Review by KasketDarkfyre

"Another one of the average shooters.."

Earth Defense Force is yet another shooter in a long line of clones that gives you the ability to repel a huge alien horde from taking over the Earth. Though this game really doesn’t have much to offer in the audio or the visuals, it does have some interesting game play features that make it just above average on the scale. With some pretty steep difficulty for a side scrolling shooter game and plenty of weapon modification during the game, EDF is worth taking a look at even for the most casual of shooting game fans!

-The Game Play-

Essentially, the game is pretty much like any other shooter that you would play along the line in an arcade, with several things to shoot at and plenty of stages to travel through. As with most shooters, you’ll find that the difficulty you encounter is limited only to your ability to dodge and find the different patterns in which you encounter enemies. Your weapons on the other hand are selectable from the start of the stage and at the end. This puts a whole different twist on the game, in which you have to be sure of what you want to use before you start.

Another part of the game that makes it interesting is that you can modify your current weapon to do different things with a press of the secondary weapon button. Though the modifications are interesting, you’ll have to experiment with them in order to get the right effect. I can honestly say that the duel rotating lasers should get you through a good portion of the game before you end up having to switch weapons. The control makes it easy to work with if you’re into the shooting games and anyone should be able to get into the mix without any trouble.

Something that you’ll have to pay attention to is that the game moves quickly, though your ship doesn’t move quite as fast as what’s going on around you. There aren’t any speed up capsules or anything else, so you’re limited to work with the pattern theory and dodge the bullet accordingly. The boss battles that you run across will be intense and will definitely get you into the mode of learning how to dodge and move without getting yourself blown up in the process!

-The Visuals-

The visuals here are pretty impressive, though you’ll find that for a side-scrolling game, they run about average with the rest of the pack. There are plenty of enemy designs in the mechanical way, with robots and huge mechanical bosses at the end of every stage. You’ll find that the weapons effects are dead on and the explosions are clean and crisp to the eyes at every turn. However, there is hardly a variation on any of the stages, and they all tend to wrap together. Through the theme changes just a little, there is little or no variation in the background effect.

-The Audio-

Audio comes across as your standard shooting game fair with plenty of rock and techno themes rolled into one. While the game seems to have a serious overtone, there is little in the music selection that you find here that backs that up. With several different sound variations on the main theme, you’ll find that the game has just enough to keep you interested in the action on the screen, though the sound effects with the laser effects and explosions don’t really do much. Without more effects to go along with the game, there is little that will impress or surprise you and you’ll find that it runs along the lines of every other arcade shooter out there.

-The Verdict-

EDF is an average shooting game that doesn’t have too much going for it other than the way that you use your weapons during the game. Without the variation on the weapons theme that you find in the game, you might find that this game isn’t any better than the rest of the pack. You’ll find that the visuals are dead on, while the audio and the game play seems to et a little frustrating at times. If you’re into the shooting games, then you’ll find that this one should be a part of your resume, but if you’re just a casual gamer, then you might want to spend your money elsewhere.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/05/02, Updated 08/05/02

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