Tagged: D3

Earth Defense Force 5 Announced for 2017 at TGS

D3 Publisher and Sandlot announced a new Earth Defense Force title overnight at the Tokyo Game Show. The appropriately titled Earth Defense Force 5 is coming first to PlayStation 4 in Japan in 2017. No Western release has been confirmed but as the series’ fanbase continues to grow in North America and Europe it’ll most likely happen at some point. For now: rampant speculation.

Giant bipedal frog creatures carrying guns! This is by far the most over the top thing I’ve seen in the series. At least one fan has already suggested these could be the as-yet-unseen Ravagers, the alien race behind the incessant attacks on Earth throughout the series. At one point we see one of them leap out of the way of incoming fire and another give a hand signal command, presumably to nearby insects.

New UFO types. The little saucer ships remind me of their counterpart in EDF2: Invaders from Planet Space hinting at more inspirations from the series’ older entries. There are also slightly reworked (and golden colored) dropships that rain down streams of giant insects and a glimpse of a gargantuan, blade-wielding mother ship.

A new monster spawner. At the 1:00 mark in the video we see giant spikes rain down in front of the EDF forces that start teleporting in a stream of ants.

A new map location. A few quick clips show a new metallic indoor environment. In one shot a group of EDF Rangers are running up a dimly lit ramp towards the battle raging outside. In another the fight takes place in the dark interior with red lighting and muzzle flashes illuminating the action.

Physics! Up to this point EDF has relied heavily on the design theory of “just add more explosions” when it comes to damaged vehicles and alien craft. But there are a few glimpses in the trailer of devastated tanks flipping over, mechs falling to pieces, giant alien debris collapsing to the ground and even an ant headshot with exploding skull!

Rain and splatter. It’s a very simple looking effect but there are a few shots of action with sheets of rain falling down the screen. There are also 2 really quick cuts with red and orange insect blood splattered on the ground and environment. We see a lot of this arterial spray when shooting the bugs but this is the first I can remember where it’s appeared on the environment.

Sandlot has made tiny, iterative improvements on the series since it began so it’s not a surprise that I’m calling out blood splatter as a hot new feature. I was a little dismayed at how similar the game looks but there are a lot of surprises hidden in the quick cuts of this trailer. I hope it’s hinting at even more changes and surprises that only we dedicated fans can truly appreciate.

The E.D.F. Deploys on PlayStation 4!

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair launched yesterday and we dug right in! It’s a gussied up version of EDF 2025 that was released last year on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 but those are some satisfying gussies. Check out 46 minutes of some early gameplay featuring remixed missions, new features and vehicles. Oh yeah, the echo-y reverb only lasts for around 8 minutes. Using multiple headsets with microphones on PlayStation 4 is a little confusing.

Earth Defense Force 2017 goes Portable on Vita

I can add one more game to the tiny list of Vita titles I’d probably buy: Earth Defense Force 3 Portable… or Portable 3, I’m not sure how accurate the Google translation is. Basically it’s the Xbox 360’s E.D.F. 2017 (E.D.F. 3 in Japan) with a very few new things thrown in. A bunch of potentially useless weapons have been added as well as a new golden ant enemy type and a new aircraft type to deal with. The biggest addition is four-player co-op and the beskirted female E.D.F. members who can fly around with jetpacks. That’s nothing new to fans of the series (they were in E.D.F. 2 on PlayStation 2) but the zippy, skybound action looks like the most appealing thing to me.

It’s September release is timed nicely for Japan as E.D.F. 4 will probably be revealed at Tokyo Game Show but so far there’s been no mention of a domestic release for either. The best I can do is go back and maybe finish Insect Armageddon which… doesn’t really sound too appealing. They never quite captured that Japanesiness that I loved so much about 2017.

Now Playing: Puzzle Quest (DS)

This is Puzzle Quest.

This is my brain on Puzzle Quest.

I’ve been working through it on Normal difficulty and though the computer has no lack of luck when it comes to getting extra turns and big attacks I’m still enjoying it. I actually take up that exact pose and facial expression too. I pour over the game board as if it were a life and death chess game (and really, is there any other kind?). ‘If I move this one that lines that up, but then he’ll get that four combo over there,’ I think to myself as I plot out my next move. This really isn’t a puzzle game and if you play it like one I just can’t see it being much fun.

The gameplay is fine but the biggest gripe is the ridiculous way that the CPU always seems to get the best moves. When things fall into place you can go five or more turns without getting a chance to play, all the while your enemy tops out their mana reserves or casts numerous spells. It’s frustrating but then I go and get a few good moves of my own and start thinking that the computer best be glad it has the odds on its side because I’ve just leveled their mana and done 15 damage with a well played turn.

As fun as it is on the DS, I can’t wait for the Xbox Live Arcade version (pictured at top). HD graphics and Achievements are well worth 800 Microsoft Points (any more might be a tough sell). I only wish that Live Anywhere could magically be incorporated into the DS game so I could continue my questing on the go. The best I can hope for is a clunky cell phone version that costs twelve bucks a month and wastes my minutes uploading high scores. For now it’s back to the DS.