#755 E4

Posted: 26th June 2019 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

794th played so far

Genre: Action/Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Q Entertainment
Publisher: Q Entertainment

Man, the name of this game is incredibly annoying. Here in the UK, E4 comes out as a TV channel that I don’t pay too much attention too, and the expanded name – for this one, Every Extend Extra Extreme – is unwieldy and confusing enough that my brain has never been able to get around it. That’s been enough for me to not quite get my brain around it.

When you do get some screenshots up, you see something that looks like an Everyday Shooter or Geometry Wars. It looks like a heavily stylized shoot ’em up. It’s not quite, though, and I have to get into the game to explain why that is.

Our Thoughts

When you play it, it turns out that E4 is not quite a shooter like that. I’d call it more of an explode ’em up. You explode your ship, which explodes others in the area, which then, if all goes well, creates a domino effect where every next ship that enters ends up falling in the same range and you get this near endless effect that raises your score exponentially and gives you value for money.

All of this is colourful and creates its own soundtrack, creating this weird effect that happens before your eyes. It’s pretty and enchanting, and usually quite time consuming. That last bit is the only weird balancing act – you have a limited time and spend some time picking up time powerups between explosions (based on the length of your shield remaining) so you can keep go and push the time limit forward, not unlike Chime‘s time boosts. It adds a layer of challenge, true, and an endpoint, but it also feels quite short when I would have preferred a longer game. There are a few difficulty settings that give you different limits, but it feels a waste not to let you enjoy the colours for a long time.

There is also a traditional shooter mode of sorts, but that’s so against the spirit of the game that it feels skippable. It’s the exploding that matters.

Final Thoughts

E4 is a nice looking game with an interesting mechanic that sustained itself for long enough for me. However, as the game went on the restrictions feel annoying and too focused on that leaderboard and I can see the formula not sustaining itself this way. It could have been a zen experience that turned too frantic here.