Review: Earth Defense Force 5 – Another reason to defend Earth from aliens

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As the eighth overall installment in the series, Earth Defense Force 5 has quite a bit to offer for fans of the franchise and is an excellent starting place for those who have never experienced the series before. But, now the question is evident, how much of a step forward is this entry for the franchise? Let’s find out.

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Review: Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space – Invading Earth Got… Weird


 

Pros:
+Continuous reasons to play based on multiple classes and coop missions
+Highly customizable range of weapons
+Missions tend to be decent in length giving the game decent playtime

Cons:
Mindless NPC banter tends to get old quickly
Getting classes up to needed areas of progression for harder difficulties can be challenging


 

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Imagine a world where aliens have some reason decided that your planet would play perfect host to them. In turn they have also invaded your world with overly sized insects ranging from ants to spiders. This is the ongoing theme with Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space. It’s not uncommon to see enemies who wish to take over and annihilate everything using insects as their main military force. This is something that has become a theme for Earth Defense Force games and has become a part of why the games are quite enjoyable when picked up and played. Granted they don’t top the fun we could have in a good Godzilla game, but these games offer enough for players to pick them up, blow up a few hundred alien ships and insects only to move on with their day having a grin on their faces.

You may want to ask us as to why we have another Earth Defense Force review going up when we just reviewed the one for PlayStation 4. Well the reason is because XSEED Games, D3 Publisher, and Sandlot were very busy to bring these games over and did so beautifully. Thanks to the Christmas break I took, there was plenty of time for blowing up massive alien insects and ships along with the occasional Kaiju or three over the course of around 80 missions. Granted I have yet to complete all 80 no thanks to my want to play each mission with each class on each difficulty, I’ve found myself easing in at around 40 of 80 completed. Granted that may seem like a lot, imagine the fact I’ve played each mission three times on just the normal difficulty, which sets me in at around 120 missions completed even though it’s only been those forty missions three times.

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Much like in the previous game we mentioned there are a few classes, the go-to-class for those wanting pure firepower and maneuverability and an occasional vehicle will want to suit up and take the Infantry class. Those wanting jetpacks and amazing energy weapons will be selecting the Pale Wing while others will be selecting the other guy, the games support class who can call in strikes and use turrets. Sadly he’s not as fun as he sounds due to his inherently long cool downs. Thanks to the game’s capability of using both online features and an ad-hoc mode, players can go online in order to complete the missions in whatever order is available to the host in order to assure enjoyability for all those teamed up. This is the only way it seems to truly enjoy the game and play with friends and the way we highly recommend playing it so that the game is more enjoyable.

While these little things are noticeable is that the game is graphically scaled down compared to its PS4 counterpart, which is saying quite a bit as we’ve seen some rather beautiful games on the PlayStation Vita within the past few years. The most noteworthy change between these two versions is simply scale. The PlayStation 4 game, Earth Defense Force 4.1 offers a more robust scale in combat, weaponry, graphics, and scenery. While the Vita counterpart does what it can it is worth noting that combat itself seems a bit harder to do on the PlayStation Vita when it comes to moments that require quick responses when playing solo.

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Much like our more in-depth review of the two released games, the most and largest difference between these two games is the fact that this game does not have the on-screen support troops like the PS4 title does, but also the game features a lot less content than its more superior counterpart. While some may find this lacking and destructive to the title, the game is still rather enjoyable, and one that offers quite a bit of replayability due to roughly 400 collectible weapons, hundreds of ways to do each missions, but also the increase in difficulties that can be completed to unlock even better equipment.

Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space – PS Vita (Reviewed)
Developer: Sandlot
Publisher: XSEED Games
Cost: 39.99 USD
Release Date: Now Available

Overall? The game is fun, offers a lot of replayability, but does not offer enough for those wanting multiple goal based missions and lots of variation in what they are doing. The game offers the idea of just blowing up insane amounts of enemies at one’s own will. However, it’s not a game that will keep those that easily grow bored with repetition! If you dare? The game will hook you for hours on end.


