Review: Earth Defense Force 2 – Invaders From Planet Space

EDF 2 VitaPlatform: PlayStation Vita

Developer: SANDLOT

Publisher: Xseed Games

MSRP: $29.99

# of Players: 1 – 4

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

Score: A- (90%)

As a longtime Earth Defense Force fan (since 2003’s Simple 2000 Series Vol. 31: The Chikyuu Boueigun, or Monster Attack in the UK), finally getting the chance to see the best game in the series finally arrive stateside and in its best incarnation to date is a great thing indeed. Granted, Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space may not convince some skeptics of how much of a must-buy title it is because at first glance it’s going to seem like less of a game than it actually turns out to be. But those of you who know the series who have yet to play this entry will be pleased to know that not only does it deliver the goods, it still holds up today as a stellar (and incredibly lengthy) game that packs in more action for $29.99 than bigger budgeted AAA titles that cost double the price. Continue reading

Assault Suit Leynos: Target Worth (But So Far, Not US-Bound)

As you can see above, Dracue Software has taken the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis classic Assault Suit Leynos (or Target Earth to American gamers), polished it up while keeping the gameplay and visuals nicely nostalgic. Even better, the music is the same as in the original game but sounds suitably beefy (yes, I was grinning like a madman while this trailer was playing). So far, the game will only be available for Japanese PlayStation 4 owners and most likely other Asian territories.

Given that the intro screen text crawl is in English, it’s a safe bet that the game may be considered for localization by a smart US publisher. My money is on Xseed Games, Atlus or maybe Rising Star Games as a longshot. Anyway, it’s a darn good thing I’m not home at the moment or else I’d have stopped writing this post, dug out the Genesis or MD from under the TV and started playing the original version just to relive he days of beating it on on sitting on the hardest level. Granted, my reflexes are probably a lot lousier than they were way back in the day and it would take a few plays to recapture that old glory and put a notch in the gaming belt. Hell, I probably won’t make it past the first stage until I remember how to quickly take down that end-level boss ship before it reaches my base and blows it to space dust.

Eh, we’ll see. Now, someone get on getting his game out in English, please. I’ll start holding my breath in 3… 2… 1… (inhale!).

Earth Defense Force 2 and EDF 4.1 Get Dated: Prepare The Time-Sink Ray!

EDF 2 Vita EDF 4.1 PS4 

Excellent. Between the new trailers above and below, the brand spankin’ new official site and the fact that both games come out on the same day as retail (YES!) and digital product, it’s a fine and dandy day for fans of Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space (PS Vita, $29.99) and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair (PS4, $49.99). That lovely release date of December 8, 2015 means that plenty of fans of both titles are getting exactly what they’ve wanted from Santa, Krampus or whomever else buys their gifts. Buy someone a copy of this game and you won’t see them for weeks because all they’ll be doing in their spare time is blasting big space bugs and bigger spaceships, robots and other space beasties all day and night. Yes, your inner eight-year old kaiju fan will be wholly pleased, but don’t expect this to be an easy ride at all.

Getting these as physical copies (thanks Xseed!) is going to make a lot of EDF fans happier because it’s something they’ve desired with every game in the series and Xseed kept its ear to the ground and made it happen. As for the EDF 4.1 blooper reel below… er, well… I’ll give Xseed a pass on that one because the game is so much fun that a little comic relief won’t hurt it one bit.

Anyway, go get some finger exercises in and ask the boss for some time off in December. Once these games land in stores and on PSN, you’re not going anywhere for a while.

Earth Defense Force 4.1: Xseed Reminds You Your Holiday Season Will Be A Total Blast


 

Sandlot, I just LOVE what you’ve done with the PS4 hardware. The Japanese developer’s first game for the console, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair isn’t just a simple “port” of their last game at all. New enemies, missions and gear are here for EDF veterans to play around with and the MUCH smoother frame rate (okay, 60fps dipping to 30 at chaotic times is a great thing for the series) and all new lighting effects make the game finally up to snuff with modern action games. Granted, the gameplay is still the beautiful old-school tough it needs to be on the higher difficulty levels. But now we old-timers won’t have to listen to newbies gargling out complaints about the major slowdown and choppiness or other issues the series was known for in previous installments.


