$12.95 won't get you a whole lot these days but if you spend it on Everyday Shooter, you'll definitely get your money's worth, and then some!
- Excellent sound track, compelling and addictive gameplay
- Game can be frustratingly hard but keep at it: you will get better with practice
PS3 owners bemoaning the lack of quality titles should stop whining and get their hands on this budget-priced masterpiece immediately.
Price$ 12.95 (AUD)
One of the best PS3 games yet released is also one of the least-known. Everyday Shooter is the brainchild of Jonathan Mak, who provided the floaty guitar-only soundtrack, graphic design, and core programming for the game. 'Indie' in the truest sense of the word, Everyday Shooter plays similarly to other popular retro-styled shooters like Geometry Wars and Super Stardust HD. The player controls a tiny ship (in this case, a dot) with one analog stick; the other analog stick controls aiming and firing.
Its simplistic nature -- there are no bombs or special moves -- belies its complexity. There are several reasons why Everyday Shooter goes way, way beyond Geometry Wars in terms of both presentation and gameplay. For starters, the sound effects and soundtrack are limited to acoustic guitar samples. Yes, we know how weird that sounds, but it's a genius move because it gives Everyday Shooter a less manic pace than Geometry Wars (though later levels get plenty hectic) and help draw you into the retro-styled world.
Almost every action in the game, from collecting point power-ups to destroying chains of enemies, expands upon that level's harmonies and helps influence the music. You're not exactly "creating" music by blowing up enemies, but it's close.
But just when you think you've figured out Everyday Shooter, it adds a new wrinkle. Each of the game's eight levels is a completely different beast, with its own art direction, music, enemies, and gameplay. That's part of the bliss that is Everyday Shooter: figuring out how to succeed in each level and score massive amounts of points. One level faces you off against a gigantic evil eye, which quickly multiplies and bombards you with attacks; another, more whimsical level pits you against tiny toy-like biplanes and hawk-like gliders. It's all very trippy, especially when it's set against the game's all-guitar soundtrack.
But the best part is, earning points in the game allows you to unlock fun secret features, starting with extra lives (to help plough through all eight levels), mind-bending visual effects like contrast boost and colour inversion, and a whole host of other upgrades. It's all minor stuff, but it's a surprisingly compelling reason to keep playing. Everyday Shooter is one of the most compulsively re-playable games we've ever played and a terrific value.
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