Our review is based upon the final version that the publisher provided us with.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 7 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

Review: Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair – Despair Peeks In On Earthlings

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Pros:
+Multiple classes that feature quite a bit of variation in weapons
+Rather nicely updated graphics compared to previous titles
+Online cooperative play is rather enjoyable
+Narrative of the game will remind many of Godzilla style movies

Cons:
Intermittent frame-rate spikes can take away from enjoyability
Enemies can at times be overwhelmingly hard to tolerate


 

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When entering the first mission it’s hard not to find yourself squinting at the ridiculously chosen type of enemy as those giant ants come scurrying across the map in a hurry. The evident choice is one of a few things that will make friends roll their eyes as the game quickly enters the cheesy category, but remains an enjoyable game that those who give it a go will enjoy. To be honest? As my first foray into the franchise, this game is rather enjoyable, loony, but enjoyable as players will take on with collecting new weapons to use for each of the games playable classes.

It’s hard not-to-say that the game carries on the legacy that XSEED Games has become known for, which is in-depth attention to detail on the games that they are working on and ensuring that they bring over the quality we would expect had we gotten the original title, which this games does seem to show off quite a bit. Their attention to the details with the voice acting offers up a great bit to show off the efforts that they have gone through in order to preserve these elements from the original title from Japan.

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While it’s hard at times to overlook just how corny the game is, it doesn’t take away that the game has quite a bit to walk away with when it comes down to how enjoyable it is, but also what brings forth the game’s replay value. What causes this replay value is quite interesting as players will find themselves delving into the same missions multiple times as each playable class such as Fencer, Ranger, and Wind Divers. As players get underway the missions can become rather repetitive as they find themselves trying to repeat them across multiple difficulties in order to get the games complete experience.

The nice part to this portion of the game? The fact you can do this in multiplayer with friends in order to keep the game more-so alive than you already have been is astounding as I’ve found myself constantly remaining in multiplayer lobbies in order to once more continue the adventure. Though this game follows a singular note, one that is painstakingly obvious. The game is all action, in that alone, that means the game is about one instance – shoot it all, ask questions later, and blow everything to smithereens before asking any, err… No questions once done. Because, well, everything’s dead. Unlike most games, this one didn’t receive much polish that would allow for the game to present itself among its next-gen peers.

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As a game that proves that it hasn’t been fully refined, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair proves itself as a problematic game, one that looms over it is the game’s graphics engine, which many have begun to criticize as it almost stands between the PS2 and PS3 ages of graphics engines, which to say the last, is a bit dumbfounding with the power of the new-gen console as well as the capabilities of engines that are available for use. While many such as myself can look past this, it’s a critical thing to think about when it comes to games no matter how corny they are aiming to be. While this is only one of the milder complaints in comparison to frame rate issues or the likes.

The game does suffer from some of its own problems that can be noted by the sudden spikes of frame rate based on what’s going on within the game such as tons of insects, explosions, alien robots or the likes. It’s here where the game begins to show its lack-of-programming prowess in order to better utilize the console it has released on as well as the hardware available in order to ensure the game is a solid launch for all to enjoy. The brighter side of it all? There’s little-to-no lag on the multiplayer side of the game, which is nice as this is something that seems to be a rather large focal point for the title.

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair – PS4 (Reviewed)
Developer: Sandlot
Publisher: XSEED Games
Cost: 49.99 USD
Release Date: Now Available

Even with those minor things said, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair attempts to bring the series back for another spin so that fans will once more find themselves etching along city streets with friends in order to save planet Earth from a menacing alien threat that does not seeks to let humanity remain in peace even after several years of no encounters. If you’re one for adventure with friends as well as have the tolerance for high repetitiveness? Earth Defense Force 4.1 is right up your alley, but those seeking a lack of repetitiveness and want enjoyability based on a singular playthrough – this is absolutely not your game as the game seeks reward through repetition.


Our review is based upon the final version that the publisher provided us with.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 6 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.