 

My sole complaint with the game is the ESRB rating. Some parents won’t buy “M” rated games for the brood because they just don’t (cue remembrances of them falling for little Johnny sneaking Grand Theft Auto game on the holiday gift list that one time, oops!). But what’s here is a crazy amount of fun whether played solo or online with friends and yep, family. Anyway, don’t let a bit of bug blood and an occasional PG-13 swear keep you from this one. That well over 80 hours of giant bug/lizard/robot/spaceship blasting you’ll be doing will help get the family in shape for any space alien invasion. And if they happen to be friendly aliens… well, we can at least hope they like videogames about fantastic impossibilities such as this game shows off sowell.

Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space Trailer #2: It’s Boom Time For Big Space Bugs Soon


 

EDF 2 VitaI’m thinking Xseed Games is going to be selling a lot more copies of Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space than they expect. The game is headed to the Vita this fall in both physical and digital forms and given that it’s the best version of the game to date, I can see fans of the series who haven’t played it snapping it up and hopefully recommending it to friends who also like offbeat Japanese games full of destructible environments and tons of gigantic bugs, robots and spaceships to blast. While the ESRB hasn’t rated the game yet, there’s nothing “mature” about this one at all. It’s mindless fun at its best, but also a game where a bit of strategic experimentation in the weapons you use can mean the difference between crushing defeat and total success.

I’ve played this oldie to death as an import on the PS2, PSP and Vita and I’m looking forward to the English localization just to see how it’s turned out. Xseed took a campier tone that expected with the title, but it’s all good in the end. This is one of those games where you get so many hours of play out of it that paying full retail on day one makes perfect sense. You’re not going to get 100% completion on this one for a while and the added online play should help make this one even more fun if you’re into playing with others. All the game needs now is a release date and all I need after that is time enough to sink a few dozen hours into it all over again.

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax! – An October (Non) Surprise From Sega


 

You don’t have to be a fan of the Dengeki Bunko light novels or any of the anime associated with them to appreciate Sega’s upcoming PS3 and Vita exclusive Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax!, headed your way on October 6. Developers Ecole Software and French Bread have cooked up a great looking, fast paced 2D fighter with nice 3D backdrops and some wild “Climax Moves” that can decimate your opponents when pulled off.

The game’s roster includes characters from the following DB light novel series:

A Certain Magical Index
Accel World
Black Bullet
DURARARA!!
Oreimo
Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Shakugan no Shana
STRIKE THE BLOOD
Sword Art Online
The Irregular at Magic High School
Toradora!

Plus assist characters from these DB series:

Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan
Boogiepop and Others
Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
Golden Time
Kino’s Travels
Spice and Wolf
The Devil is a Part-Timer!
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

Dengeki_PSV_CVS_OUTER_Outlined (Custom) DFC_cover (Custom)

 

The game will be available at retail in a limited launch edition that comes packed with a CD soundtrack. As far as I can tell, digital copies of the game won’t net players that freebie. So you may want to pre-order this one or take a chance that your local game shop has ordered a few extra copies so you don’t miss out on that bonus.

Dengeki_Glamshot 

While I’m not the best fighting game player out there (understatement of the decade, folks), I do appreciate awesome art and animation when and wherever I see it. So this one on the list to check out in full review form.

Yakuza 5 Update: Still Waiting For A Date, Discount For The Early Birds

Y5_PreOrder_2_1440446638

Y5_wallpaper_01_1920x10801If you got rid of your PS3 when you got your PS4, you may want it back for at least one more exclusive of note. General Director Toshihiro Nagoshi and Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama are back with two more in-depth “making of” videos for Sega’s upcoming western release of Yakuza 5. Despite its age (the Japanese version shipped back in 2012), the game looks quite spectacular on the aging PS3 hardware and is finally coming to North America later this year as a digital only PSN release.

While the game may be well-aged to some out there, according to the press release it’s looking to be the most feature-packed English version of any in the series:

Yakuza 5 features more mini-games than previous titles, a modified battle system as well as enhanced customizations and interactions in the signature hostess bars of the franchise. In addition to these features, Yakuza 5 also introduces “Another Drama” which is a series of side stories that focus on each protagonist in-depth and are separate from the main story of the game.

