Video games have come a long way from the bit blasting arcade classic of long ago. When we look at AAA franchises, such as Destiny and Halo, it is a staggering thought to see their origins traced back to the Golden age of video games, such as Space Invaders and Star Raiders. In these simpler times in video games, in titles such as Pacman and Tetris, the goal was to have fun. However, what started out as fun soon became repeat gameplays. Players would pour quarters into machines, seeing how far they could go, as well as to push gameplay mechanics to their limits. The working of these mechanics, such as the objective of the game and the score count, all lead to the founding blocks of modern gaming. Many genres were formed, and among them was the shoot-em’ up, or more commonly known as, the “shmup.”
For decades, shmups have come in a variety of ways, with literally hundreds of titles to play on almost every video game system ever made. From Taito’s Dariusburst Chronicle Savior to Square Enix’ Einhander, the list is endless. However, in the sea of wildly-realized video games arriving on new consoles, seeing the simplicity of games, especially shmups, are often times lost and mistranslated. Despite this, we live in an age where anyone can make a video game and release it onto a system. Every so often, there comes a game that reminds us of the very core mechanics that make a game work, while being an amazing action experience. This is the experience that Xona Games presents with Score Rush Extended for the PlayStation 4.
Originally released on the Xbox 360 in 2010, Score Rush Extended is an updated version of the classic game for the PlayStation 4 platform. The game, previously titled Score Rush, broke through barriers in 2010 as it was a refreshing game play experience and a reminder of the significance of shmups. Six years later, that experience is intact, becoming just as exciting and addicting as ever.
These wise words are the focus of the game, and what Score Rush Extended excels in. Score Rush extended has no story, no characters, or universe it is set in. There is the player, using a ship, facing a massive army of other ships, in a space. Your sole objective is to beat the bosses and get the highest possible score. There are no other deviations or surprises. The focus of Score Rush Extended is the gameplay and the action, which the game delivers a lot of. This focus doesn’t simply make Score Rush Extended a fantastic action game, but a game of importance and significance as it highlights the qualities of a historical genre.
In the views of video game and computer design history, it’s important to highlight the very fine details that not only made this game work. By focusing on the basics, Score Rush Extended becomes an exhilarating rush of action and excitement, making it impossible to play without feeling your heart beat fast. The player will face dozens of ships at any one time, and there are several difficult boss fights loaded into the level. Between you and victory a million bullets, each with the intent to destroy you.
Score Rush Extended is difficult and incredibly challenging. Players will die several times as they are overwhelmed with hundreds of bullets. However, the game is firm but fair, as developer Xona Games has placed the player, and their skill, as the focus. While overwhelming, Score Rush Extended is a game that is easy to play but difficult to master. Repeat gameplay will be required to get a higher score, as well as to successfully defeat the final boss. However, players are empowered with a swift ship, loaded with a crazy cannon, several nukes, power-ups, and special moves.
Playing Score Rush Extended becomes an amazing experience, bursting with fiery, kinetic energy. The game takes no breaks in bringing players straight into the action, giving you your first boss within moments. From the beginning, the challenge only gets tougher until the final boss is successfully defeated. Enemies fly in from the top and quickly fill the screen with a variety of multi-colored bullets. As the game is inspired by Japanese Bullet-hell shooters, there is almost no room on the screen to successfully maneuver. In order to survive, players will need a keen eye to lock onto a path within the bullets and move. Players can use the R1 button to slow down, allowing for more precise movements to be made. Some enemies will drop power-ups and options, which are quintessential to survive and rack up a high score. Once players hit the maximum for powerups, they will unlock a bullet clear for each new power-up. For every 100 million points, players will receive a 1-up as well.
The end result is an absolutely fluid and energetic gaming experience unlike anything else. Score Rush Extended is pure and fun, simple and fresh. Players will feel the thrill of surviving bullet barrages and blowing up bosses in level-shattering explosions. Every weave through danger is a small victory. Every enemy down is another nice boost to your score. The longer you play, and the more you learn, the more rewarding the game becomes. Even when you die, there is that sensation for just one more game to play. Score Rush Extended also has local 4-player multiplayer, adding the great experience to other players.
Coupled with the fantastic gameplay is an absolutely crazy soundtrack and visual graphics. Visually, Score Rush Extended is bursting with neon color, piercing laser bullets, and a flowing background. While not terribly detailed, the has a solid look that is reminiscent of 90’s arcade classics. The soundtrack is performed by Greece-based Dragon Music. From the moment the game boots up, the energy hits tremendously, with a hard rock and metal playlist that feels perfect for the game! Its frantic, epic, kinetic, and puts you right int the thick of the action.
Score Rush Extended by Dragon Music
In the glow of the greatness of Score Ruse Extended, my only drawback is that I wanted to see more. Perhaps new modes, new levels, or new weapons would have been welcome. On one hand, it is hard to argue this as the game’s focus on simplicity and the player are extremely rewarding, and having extra content could potentially distract from the main focus of the game. On the other hand, what is here is done so well that I simply wish there was more.
Score Rush Extended is a passionate project by XOna Games, and with their determination, demonstrated a much need cultural lesson to the gaming industry while also giving a fantastic gaming experience. Score Rush Extended is a special offering in this year’s game lineup for completing two goals. The first is being an exciting spaceship shoot-em’ up game, with addictive gameplay, solid challenge, and a great feedback that keeps player playing. The second is the ability to bring an important message to a historical area in video game history,and that is the recognition and celebration of the shmup genre. Score Rush Extended is a memorable game with a lot of heart. PlayStation owners shouldn’t miss this.