PSP shoots the lights…back on! Part 2: Everyday Shooter PSP review

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If you’re a PSP owner during this Holiday season I wouldn’t blame you if you’re feeling a bit lonely. As all the other major consoles get in on the action during the frenzy, the PSP releases have seemed to dry up little during the home stretch. After a first half of the year where we saw great AAA titles like God of War, Crisis Core and Patapon, note worthy releases in the second half are almost non existent in North America (with the exception of a couple customized ports of multiplatform games). As the PSP software continues to land on the sales charts in Japan with recent releases like Loco Roco 2, Patapon 2, Phantasy Star Portable, and Final Fantasy: Dissidia, North American users are playing the waiting game for these games to be announced for North American Release, localized versions of them, and new original games in general.

However, Sony has not totally left the PSP totally out in the cold this season as we wait patiently. Recently released are two of the first PSN titles for the PS3 that were both coincidentally shooters and were both heralded as great additions to an early PS3/PSN library. However that’s where Super Stardust Portable and Everyday Shooter end in similarities. Console Creatures straps into the cockpit and reviews the PSP iterations of these two PSN titles as hopefully, this is just the beginning of a reinvigorated PSP library.

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Every Day Shooter PSP

Everyday Shooter made its initial appearance as a PSN title in 2007 for the PS3 and was adored by the originality that it brought to the shmup genre. Sony now tries to translate that success onto the PSP as it gets its own dedicated version. Created by freeware/independent developer Johnathan Mak, the top down arcade shooter blends the game mechanics with a melodic guitar soundtrack and a unique art style. As the player, you play the role of a pixel (a white dot) that is obviously able to shoot. Each stage is a song that is part of the overall “album” and you must survive until that song ends to get through the stage. Each item you destroy, the game responds with a guitar riff that blends well with the stage song, allowing you to create your own unique interpretation of the song each and every time you play.

The Pros

It’s quite obvious that the original game design had been such a labor of love for Mr. Mak. The game conveys an independent spirit even right down to the personal message from Jonathan himself offering background and thanks to the players noting that he designed the game all by himself. Given that and the quality and individuality of the game, it is definitely a cause for high regard.

As each level is a new song from the overall “album”, within the parameters of the game and art style, each is totally different from one another. Every level contains a new set of enemies and behaviors as well as backgrounds and themes. This differentiation keeps the game fresh and motivated to move through all 8 songs/levels. Unique gameplay features like the guitar riffs that are produced when shooting things and chain reactions also provide the games’ differentiation from other over the top shmups.

When it comes to the PSP port of this classic in the making, players will not be losing anything in conversion besides the rare slowdown during busy points in the game. The controls are even manageable, as again you are with no second analog stick and left to use the 4 front faced buttons of the PSP. However the original was also preset to only the 8 angles the PSP buttons can provide so you’re not losing much when it comes to controls.

last life...so close...can't die...can't die....or I'm gonna start all over again...for the sake of my hair and the well being of my psp...can't die...

last life...so close...can't die...some much time put in to get here...can't die....or I'm gonna start all over again...for the sake of my hair and the well being of my psp...can't die...

The Cons

The usual cons of a PSP were not an issue this time around as the controls did not change the game play that much from original. However, the only problem I had with the PSP port specifically was the navigating through the PSP screen especially with tiny projectiles all around, I’m sometimes left squinting with a feeling of being cramped in.

As in the PS3 Everyday Shooter, getting through the levels can be a frustrating task as you are initially given two lives and no continues. Even though getting 1ups in the game and increasing the number of your initial lives through one of the unlocks is available, having to start from the very beginning after reaching a new level in the game can be irritating. This creates the situation of having to play the same levels over and over again if you want to complete the game forcibly with no continues.

Here’s the Deal

Everyday shooter PSP is great and unique shmup for fans of the genre and casual players alike. The port to the PSP is pretty much faithful to the PS3 version besides having to work with the smaller PSP screen with all the small objects that are crammed onto it. It can get difficult trying to get through all  levels with no continues, however with the musical elements, chain reactions and a vibrant art style, the game is definitely worth a shot. 8/10 Sean C

 

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~ by consolecreatures on December 20, 2008.

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