 

In addition, Sega is making a tempting offer to those who pre-order the game with a 15% discount off the $39.99 price plus the free Yakuza 5 XMB theme below:

Y5_StaticTheme_1440446643
You’d think Nagoshi and Yokoyama should be singing “We Built This City” at this point, but instead they just happily chat more about the game and what players can expect:

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It’s great to see Sega keeping the Yakuza flame going despite the lengthy wait between releases. Hopefully fans will be on board with the digital-only version and snap it up once it’s released.

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess: The Ladies Who Launch, They Do So In Style


 

Choosing “Sadistic Torment, Elaborate Death, or Humiliating Demise” as a way to go may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But meet up with the deadly Laegrinna, and you’ve got no choice that to eat up what’s served your way. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is out NOW for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita and it’s also gotten added to that long, long (LONG) list of games I need to play at some point. I missed out on Deception IV entirely last year, But as this new installment contains not only that game’s content, but a (not so) nice new character’s story included that adds to the fun at no additional cost. Well, perhaps your LIFE (cue dramatic music). Given the Deception series’ reliance on a mixture of semi-serious dark thematic elements, goofy slapstick violence with a bit of blood spilled and plenty of replay value, this one looks like a sleeper that will keep you up all night.

Just keep your sweaty hands where Laegrinna and new character Velguirie can see them. You’re already doomed to suffer in pain forever once they trap you, so there’s no need to add a big tip to your running tab.

Curses ‘N Chaos: Time For The Monster Mash, Retro Style!

cnc banner huge 


 

Until today I hadn’t heard of Montreal-based indie developer Tribute Games or Curses ‘N Chaos (headed to the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita soon). Thanks to my inbox poking me in the eye with the game’s latest trailer above (Ow.), I’m now all over this one like duck feathers on a duck. Here’s a synopsis for you now that I have you in my clutches:

SMASH MONSTERS, ESCAPE DEATH!

CURSED! When brawny bounty hunters Leo and Lea are cursed by Algarr the Wizard King, they’re swarmed by all manners of creatures and monsters! Alchemist Allison knows one way to get rid of the curse: The Elixir of Life! But the only way to get the Elixir’s ingredients? SMASH ALL THE MONSTERS!

Hey, look! I found another cool trailer (It followed me home, Ma! Can I keep it?):


 

As you can see from the those two nice slices of game footage, the game screams NOSTALGIA in big blocky neon letters and everything from the lovely and well animated pixel art to the sound effects just plain WORK. The game is an arcade style scrolling brawler with plenty of cute but deadly monsters to kill and what looks like some challenging boss fights. Players can expect some classic couch co-op action along with online play for those of you who want to hop on the internet and make a few new annoying friends you’ll never meet in real life. Or you can avoid getting an elbow to the head from that “friend” who likes to distract you when he or she pops over for a visit and any game you play turns into an actual fight for survival.

Anyway, some gamers are tired of these bit-crazy retro games, but those are more than likely gamers who think “good graphics” circa whatever will blow up their PC’s 3D cards make a game worth buying. Foo to that. Curses ‘N Chaos will probably make some of those folks bust a controller over their collective kneecap because it’ll be too tricky for them to complete. Or perhaps some small amount of respect should be given to indie developers like Tribute that make games that keep the flames from the past burning and unforgotten? That’s a big, fat “Yep” from me. More on this one in a bit.

Yakuza 5: No Controversy Here, Just Sega Pleasing Some Fans


 

Almost lost in all this noise on Shenmue III and its somewhat controversial (to some) Kickstarter campaign was the fact that Sega of America itself was going to be publishing Yakuza 5 in North America this fall. General Director Toshihiro Nagoshi, Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama and their talented dev team are clearly showing that the PlayStation 3 isn’t “dead” yet as a viable console and the game certainly looks like their best work yet. Even better, it’s an exclusive to Sony’s console so you can wave your system under the noses of any friend with a competing console who may be a bit jealous. However, expect that console to be used to gently bash you over the head with if you’re too braggy.

Unfortunately for you physical media collectors out there the game is only getting a digital release via the PlayStation Network. So you’ll either need to bite that bullet and download this one or take the harder road, learn Japanese and import that version from a nice import retailer like Play-Asia. Of course, by the time you’re through with those crash courses in the language the game will be out here in English. So yeah, go support Sega of America with a purchase because they don’t make a penny on anything you get directly from Japan or anywhere outside the U.S. of A., folks.

Yeah!