A good bug is a dead bug.
“EDF…EDF” If this rings a bell in players head, then it must only mean one thing. Earth Defense Force is a game series that’s been played at one time or another. It’s not often that we get a new Earth Defense Force title, and with the recent update to the latest version on PS4, we also have a redone version of the classic Earth Defense Force 2, previously only released outside the Unites States, now here in the palm of your hand for the Vita. If squashing bugs is something that sound appealing, take note.
Alien scum must pay
For those players that never got to experience the series before, let me give a few details. First off you start the game by select a class, three to be specific. One is the infantry type soldier, another a flying energy type weapon, and a third as more of a support class for when playing multiplayer. Selecting a class, players then had to decide which weapons to take into the battlefield. Only two weapons at a time, so make them count. I always personally go with the assault rifle and rocket launcher combo. Then jumping right into the missions, unlocking one after another, and players will shoot and destroy giant bugs, robots, aliens, and more. Hit a building a few too many times and buildings come crumbling down. Doesn’t matter. The mission for each level is just that: destroy.
Price I’d Pay: $29.99
How long to beat: 10+ hours
While the campaign tells a story, it’s mostly through dialog and mission selection details. Kill, kill, kill and survive. As the mass of huge enemies come towards the player, the sense of scale is what really drives these titles and makes them come to life. Even on the Vita the sense of scale and the destruction is well represented. While the visuals have never been a huge selling point, they still always seem suitable for the amount of enemies onscreen and how much of the environment can be destroyed. I was actually jumping back and forward between the PS4 version and this, and while they are two different games in a series, both provide the same core gameplay, and I felt nothing is lost when it comes to that on the small screen.
That said, after killing enemies some drop weapon crates, health, or armor upgrades. Think of this like an arena loot based game. As you collect these armor upgrades, at the end of the level that class gets more health and players can check on the new weapons, that which players will find their favorites. While the amount of enemies on screen isn’t as much as expected on the console version, the Vita has enough power to still give players that sense of chaos and fun destruction on screen, and it honestly runs extremely smooth in the framerate for the majority of the time; call me impressed. Yes it slows down during huge explosions, but this game can pack a punch and not come to a complete crawl.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place
The franchise is always a fun one to play, at least as far as I am concerned, and it’s great to see that the long lost treasured entry in the franchise is finally playable and upgraded from its original release. Yet the core elements of the series, a staple of the franchise really, is still here and as strong as ever. This comes as a double edged sword. While fans of the franchise and those that feel the games have been a blast will most likely continue to do so and will treasure the entries that continue to come out, sticking to its core roots and not highly changed due to review reactions in the past or test focused.
Yet if players never liked the franchise, this and the recent PS4 release will do nothing for those people as it only continues to return to the elements that make it EDF well…EDF, and I really appreciate that. If you like squashing bugs on the co, playing online with friends, and just having a good arcade like experience, this is one title that should be added to your Vita line up. There is just a ton of missions to play, lots of weapon unlocks, and if this is a title that hits it off with the player, they will find hours of content, perfect for those handheld bite sized moments.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.