Score Rush Extended – Review

Title   Score Rush Extended
Developer  Xona Games
Publisher  Reverb Triple XP
Platform  PlayStation 4
Genre  Bullet-hell shooter, Shoot 'em up
Release Date  June 2nd, 2016
Official Site

scorerushrev1The most enduring genre in gaming has to be the humble shoot ‘em up. It never seems to go away and as each console generation arrives, it adds a layer of polish but generally keeps the fundamentals as they should be. After all, you can’t go wrong with a vehicle of some sort shooting at an unnamed horde of baddies. The secret to a good one though is lots and lots of firepower. There’s nothing worse than flying through space with a bullshit pea-shooter while the assembled masses of the Thargoid Imperial Fleet approaches you like they’re a Premier League football squad and you’re a drunk teenager.

Score Rush Extended, a PS4 update of one of the more popular Xbox Indie titles, sticks to the formula. You play a solitary ship (although three co-op buddies can join you offline) flying vertically through space and your job is to fire all your bullets at the incoming enemies while avoiding the frankly ludicrous amount that they throw back at you. Yes, Score Rush Extended is a bullet-hell shooter and it takes that seriously. The number of bullets on screen at any time is enormous. Navigating your way through them is no mean feat but the game has two good design choices that help you out with this task. Firstly, the controls are very precise. The speed and manoeuvrability of your ship is spot on (you can even slow yourself down with the R1 button) and also the visuals, as hectic as they get, are always clear enough that you know where the danger is. Admittedly, you need roughly the same amount of eyes as a family of spiders living on Benefits Street to keep track of them, but at least invisible bullet syndrome isn’t a factor here.


The game isn’t very long. A minute or so of action preceeds each of the game’s boss battles. Two power ups (a ‘P’ to increase your firing power and ‘O’ to add a trailing drone) are all you need to worry about in terms of upgrades, and the rest of the time all that need concern you is the core shooting mechanics. These boss battles can be tricky but they don’t require massive amounts of memorisation. Score Rush Extended is just a game where you can enjoy the shooting. There’s no Ikaruga-style bullshit going on here.

As mad as the game is, once you adjust the progress comes fast. I was able to complete both of the game’s modes – standard ‘Score Attack’ and a tricky ‘Boss Rush’ mode – in a day, mopping up all of the game’s trophies as I went. I’m a fan of shoot ‘em ups but I’m not a ‘one credit Dodonpachi on my custom Sanwa arcade stick’ nerd. If I can do it, you probably can do it. And if we can all do it, Score Rush may be a tad too easy.

scorerushrev3I like easy shoot ‘em ups though. Beating the games should be doable and then the scoring mechanics should come into play for the leaderboard competitors out there. Alas, Score Rush Extended is so pure when it comes to the gameplay that it doesn’t have any fancy scoring mechanics. Getting those high scores is a matter of speed and given that your spread of fire is kind of big, it’s hard to see where speed improvements can be made sometimes.

Also, as well considered as the graphics style is, Score Rush Extended looks kind of basic. There’s not much in the way of eye candy on offer, just brightly coloured bullets and fairly basic ship designs. The tacky ’80s hair metal guitarist soundtrack is kind of bollocks too, and the game throws far too many sound effects through your Dual Shock speaker for my liking (and doesn’t give you an in-game way to turn them off or even down). That said, I’m a sucker for what Score Rush Extended is offering. It isn’t a future classic by any means but it burns brightly while it lasts and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. If you fancy some cheap shoot ‘em up thrills, Score Rush Extended delivers.


  • Tight controls
  • Clear visuals
  • Good bullet-hell gameplay
  • Focuses on action not memory
  • Plain presentation
  • A tad too easy
  • Awful soundtrack
  • Offline co-op only

Score Rush Extended is unashamedly old school in its values and that makes for an entertaining but brief shoot 'em up. Given its lack of sophistication, it may be better suited to shoot 'em up casuals rather than nerds and that'll suit the majority of players out there. With a bit more structure, variation and polish this could have been a classic but for now, Score Rush Extended is just a lot of fun.

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One Comment

  1. Richie, heads up that It is against TCR rules to allow the game to adjust any PS4 settings, including the safe screen size and dual shock volume. These adjustments — since they are linked to your PS4 account and not the game — must be left to be adjusted via the PS4 menus. In our beta-testing we could not “find” a dual shock volume that was both not too loud or not loud enough. It depends on the user’s TV settings. The volumes of users vary per use and per hour of the day. Gamers tend to have the volume lower late at night. It is what it is. Thank you for reviewing the game. Disclaimer: I am the developer of this game.

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