Sega CEO Hajime Satomi says he wants to improve the quality of their games moving forward. That could mean a lot of things. It's nice to hear, but what they do next with their games is the real answer.
The Earth Defense Force Needs You! EDF! EDF! EDF!
I asked my fellow writers at Leviathyn if they had played any of the Earth Defense Force games. As was custom whenever I ask this question, I received no response (which I took for a no). Now I know the EDF series isn’t for everyone. Some may be put off by the simplistic graphic style and some may not like sci-fi themed games. Personally speaking, Earth Defense Force is one of my all-time favorite series. I love everything about it. Some might say that I like it because it’s supposed to be over the top cheesy and just all out ridiculous. This is not the case. I find EDF one of the most well developed games out there. The developers knew exactly what they wanted to do and thus did it. This was not a series hampered by time constraints or catering to public appeal. EDF is EDF. Not only this, but the game has a strong message to it. No, I’m not making this up. At the end of Earth Defense Force 2017 the world is decimated and hope is all but lost. The odds stacked against him and surrounded by the alien menace, Storm 1 fights the odds and instills an almost Gurren Lagann sense of humanity can overcome anything; exceptionally inspiring!
On September 27th, Earth Defense Force 3 (2017) will be available in Japan on the PlayStation Vita. Luckily this is not a straight port but more of a game plus expansion pack. In EDF 2 on the PS2, a second character was playable called the Pale Wing. The Pale Wing differed from the traditional soldier by having an arsenal based completely on alien weaponry. Not only that but she featured a jet pack. The Pale Wing plus new enemies are being added to this Vita version making it almost double the game of the Xbox 360 version. Not only is this title coming to Vita but the long awaited next entry, Earth Defense Force 4 was announced a short while ago. This game will be a straight sequel to EDF 3 just as 2 was to 1. That may sound confusing but EDF 3 was more of a reboot.
My first encounter with Earth Defense Force was that of the second game. I had just received my import PS2 for Christmas and saw the game being reviewed on TV. I immediately knew I had to play this game. The rest is history so to say. When EDF 2017 came out in America for the Xbox 360, I was blown away. I never expected to see this series get an American release, which never made sense seeing as how Europe received a fully translated Global Defense Force 2 (EDF 2). It seems like gamers never prosper in the ongoing cycle of America gets this but Europe doesn’t and vice versa. Insect Armageddon was announced long after I believed EDF to be a dead series. Being developed here in the US, this game scared many fans, myself included. Would it be the same? Would it have that EDF feel? The answer was yes, yes it did. The only short coming of the game was coincidentally just that; while the other titles in the series have had a ton of levels, EDF IA had merely 15. The game did offer a remix mode which added to the replay ability but one just couldn’t help but think the game would have been perfect if it was longer.
I will be shocked if either EDF 3 Portable or EDF 4 are picked up for an American release; thankfully this game is quite import friendly. While none of the game is in English, with a few button presses, a player can easily learn enough to navigate the menus and blast some alien scum! If you haven’t at least tried any game in this series I implore you to do so. You may not like it but perhaps you know someone who will. This game suffers from a lack of marketing the likes of which is never seen. Normally you want people to know about and purchase your game but hey, what do I know? I’ve made it my mission to tell as many people about this game as possible and spread the word of EDF. In a world filled with games about terrorists and competitive sports, it’s nice to have a game that lets you blow off steam and feel like a total bad-ass all in one sitting! Besides, that giant centipede in EDF 2 isn’t going to exterminate itself!