I am all about the quick play games. You know the type. You have 10 minutes before you have to leave the house to go to a wedding reception so you decide to throw on your latest purchase, Shatter. Next thing you know, you are 2 hours late and your buddy is upset with you for not showing up with the girlfriend mad as well. I thought Shatter could be one of those quick play games but it is so good that it sucks you right in to its world. The game is a mix of Breakout, Araknoid, and any shoot em up game that mixes these types well. They throw different level designs at you in 3 distinct ways. You either play horizontal, vertical or in a circle which limits your movement to 1/4th of the radius of the circle.
At first, the brick breaking levels are easy to get you acquainted with the game mechanics. Your “paddle” can send waves out that push the ball in a direction you want as well as pull the ball back towards the “paddle”. This gives you a little more control in aiming where the ball goes. Very helpful in the later stages of the game. You can also collect blue shards from destroyed blocks to increase your multiplier for that stage as well as fill your blaster meter for a super blast that like in traditional shoot em ups, destroys everything it touches. The drawback of being able to pull the ball back is that loose blocks will also come towards you knocking you off the track for a second. When that happens, your ball (which essentially is your lives) has a chance to touch the bottom screen thus losing a ball (life).
There are plenty of power ups to help you along the way such as Extra Lives, Unstoppable, and Maneuverability as well as score multipliers. The music is amazingly good and fits the mood for each level it plays on. I am not sure if its my setup but the audio did sound a little too high since it was distorting some. If you dig the music like a lot of people do, you can listen to it and purchase it here.
The boss fights were not too hard but the last couple of bosses really give you a challenge. Once story mode is completed, you will unlock “Boss Rush” mode which as the name implies you see how fast you can get through all the bosses in the game. There is also a bonus level mode which is basically all the bonus modes that are at the end of every boss fight. The bonus modes has you trying to keep 3 objects from touching the bottom of the screen. The more you bounce them back, the faster they come back at you. Your score and multiplier go up the longer you keep all objects in play. The bonus is over when all 3 objects fall to the bottom. World leaderboards are a very nice touch just like Geometry Wars 2 implemented.
Shatter is a must play game for all PS3 owners. It takes an old concept and makes something new, inventive, and very fun. You can try and sit down and play 5 minutes but you will get sucked in for an hour or two. Don’t blame Sidhe Interactive if you are late going somewhere, I warned you.