaming experience and give you some serious bang for your buck.

  • E4: The Game Time Unlimited is the standard gameplay where you can pick up time bonuses to extend your time.
  • E4: The Game Time Limited plays just like the unlimited play, except with no option for time bonuses.
  • S4: Wiz Ur Muzik actually uses music on your hard drive to enhance the gaming experience and give you something you’re familiar with to play to!
  • R4: The Revenge is a traditional shooter in the vein of Asteroids.

The gameplay variety isn’t extremely varied but is sufficient enough. E4 unlimited, E4 limited, and S4 essentially play exactly the same while R4 provides an entirely new gaming experience unlike any of the other 3 game modes. R4 plays, feels, and looks just like Asteroids except with considerably more advanced graphics, controls, and music. Wait… Okay, maybe it’s not JUST like Asteroids, but trust me, the concept is the same. You have a little ship in the middle and you shoot down the enemies that come at you from all angles. You actually have the option to shoot a single line of bullets from all 4 appendages on your spaceship OR shoot a wide wave-type projectile from your spaceship. Neither way is wrong or right, but we definitely appreciate the consideration!

It's tough to tell the difference from one picture to the next... It's all just so chaotic.

It’s tough to tell the difference from one picture to the next… It’s all just so chaotic.

Visually E4 is about as pretty as they come. While not overly complex and often very simple, the graphics and visual presentation are top notch and unrivaled for most puzzle games. The colors used in the game pop right off the screen due to the black background giving it a considerable amount of contrast. The way a chain reaction evolves is simply mesmerizing and will leave your jaw on the floor when you see the colors and jumping off the black screen. My personal favorite moment is beating a boss in the R4 game mode… When the boss ship explodes, it looks like a grande finale at a firework show except brighter, tighter, and just as riveting. E4 delivers a nasty punch right to your face causing you to see vibrant colors and flying stars shoot right through your line of sight.

e4 2

E4 explodes inside your Xbox and delivers some incredible shrapnel flying out of your TV screen. You will be blown away by the sheer beauty and simple-to-use yet intricate chain reaction patterns you create!  Controlling your spaceship is a breeze as it turns on a dime and has a very limited number of contact areas, allowing you to fit through tight spaces with ease (after some practice). The uber-tight controls are one of my favorite aspects here. Not all great-looking games feel so good, but E4 delivers in spades on nearly all fronts. Getting a hang of E4 is easy and simple, but knowing the perfect place to detonate your ship causing the most insane chain reactions and outdoing your old score is a skill learned in time.

e4 1

Unfortunately for E4, the game lacks a sort of staying-power, making it less of a game you “can’t wait to go home and play” and more of a game that is “fun for a few short minutes here and there when you’re bored or stoned.” After considerable time is spent wasting away at piling points on top of points, you’ll eventually head for greener pastures where you can really plant your roots. And that’s coming from a guy who leans heavily towards casual games. There’s nothing wrong with casual games, and E4 is definitely a casual game. It just lacks the sort of depth that drives you to keep playing over and over.

Overall, Every Extend Extra Extreme is a superb puzzle shooter. It might not make you chew your nails down to a nub with excitement and anticipation, but the soundtrack will definitely give your emotions a run around. And the “puzzle” aspect might be less involved than games like Dr. Mario, Tetrisphere, or Portal 2, it is still a fun and moderately complex game at times. While the soundtrack is one electronic techno tune after another, the jawdropping visuals paired with the excellent musical compositions will blanket your emotions with wonder. E4 may not have enough depth to maintain your attention for hours on hours, but it has enough gas in the tank to get you from “bored” to “fulfilled” in a short amount of time. Get in the spaceship, buckle your seatbelt, and let Q Entertainment take you for a ride.

Find E4 on Xbox Live Arcade or get the compilation disc by Atari titled Qubed which features Rez HD, Lumines Live!, and Every Extend Extra Extreme!

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

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Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.


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