Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Earth Defense Force 2017 (XBOX 360)



- Only $35 at frys. Regular price is only $40.
- About 50% through the game.
- I never played the previous import versions on the ps2 but I've been tracking the 360 version ever since it was released in Japan.
- 3rd person action with a very pure focus on lots of big over the top weapons, even bigger aliens/monsters/robots to fight, and even bigger explosions to go with them.
- Almost everything in the city is destructible.
- There are a ton of weapons to unlock. You can only bring two into a mission so there's some strategy involved. Bringing the right weapons makes a huge difference. Assault rifles are great for close in crowd control. I really like the variety of rockets and missiles. Almost every anime inspired weapon is in here. I really like the rocket launcher that can shoot 10 mini rockets rapidly that track independent targets. There's also a really slow rocket that flies only a bit faster than you can walk but creates a huge explosion and a ton of damage. It can basically drop one of the giant robots in one shot.
- There is this one special weapon where you can drop 3 automated turrets that work great against dense bug missions.
- When said giant robot does explode it creates the largest explosion I've ever seen in a video game. Very satisfying.
- The game doesn't really have much story/mission variety but the action is so pure, focused, and fun that you really don't care.
- The graphics look pretty good to me. Metal and fur is well done. The sense of scale is great. The draw distance is great too. The main issue is some serious slow down when there is a lot on the screen. We are talking single digit frame rates. It happens once in a while but it never bothered me too much. It reminds me of the old 16 bit vertical shooters when so much stuff is on screen it slows down. But it makes the game a bit easier giving you more time to react and also adds a bit of dramatic flare. The game does throw a ton of enemies at you at one time. It makes serious Sam seem sparse.
- Personally, I love how it feels like you are some lowly soldier among many in a large scale battle with a cheesy Japaneses monster B movie vibe.
- Local co-op (haven't tested). No live suport.
- Some vehicles to play with. The tank and mech are pretty darn powerful. The hover bike is a bit useless. The helicopter is pretty cool but is hard to control.
- There are a few different environments: city, suburbs, country side, canyon, beach, under ground.
- Load times are a bit long.
- Sometimes the game takes over you camera to show you a dramatic moment. Except you still have full control over you character. If you aren't careful you could end up blowing yourself up with a rocket by launching it into your feet.

This is just pure fun, and the crazy way over the top action never gets old. Highly recommended for the incredible value of $35-40. Thank you D3 for bringing this "budget" title over to the US.

UPDATE: 4/2/07
Finished!
- 10.5 hrs on normal
- I collected about 70 weapons. I think that's only a bit more than half the total available.
- Use the longest range biggest damage sniper rifle to take down ufos more easily.
- That last stage (53) is ummm insanely intense!
- Achievements kind of suck in that you have to play each skill level from beginning to end to unlock that difficulty level achievement. Playing a harder skill level does NOT unlock easier skill level achievements.
- This is one game where just looking at the review scores doesn't do it justice. I had so much fun with this game.

UPDATE: 4/4/07
Try farming level 40 for health and especially weapon upgrades. This is a nice farming level with massive amount of bugs, many friendlies to help out and be targets, and there are always a few stragglers to give you time to pick up all the drops.
Start with using your basic set of 3 sentry guns and keep upgrading as you unlock the higher level sentry guns. Take two sets of them and alternate so set is always shooting while you reload the other one. Once you get the zexr-gun the level becomes easy to farm even on inferno.

I usually like to head across the river near the start and there is a mound of rocks against the canyon wall. I drop the 3 guns around the base and them hop up almost near the top. You basically want to stand on a rock all the time since the ants have a hard time hitting you when you are on elevated uneven surfaces.

I farmed level 40 on inferno for a few hours. I ended up with 141 weapons so far.
The AF100 is pretty nice.
Taking down ufo's on hard with one shot from the Lysander 2 is pretty funny

Complete guide with weapon list:
http://boards.gamefaqs.com/gfaqs/genmessage.php?board=929255&topic=34402635

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