There's nothing more old-school than reaching for that much sought-after high score. Score Rush Extended is built with this concept in mind and it provides some solid gameplay in the process but is there enough here to make it worth your quarters?
Score Rush began as an indie game for Xbox 360 back in 2010. Honestly, I never played it but I'm glad that this new iteration has found its way to PlayStation 4. You play it as you do any twin stick shooter by moving with one stick and shooting with the other. Two shoulder buttons are also used. Holding one allows you to slow your speed so you can navigate through clouds of bullets easier and the other deploys a stocked bomb if you find yourself in a hopeless situation. Where Score Rush Extended sets itself apart is in its pure action-packed simplicity. The lack of bells and whistles allows you to focus on weaving between bullets and causing more destruction than Guy Fieri at a truck stop restroom. As you progress, you'll gather many "P"s and "O"s. These strengthen your firepower and deploy option satellites, respectively, but if you're like me then you'll leave them on the screen until they clearly spell "POOP". Anyway, the action is intense and extremely satisfying.
After playing such phenomenal looking shooters like Geometry Wars 3, Raiden V, and Dariusburst, Score Rush Extended is rather disappointing on a visual level. You won't come across any memorable enemies or bosses as they all look generic. When you factor in the void-like background, all you're left with is clouds of colourful bullets. Upon playing for a short while, the image of neon projectiles whizzing by will be burned into your retinas. The music is electric guitar heavy and fits the chaotic action nicely. However, it repeats far too often to stay interesting. That being said, the effects are spot-on and very gratifying. Hearing the relentless stream of bullets cause explosions everywhere is awesome. Overall, it may not look that impressive but the audio definitely amplifies the shooting excitement.
Score Rush Extended boasts many different leaderboards that are a blast to climb. Obviously, there's one for each of the three difficulty settings. On top of those, you can optionally play with an extra ship attached to you in Dual mode or just challenge the bosses in Boss Rush mode. Finally, you can play with up to four local players. Doing so is a ton of fun, especially considering you can see where you and your pals stack up against other teams. In the end, all of these variations definitely add some much-needed replay value.
After I completed the main Score Rush mode on normal difficulty (which only took me about five tries), I was looking forward to exploring the rest of what Score Rush Extended has to offer. So, I plunged into Boss Rush mode and almost completed it. Then, I played a few rounds with my wife and tinkered around with Dual mode a little. Upon doing all of that, I wanted to experience much more. Gimmicks aside, the only significant content is the main mode and Boss Rush mode but they're both so similar that it's hard to even call them separate modes. Considering these campaigns aren't randomly generated, you'll basically play through the exact same thing over and over again. It only took me a couple hours before I exhausted all of my enthusiasm. Sure, I'll play it again from time to time down the road but the lack of content and variety is undoubtedly Score Rush Extended's biggest downside.
Although Score Rush Extended's enjoyability factor wears thin soon after you start to master its gameplay, it's still a worthwhile download because the amount of fun to be had is unmatched even if it is a short-lived experience.
- + Awesome twin stick shooting action
- + Various leaderboards add replay value
- + The ability to play with up to four local players is a fantastic inclusion
- - Visuals and music quickly get tiresome
- - Only two modes that don't differ much
- - It's not randomly generated so you'll basically play the same thing over and over