Video Game Rentals Delivered

Everyday Shooter

David Yun (PSN Gamertag - Vawce) David Yun (PSN Gamertag - Vawce): (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-04-24 19:36:53

Everyday Shooter (PSN) - Rank A


Developer: Queasy Games (Jonathan Mak)
Publisher: SCEA
Date: 10/11/07

Also available for PSP and PC

Everyday Shooter is the brainchild of a single creator, Jonathan Mak. Check out his manifesto for the game:

"Everyday Shooter is an album of games exploring the expressive power of abstract shooters. Dissolute sounds of destruction are replaced with guitar riffs harmonizing over an all-guitar soundtrack, while modulating shapes celebrate the flowing beauty of geometry."

That's the sort of talk that I normally dismiss as pretentious drivel, except the game delivers exactly what he describes in a genuinely moving arcade game experience.

Fundamentally, it plays as a traditional twin-stick shooter - i.e., you move with the left thumbstick and shoot with the right. It does so in a competent enough fashion, although without the crispness and frenetic action of Geometry Wars. Neither does it compare to the tech-savvy slickness of Super Stardust HD. What it DOES provide, is an emotional expressiveness that pleases and inspirits. Frankly, that's an astonishing achievement for an arcade shooter.

Your "ship" is an indescript blip that shoots at ambiguous geometric figures. Blasted "enemies" leave behind little score boosting pellets. Collecting them is a balanced gamble, as you move faster when you're not shooting. Each stage also has its own unique combo chain to decipher. These patterns are vital to maximizing scores and clearing out chunks of the screen. All of these elements combine into clean mechanics that provide just enough depth to stave off monotony.

But it's Everday Shooter's unique musical aesthetic that elevates it above the crowd of twin-stick pedestrians. The songs aren't merely sonic background filler; they frame the experience of each level. The durations of the levels are defined by the running time of the songs. The intensity of the music commands the fervor of the onscreen action. Moreover, each explosion causes guitar notes of varying tonality that harmonize with the principle melodies of the songs. This grants the player a participatory sense of contributing to the soundtrack.

Everyday Shooter is driven by a distinct marriage of action and music. Each level is treated as a track of a larger album. The individual songs are creatively varied, but loosely tied together thematically, as a good album ought to be. This in turn parallels the unique patterns in the action of each level. These shifts in pace are alternatingly relaxing and invigorating. Everyday Shooter's music consists of pleasantly non-irritating indie rock which I wouldn't necessarily purchase purely for listening enjoyment, but coupled with the abstract visuals and gameplay, is capable of carrying the player to sublime emotional responsiveness. And that is a remarkable accomplishment for a shoestring budget arcade game.

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