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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: D3Publisher
Developed By: Sandlot (JP)
Genre: Action
Players: 1 (2-4 online)
Rated: T for Teen (Animated Blood, Mild Language, Violence)
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Screenshots: Link
Price: $39.99 (PSN)
Written By: Matthew Prunty

January 17, 2013 - When Earth Defense Force 2017 first released on Xbox 360 back in 2007, it started out as one of those titles that was overlooked by many and ended up in the bargain bins of many retailers. While for major hits, if this were to happen, it would be considered a hug flop, but in the case of Earth Defense Force 2017, it allowed the game to enter more homes and become an instant classic. As a result, a franchise is born and EDF is a welcome break from the norm. Now we fast-forward to 2013 and the re-release of Earth Defense Force 2017, only this time for Sonyís newest handheld, the PlayStation Vita.

Known as Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable, the PlayStation Vitaís version of the third-person shooter title is a direct port of the Xbox 360 classic, but with several additions and enhancements to bring the title into the online multiplayer era. First and foremost, fans of the series and newcomers can expect a true online experience. EDF 2017 Portable no includes online co-op for up to four players, which is a welcome chance considering the Xbox 360 version limited you to local co-op online. Also included within the re-release are additional levels, new enemies and weapons, and a new playable character.

In Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable, you are a member of the titular Earth Defense Force, a fighting coalition tasked with defending the earth from the Ravagers. The Ravagers are a repulsive alien race with one thing on their mind and thatís the total inhalation of all mankind. Just like you typical sci-fi movies, the Ravagers throw everything at you; including the kitchen sink. You will find yourself and fellow members of Earth Defense Force fighting swarms of insects of all sizes, and itís your job to kill every last one of themÖ Starship Troopers anyone?

The endearing quality that makes EDF so addicting is its unrealistic attitude towards invasions. You canít help but think of the movie Starship Troopers and how Rico and his team were up against some impossible odds. As you start one of many missions you will be sent on, you are already fighting for your life, that of your team and of all mankind. You will find yourself blasting hordes of insects with machine guns, rocket launchers; anything you can get your hands on. You will also find yourself very satisfied when defeating a towering enemy and they explode right in front of you. Every weapon that you have at your disposal is powerful and you see the outcome of using that weapon onscreen.

Whatís funny and interesting at the same time with EDF 2017 Portable is the way your enemies will attack. There are no epic schemes put into place to try and corner your; instead the enemies will lock onto your position and come with an direct attack. However, because these attacks are simplistic and direct, developer Sandlot opted for having hordes of enemies trying to attack you at a single time. There are moments where this can seem overbearing; especially on harder difficulty levels, however you will often find yourself getting antsy with the thought of mowing down wave after wave of insects.

While you may be thinking this game is rather easy to play through, there is some strategy to be had by the developer. Almost every enemy will drop something for you to collect. Item drops rang from health packs, to armor pieces and even random weapons. You can easily stay at a good distance and mow down enemies and enjoy every bit of it, but being in the thick of the battle and collecting the random drops, while keeping yourself alive is where the fun is to be had. Besides this forcing you stay on your toes during the mission, you also have a better chance of unlocking more powerful weapons, which you can then use on the enemies to show them whose boss. Also, the harder the difficulty you play on, the more powerful the weapons will be that you unlock. So you will find yourself playing certain levels several times in order to get the best of the best gear and weaponry.

EDF 2017 Portable is an improvement over its original release back in 2007 for the Xbox 360 console. While several issues that plagued the first game Ė poor framerate - were addressed, some still lingered on to this day. While it doesnít happen all the time, I experienced such issues like pop-in, repeating dialogue and enemies constantly clipping through one another and the environment. The visuals are on par with that of the original game, however when showcased on the Vitaís screens, the colors and onscreen action seems to pop more.

Just as I mentioned earlier, the inclusion of online co-op enhances the overall experience within EDF 2017 Portable. No longer are forced to play split-screen with your fellow buddings in order to have some intense co-op action. Now you have the ability to play co-op with up to three other players online, allowing you all to have your own 5Ē OLED screen without having to share. The co-op multiplayer option allows you to play through the entire campaign with your buddies. If that isnít enough, there is also the inclusion of a versus mode, allowing you to go at with your buddies or complete strangers in order to see who the baddest EDF member is.

Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable improves upon the formula which mad the Xbox 360 version the instant classic it is today. While the game still suffers from some of the same issues that were apparent on the Xbox 360, the Vita version receives some extra polish to make the experience more enjoyable and highly addictive. For a download only title, the price seems a bit high, but with the wealth of content that comes packed into this digital download, itís well worth the money. If you havenít already picked up Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable, you owe it to yourself to do so now.


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