Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable Review
- Posted March 11th, 2013 at 21:04 EDT by Don Oliveira
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Struggling to merit its steep price tag, EDF 2017 Portable delivers just as many brow-raising moments as it does good times. Luckily, the latter outlasts the problems you'll encounter. The game is more fun than it is "good"--especially in co-op.
- Tons of replay value
- 4-player online co-op is a perfect fit for the Vita
- Hilarious over-the-top dialogue and gameplay
- Too expensive for a download-only title of its caliber
- Very weak presentation (graphics, audio, menus)
- Little-to-no production value
(continued from previous page) ...but just like watching a so-bad-its-funny B-movie, it’s more fun with your friends. You’re limited to a poor means of text chat and pre-written messages to communicate with, so you should probably take advantage of the PS Vita’s Party Chat if you’re looking forward to playing with other people.
The game is already chock-full of replayability, but even more so now on the PS Vita since the Pale Wing, a returning soldier type from EDF2, is unlocked once you finish the game. She’s a schoolgirl donning a skirt and a jetpack. Yeah. Pale Wing doesn’t share mission progress with your Storm 1 captain, so you’ll have to play all missions over again, but you’ll be getting a whole new set of weapons designed specifically for schoolgirls riding jetpacks. Plus, the new jetpack and weapon functionality change up gameplay enough that you may actually want to play through the game again.
There are quite a few things that I disliked too much to laugh at, though. Firstly, EDF 2017 Portable is one of those games that doesn’t reward you with a medal (or Trophy) for completing the “Easy” difficulty setting on a mission when you beat it on “Normal” or higher. Menus in the game leave much to be desired, as you’ll be transitioning from sub-menu to sub-menu about a dozen times if you just want to invite a co-op buddy, change equipment, select a mission, and start it. Menu screens are ugly, bland, and cram words into every possible nook and cranny.
Frame rate is better than the original Xbox 360 game, but it’s still far from perfect. At times, especially on later missions, there are so many enemies on screen that things get really choppy as soon as your start a level. It’s not game-breaking, but the graphics are so unimpressive that you end up asking yourself why frame rate issues are even present to boot.
There are also vehicles in the game, like a tank, helicopter, speed bike, and a mech suit, but they all somehow control so poorly that you’re actually at a disadvantage when you’re in them.
A new versus mode has been included, and as its name implies, you’ll be able to battle against up to (how many) players online (or locally). This mode feels a little throwaway; once you do it once or twice, there is no reason to go back. EDF weapons aren’t balanced for PVP, and as a testament to that, you can get pummeled from a mile away by a homing missile.
However, at the end of the day, when it comes down to it, decent shooting controls, destructible environments and hordes upon hordes of enemies make this game fun—especially in co-op. With five difficulty levels, tons of unlockable weapons, 4-player co-op, hilarious over-the-top gameplay, EDF is a perfect fit for the Vita. Its biggest problem is the $40 price tag on this download-only title, so be wary of upcoming price drops. It’s hard to justify paying full price for this kind of arcade-style experience, but even if you do, there’s some good fun to be had.
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