Friday, July 25, 2008

Everyday Shooter (PSN) - Review

I may have said this before but I'm not a big fan of arcade style shooting games, which is kind of strange as this is the third one I've posted a review for after Assault Heroes 2 and Flow. I downloaded Everyday Shooter from the PSN store last week after reading many good things about the game. Most notably the role that the sound design plays in the game. The creator Jonathan Mak recorded an all-guitar soundtrack for the game and with a really distinctive sound it helps to set it apart from other games of this type.

The game is dual-stick style shooter like Geometry Wars on the XBLA so it will be immediately familiar to fans of the genre. On first impressions it may seem like any other shooter but after playing it a couple of times you will notice some finer details that set it apart from the crowd. Firstly, each level brings with it a new technique to set off chain-reactions of explosions to kill the enemies. The key to progression and high-scoring is to figure out how to set-off these chain reactions because without them you will soon be overwhelmed by the enemy. Another difference is the way in the scoring system works. You will have to work harder in this game to get a high score than others because just shooting the enemy does not count. You have to collect the icons that the destroyed enemies drop in order to score points. This adds a little bit of strategy to the game because when shooting you move slower than when not shooting. So should you try to zoom over to those points without shooting and make yourself vulnerable? Or should you go in guns blazing but slow and risk the points disappearing before you get there?

The sound design requires another mention as it goes deeper than just a guitar soundtrack. The players actions determine the overall sound of the music as shooting one type of enemy will generate a guitar note or riff while other enemies generate different samples. These sounds all go together well with each levels theme to create a very good experience. This idea will probably sound familiar to fans of Rez.

Long-term playability has always been an issue for me with this style of game but Everyday Shooter goes further than most to combat this complaint. The points you collect in the game can be used as 'unlock points' in the unlock menu. From here you can unlock extra lives, play specific levels or unlock a shuffle mode. There is also the ability to play specific levels with the 'Single Play' option. So if you never get to the later levels at least you can unlock them and get to try them out.

The graphics are nothing but functional really apart from the odd background effect that impresses.

Fantastic sound design helps to push the overall quality and enjoyment of the game higher.

Simple dual-stick controls that are nice and responsive. Nothing to complain about.

The best arcade shooter that I have played on any platform. The frantic gameplay coupled with the great soundtrack make for a fun and addictive gameplay experience. It is a difficult game but the unlock system brings with it many rewards that will help to provide good value for money. I'd recommend it for fans of the genre and anyone looking for a good budget game on PSN or Steam.

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