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PSN Review – Shatter

July 29, 2009 Written by Anthony Severino

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Sidhe, developer of the stunt racer GripShift, takes a ‘crack’ at classic Arkanoid style brick-breaking gameplay. But does this PSN exclusive ‘shatter’ expectations, or should the broken fragments be swept into the trash bin?

Upon firing up Shatter for the first time, you are instantly put into a trance by its enveloping electronica-style music. The music is so good, you can even download the full soundtrack. The music fits in perfectly with the intense action, and it is absolute futuristic artistry.shatter_002

If you’ve played Arkanoid, or any of the other brick-breaking games, then you will have no problem figuring out how to play Shatter. However, this isn’t the same old tried-and-true formula, as Shatter brings plenty of new ‘twists’ to the table. Shatter gives your “bat” the ability to Suck (L1/L2), or Blow (R1/R2) your ball, allowing you to aim your ball into the bricks. This adds a layer of strategy to the game, something that’s missing from the normal back and forth movements of games like Arkanoid.

This Sucking and Blowing strategy requires a lot of thought and planning. As you ‘shatter’ bricks, shard fragments are released, which you’ll need to Suck toward your bat. On occasion, Sucking in the fragments, which is required to fill your fragment meter, can cause you lose control of your ball, resulting in a loss of  that life. On the flip side, Blowing, which is very helpful for taking out a large amount of bricks in a short period of time and keeping your ball away from your ‘bat’, also pushes away the fragments you need to collect to fill your fragment meter.

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Once your fragment meter is filled up, press Triangle to release a Shard Storm. Shard Storm rapidly fires collected shard fragments into the bricks, shattering a large amount of bricks in a very short time. Shard Storm can also be your savior when it comes to Boss battles. Yes, a brick-breaking game that actually has bosses. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

Along with Shard Storm, there are a few power ups that are dropped along with the shard fragments as you break bricks. Unstoppaball prevents your ball from bouncing off bricks, which allows your ball to smash right on through any congregated bricks. Maneuveraball shrinks your ball down, which in turn makes your ball lighter and more susceptible to your Blowing or Sucking. This allows for greater aim. However this is a double edged sword, as if you are sucking in shard fragments, you could end up sucking your ball past your bat, causing you to lose a life.

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