Review: Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable

Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable is completely remastered from the original classic shooter (Earth Defense Force 2017) and features seven new levels and the fan favorite Pale Wing that lets players soar high over buildings in her jet pack and cause destruction from above.  For the first time, save the world with your friends in online multiplayer for up to four players and players can play in co-op and versus mode.  Get ready to battle against the very best from outer space in Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable and take out the never ending onslaught of insects infesting our planet!



  • An updated version of the original 360 game, boasting new features such as 4 player co op both online and offline, new weapons and a few new levels.
  • The Vita can handle a lot of enemies on screen with hardly any slow down what so ever. And that’s is a huge pro seems as you will face 100+ bugs at any time.
  • Controls are kept simple with touchscreen only being used for moving the camera (optional) in game and in menus its used instead of pressing X. Left bumper does jump and roll whilst the right bumper does shoot. Triangle is for zooming in with certain weapons and circle is for swapping between your weapons. Then the standard left stick for movement and right stick for the view.
  • Clear radar system in the top right using dots to identify activity. Red for enemies, Blue for allies, Yellow for vehicles, Green for pick ups and Grey for civilians.
  • Campaign boasts 60 levels of bug shooting fun. Each mission length can vary but the longest you will encounter is typically 15 20 minutes. Higher if you choose harder settings and less for easier.
  • Levels are good bite sized fun, perfect for the handheld player.
  • Unlock new weapons and increase your health via in game pick ups dropped from defeated enemies. Health increase takes effect in the next level after saving your pick ups.
  • Online co op is the true EDF experience and you can tell a lot of work went into it. Setting up a lobby is quick and has a host of options like invite friends,restrict what gear can be used or how much health you start with etc. Private games are possible. The ease of use and wealth of options really take the pain out of organizing games.
  • Anything achieved in co  op is shared with all players, wether it be progress, pick ups or trophies. regardless of who hosts.
  • You can revive buddies in co op now and can see their location on the map. They show as a number say like 2,3 or 4.
  • Online has a chat system with a wide variety of pre determined comments, sayings and greetings. Can be used in game or in the lobby system. Easily accessed via the D-Pad.
  • Every level allows you to replay them at will and choose the difficulty. Especially helpful if your having a tough time on a level and want to replay a level to get better weapons or increase your health.
  • The general chatter of your AI buddies is hilarious and will do nothing more than make you laugh. They cannot chat with you as you cannot chat with them, so listen and enjoy the chats of war!
  • The game mixes the enemies up. Not only do you crush bugs, you also get to crush spiders,flying alien crafts, fire ants and even huge super size mutations of them all. A few boss type creatures make an appearance. But to be fair what crazy shoot em up set in a war torn Tokyo based game doesn’t have a fresh take on Godzilla!?
  • Playing through the campaign on easy will still reward you with at least 10-15 hours of play. Replaying mission to unlock new weapons, use your new character add so much to the replay ability. Use a different gun and the way in which you play is drastically transformed.
  • Finishing the game gives you access to a new character called Pale Wing. First seen in EDF 2, She can fly and has her own set of unique weapons. Completely changing how you play the game and a really good addition. Her starting weapons are a multi directional laser gun, that can cut through a swarm of ants in seconds and a huge knock off plasma cannon for destroying bunches of creatures from a far.
  • The physics in the game whilst lame, only add to the charm of the game. Yes the explosions and animations of the buildings collapsing are comical, and yes shooting a tree causes it to fly skyward like some sort of lumber rocket. All that considered it only adds to the charm of the game. Blowing up ants can cause them to rag doll in the air. But where it truly shines is when you are taking on huge crazy T2000 on steroids mothers, For they flinch and re act to every shot. Making some great photo ops I can tell you.
  • The overall menu layout is minimal, fresh and clean. You know where to find things and with the extra little things like a rolling info tab showing, how many weapons you have unlocked to how long you have been playing, the game gives it all to you.
  • Hundreds of weapons are yours to unlock and use. From heat seeking missiles to repair tools to drones who fight and protect you. There’s a weapon for everyone. The challenge is unlocking them all!
  • Vehicles are available in game. Pressing select will get you in the driving seat of any of them. Tanks, mech suits, hover bikes and even helicopters. Learn to use them and you will be rewarded with some serious fire power.




  • The graphics do look very PS2 and the character models are very basic in appearance and movement.
  • Game suffers from pop up, more so with the actual building and landscape as opposed to the bugs them selves. This can cause comical moments such as an ant climbing what should be a tall building, but in view is just a wide patch of grass.
  • Not a lot of level variation. You fight in a town with loads of building, and a beach front, a few open landscape type affairs and tunnels. To try mask this the devs have moved the odd bit of scenery around but it wont fool you.
  • Tunnel sections are notoriously bad. Suffering from poor sign posting, you will constantly find yourself hitting a dead end as you search for the last remaining red dot. I had it a few times where spiders got stuck behind the scenery and I was unable to kill them but they could attack me. A mission restart cured it but still.
  • The music is fine at first but soon begins to grate as its the same tracks over and over.
  • When you get swarmed, the bugs can glitch out or become buggy bugs if you like. Causing you to be stuck, unable to move or shoot. Keep this in mind as they bum rush you.
  • In a strange twist/design choice  reviving someone online is easy but you actually lose half your health while the person being revived gets full health? Almost feels like your getting the raw end of the deal.
  • If there is one then I haven’t found it but the game has no reload button. With some weapons/equipment this is a much needed option.
  • The price! available only through digital on the PSN store. The game will set you back £34.99, which without a demo could alienate any potential new players to the series. That said even vets of the series may well turn their nose up.



In summary taking price out of the equation the game is awesome. It gives you hours upon hours of fun. With the well executed online system, playing with your friends has never been so easy and so fun. For a Vita game in particular that is a bold statement. Yes the servers are quite baron at the moment but I suspect that is down to the high price tag. But if your looking for a crazy Starship Trooper influenced 3rd person shoot em up, then you cannot go wrong with EDF. Trophy hunter will be disappointed as to get the elusive Platinum you will need to play through the campaign at least 10 times! that’s a lot of hours. Inferno mode is where you get your true kicks. Boasting stronger, faster enemies, the game ramps up everything. Never be for have I seen such a brutal difficulty setting in a game. So in short if you can look past the price tag you will get one of the best Vita games to date. If you cant look past the price, you are missing out but start praying for it to go on sale. Best co op shooter, best played on Inferno with 3 friends, making it one of the best experiences on Vita FACT!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!