Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable Review
Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable Box Art
System: PS Vita
Dev: Sandlot
Pub: D3 Publisher
Release: January 8, 2013
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Animated Blood, Mild Language, Violence

Even the Trophy system feels like it’s set up to be frustrating. You see, almost all of the Trophies are hidden until you acquire them, which means you’ll either just play until you find yourself unintentionally earning them, or you’ll look them up online. Seriously, I have no idea why you’d make something like “Kill 1,000 ants” into a Hidden Trophy. Is the fact that you’ll kill over 1,000 ants in an EDF game really going to be considered a spoiler by anyone ever?

But all of these elements, as terrible as they are, really only make the game more enjoyable. In a self-aware, ironic kind of way, of course. But all this aside, EDF 2017 Portable is still a ton of fun, and the portable format seems to be a perfect fit for the game’s bite-sized missions.

Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable Screenshot

On each mission, you will select two weapons and mow down armies of giant bugs, mechs, flying saucers, or some combination of these things. Downed enemies will randomly drop power-ups that either restore a bit of health, permanently grant access to a new weapon, or permanently increase your max hit points (or Stamina, as the game so oddly calls it) by a single point. The latter is actually incredible, as you can usually pick up between ten and twenty of these per mission. So every time you play one of these micro-missions, you are increasing your stats by a tiny bit.

If you want to grind, you can replay completed levels on different difficulty settings. There are five difficulty settings per level, and completing one on any difficulty will grant you one medal. (And only one medal. If you beat the game, say, on Hard, you’ll still have to replay it on Normal and Easy to get the Normal and Easy medals.) To top it off, the higher the difficulty level, the better the random weapon drops will be. I didn’t earn every single weapon in the game, but I’ve been told there are over 230 of them. Geez Louise!


Essentially, all of this works together to make a game that is damn near endlessly replayable. The short mission structure keeps you in that “just one more game” mindset, and the tiny increases in hit points (I mean Stamina) make every mission feel like you’re accomplishing something. If you try out one of the harder difficulty settings and just can’t seem to beat it, you can always grind for a bit on the easier modes and come back to it later.

All the while, you’ll find yourself laughing out loud at just how bad all of this is.

So there you have it. I reviewed an EDF game without writing anything that will have the game’s developers laughing at me behind my back. I get the joke, guys. Or, at least I think I do. The thing is, I had a ton of fun with Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable, and, as long as you don’t try to take it seriously, there’s actually an enjoyable experience buried under all these layers of campy schlock.

Josh Wirtanen
Editor / Social Media
Date: January 16, 2013

So very bad.
Driving a vehicle is so counterintuitive that you’ll probably skip vehicles entirely. And who decided to assign jumping to a shoulder button?
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice acting is so cheesy that you’ll have to cover your mouth to not be that weirdo on the bus who keeps laughing out loud for no apparent reason.
Play Value
EDF 2017 is absolutely mindless, but it’s also a ton of fun. Power-up acquisition is set up to make missions worth playing over and over.
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Join the legendary Earth Defense Force and battle against giant alien robots and hordes of creepy insects in 60 missions.
  • Squash all bugs in your path with over 230 explosive weapons, such as the Acid Gun, Flame Cannon, and ZER-GUN.
  • Team up with - or tear down - your friends in action-packed multiplayer modes for up to four players.

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