Every Extend Extra

Flash games that become a hit on the Internet seldom get an opportunity to be anything more than that. At least, this was the thought a few years ago. Nowadays, most of the stuff produced over at PopCap Games or Newgrounds have the chance of getting added on as a download for the Xbox Live service, stuff like Marble Blast Ultra and the recently announced Alien Hominid, which already saw a sleeper success on the GameCube and PS2. Now Q Entertainment is bringing its own little online gem to a home system release, as the company is moving right along on its development of Every Extend Extra.

It's hard to describe the gameplay, it really is. It has the detonation process that was featured in the firework-activating PS2 game Fantavision, but it has shooter prospects that look to be borrowed slightly from Tetsuya Mizuguchi's previous psychedelic wonder, Rez. And with its combo-building regime, it has the kind of on-screen chaos that's only been seen before in Geometry Wars for the Xbox Live service. In a nutshell, you control a little cursor on the screen as little orbs begin floating onto it. If you actually touch these orbs, you're a goner. However, you use a detonation device that uses waves that cause the orbs to explode upon impact. There's a chain reaction system at work here, where you can cause combo-related explosions if you time them just right.

It might sound confusing, but it really isn't. Every Extend Extra's gameplay was a treat when the game was first introduced as a Flash-based Internet game, and somehow Q Entertainment has managed to prolong the gameplay into a general PSP game release. Along with featuring dozens of stages with new orb formations and more challenging set-ups, there's also some boss battles that come into play, with larger enemies that have a better ability of trying to trap you before you can use your detonator. Along with this, there's rumor that the final product will also include some kind of multiplayer mode, where two players can compete against each other to see who's got the better bang.

We had some brief hands-on time with the game, and while some may notice that it's not as detailed as the visuals found in Q Entertainment's previous release Lumines, it has a distinct charm all its own. The gameplay actually only takes a small period of time to get used to, and then you'll find yourself building up combos in a hurry and making yourself a better player on the game's techniques. The progression of difficulty is actually pretty well-paced, so you can prepare yourself for the boss battles that lie ahead and knock out what seems like hundreds of enemies on a single blast- when you're good enough. The result of this massive detonation leaves an effect that has to be seen to be believed.

With Q Entertainment behind the development wheel, you can expect a stylish, almost psychedelic presentation that fans of previous Mizuguchi-released efforts will easily recognize. The music in itself is trippy, with techno mixes that include sound samples and catchy beats that can change with the tempo of the game. The visuals are equally stirring, with 3-D backgrounds zipping by as the on-screen action unfolds. You'll find yourself going down corridors, lighted tunnels, and highly-colored backgrounds that can easily distract if you're mesmerized by colors and fascinating details. Like I said, the detail in Lumines is a slight bit sharper, but don't let that stop you from experiencing what Every Extend Extra has to offer.

Q Entertainment should have another winner with this game, I can just feel it. The gameplay is faithful to the original game, and the company has stacked extra levels and other features in the game to justify its newfound life on the PSP. As for the presentation, it's one-of-a-kind, just like the game in itself. Every Extend Extra should be extended every kind of courtesy by avid game players once it finds its way to shelves later this year. You may never look at shooters the same way again. Of course, that's what we said about Rez.