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Earth Defense Force 2017 (Xbox 360) artwork

Earth Defense Force 2017 (Xbox 360) review

"Complete madness. "

Complete madness.

That's one way to describe the action in Earth Defense Force 2017... and that's an understatement. The second you start the game, it'll thrust you into a chaotic situation where you have to fight against alien invaders on a massive scale. For the first few stages, you, a soldier of the EDF, will be forced to seek and destroy giant ants that have been terrorizing the city. Doesn't sound like much... until you engage them in battle. They'll charge you in groups, try to sneak up behind you (it doesn't sound possible, but it happens), and even climb all over tall buildings to reach you. It's definitely a surreal moment seeing these giant ants crawl around the city for the first time. Thankfully, the game doesn't care what type of damage you do, so feel free to destroy buildings in the process with a rocket launcher, then watch them crumble as ants fall off. It's really an enjoyable experience: charging straight into a group of ants with your team, mowing down their numbers with your assault rifle, listening to your comrades talk trash, and shoot down ant-infested skyscrapers in the distance.

But that's only the very beginning. Just as you're getting used to killing off giant ants, EDF ups the ante by unleashing new, powerful enemies on your ass. Ravenger Gunships in large quantities will come flying out of the sky to give you a headache, hovering around your team while shooting multiple beams at you. It's quite a sight to see all these gunships hover around the city, and an even better one as they blow up and fall to the ground. Then it happens.... the aliens start sending out giant robots. Their first appearance is a memorable one: as they slowly walk up on the shores at sunset, you'll have to take them out before they make it inland. It's really an insane and awesome thing to see EDF soldiers storm the beach and fight these Walking Arms that are three or four times bigger than they are. What's even more cool is being able to destroy these destructive metal beings with your basic weapons. Granted, it takes some time, but it's always great to triumph over these death machines. And when they fall, they make a show out of it, by slowly tumbling to the ground, and eventually making a gigantic explosion that engulfs a wide area.

Amazingly, all of that stuff happens within the first ten stages, where the action is only starting to pick up. You have a lot cut out for you with the next 43 stages. Yes, there are 53 stages in EDF. In that time span, you'll be battling giant spiders, shoot down huge UFOs, fight Walking Arms with stronger weapons, and invade dark caves with insects crawling everywhere. When it all comes down to it, you just basically blow stuff up. And you'll love it. Every second of it. You'll never get tired of killing spiders, see six different red ants charge you as you stand there reloading your weapon, or just watch things blow up. Once one mission ends, you're aching to get into the next one. You keep telling yourself that this mission will be the last one before you take a break, but then the game does something incredible (it has this cool habit of topping itself every couple of missions), and you'll just keep playing for the next two or three missions. That's just how addictive this game is. The action gets so absurd at times, you wish it never stops. The developers just did a wonderful job of creating an alien invasion that actually feels like one.

I could go on for another paragraph or two telling you insane moments from the game, but I don't want to spoil it for you. It's really something that needs to be played to truly appreciate it. I'll just say this: you wanna blow stuff up? You wanna fight huge ants, hopping spiders, giant robots with big ass guns, and even crazier enemies... all at the same time? With just a rifle and a rocket launcher? If so, you need to play Earth Defense Force 2017, because it'll deliver all of that, and then some, on an epic, sci-fi scale.


pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (April 01, 2007)

Unfortunately, the last time SNES Gradius III has been available for download purchase was on the Wii's Virtual Console.


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