I got a brief chance at GDC to run into D3, the publishers behind the sequel to 2007's quiet fan-favorite Earth Defense Force 2017. Looks like they're pushing some new titles, most notable Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon for the Xbox and PS3, and Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury for the Xbox Live Arcade.
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon
Earth Defense Force (EDF) is what you get when the Science Team from Ultraman doesn't have Ultraman on their side. It's an amazing experience, taking on multiple stories tall monsters and robots from a comfortable 5'8" tall and feeling totally capable during the process. Who needs Ultraman when you can make a 100 meter tall robot dance with one badass assault rifle? The original game debuts for $20 new in 2007 to some glowing praise and cult hit status, and now D3 and Vicious Cycle are bringing us the sequel to the sleeper hit.
The new game improves upon the old theme, and just keeps improving. Where the orignial was split screen coop only, EDF:IA will be four player co-op via Xbox Live or couch co-op with a friend. The new Survival mode is six player co-op against unending waves of bugs or worse. Also new to this game are the various classes available: Four different load outs with drastically different game play let players decide how to engage the crawlies in any manner: Heavy mortars and jetpacks, helicopters and tanks. The original EDF gave you access to over 300 weapons, and this game offers just as many new ways to trounce your enemies.
It was the little tweaks that got me, ultimately. Now the bugs can pop out of the ground anywhere, now the bugs are more viscious, smarter and faster. The graphics got an amazing kick in the pants, and the satisfying feeling of levelling a multi-story tall building to get at the bugs behind it is just as potent. EDF: IA is going to be a fast buy for me, and from the looks of it Vicious Cycle took the passed torch and just ran with it. Just kept on running. Keep an eye out for it July 5th, for Xbox and PS3.
Bangai-O: Missile Fury
I played Bangai-O: Spirits when it came out for the DS and was all like "What have I been missing? Here I am claiming to love me some Treasure shooters and I haven't gotten into this awesome game?!" So I did, I played the hell out of it and dear readers...it's going to happen again.
Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury is a high-def, online Co-Op version of Bangai-O. CO-OP. Take a great game and make it better I say! With two robots in the action Bangai-O becomes double the madhouse of combination weapons and counter attacks. The graphics are crisp and clean, the controls are tight and responsive. It's the game we've been playing on the Dreamcast and DS for years, just brought into the future. The Level Editor makes a return, letting players string together some nice, joystick breaking levels for true enthusiasts to tackle. And sometimes you even run into works of art.
If you've never played Bangai-O, here's a little teaser.
Yes, it's like that. Countering attacks and sending your own into the mix, dodging bullets and slamming into enemies with your big, badass robot. If any game got close to the madness that is GaoGaiGar, or the insane energy of G-Gundam, Bangai-O! makes one hell of a case. Stay tuned this Spring for Bangai-O! HD: Missile Fury, out for the Xbox Live Arcade from D3 and Treasure!