"EDF! EDF! EDF!"
No-one can resist the call to arms. Eight long years have passed since the brave lads and lasses of the Earth Defense Force kicked the Ravagers off the planet in a deliciously silly battle royale, but now the ravening aliens are back for another round with some new toys, a massive fleet and more genetically modified killer insects the size of Transit vans. It's time we locked, loaded and deployed back into the fight to make a right royal mess of things.
Like the superlative Earth Defense Force 2017, Sandlot's long-awaited sequel is technically a terrible game. Sporting graphics that wouldn't overly tax a PS2, primitive animations, shuddering frame rates, clumsy controls and B-Movie production values, there's a case to be made that Earth Defense Force 2025 is truly awful, or at best, "so bad, it's good."
Not so, because even the best part of a decade on, it's hard to find a game that does a better job of making you feel like you're in the middle of a massive alien invasion... and your own personal creature feature.
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EDF! EDF! Has been delayed! Indeed, the next full chapter in the Earth Defence Force series has been pushed back to February 2014 from its release later this year, but at least we have a trailer to tide us over. Expect bigger guns, bigger B-movie baddies, 4-player online co-op and the new Pale Diver aerial unit (who you may have tried out in the PSP version of Earth Defence Force 2017).
Looks hokey, terrible and brilliant.Click here to read more...
Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad, the fast and furious downloadable rally racer, will be hooning out of XBLA for its European PSN debut on March 13. UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, but 2XL Games have announced a 9.99€ RRP on the mainland and Eire.
"Jeremy McGrath's Offroad doesn't set out to reinvent the rally genre, nor does it try to be the biggest or best," I wrote in our 7/10 review. "What it does is provide a handful of great tracks, ridiculously fun mechanics and an addictive progression system for less than £7. Which is absolutely fine as far as we're concerned." Sadly, it looks like the shocking lack of local multiplayer still hasn't been addressed in this new version.
We got a big kick out of EDF 2017 Portable's pick-up-and-play brilliance, our sides are aching from the hilariously awful B-movie elements, and it's a game that's perfectly suited to the Vita. Unfortunately, though, Namco decided to stick up a bit of a barrier between the unabashed bug-squishing romp and our fun receptors in the form of a big, fat, full-retail RRP...which it doesn't really deserve.
However, we've got a way around that for one of you lucky people...we've got a free download code for the game ready to be snapped up.Click here to read more...
Platform: PS Vita [PSN, £34.99]
Publisher: Namco Bandai (Europe)
Earth Defense Force 2017 is stupidly brilliant. Or brilliantly stupid. Or both. When it released on Xbox 360 back in 2007, this cut-price cult classic managed to capture our imaginations in ways that any number of AAA titans failed to do. As a member of the titular EDF (EDF! EDF!), it was up to us to annihilate the alien hordes with massive guns and destroy entire cities in the process. It was like playing a low-budget Japanese monster flick, complete with giant ants, massive robots, mecha-dinosaurs and hilariously poor voice acting, so even when it was awful we were having far too much fun to notice.
It makes even more sense on the PS Vita. This new portable version includes some extra weapons, a brand new playable character, online multiplayer and a performance boost. Better yet, the short replayable levels are a perfect fit for a handheld console.
But can it possibly be worth £35?
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Developers: Monkey Bar Games
Publisher: D3 Publisher
I’m a firm believer that you can make a great game even if it is based around a kid’s TV show. In my head I envisage the best platformer/action game you’ve never experienced based on Thundercats (the proper one not the new-fangled anime style one). It’d have great character development, the large open world of Third Earth, RPG elements and you could even drive the Thundertank. Yet whilst these are clearly the whimsical dreams of a sad reviewer, the reason for their inclusion is because Ben 10: Omniverse sadly does what every other kids TV show game does: It sits nicely in the box labelled ‘Kid’s TV Show-based game’ and thus, by extension, it should also be transferable to the box labelled ‘mediocre’.
And that annoys me.
Not least because I view this particular premise as a good a basis as any to create a decent game. You play Ben Tennyson, a kid who by using his famous watch-style Omnitrix, can transform into various alien creatures to help defeat the evil Malware. You travel through the 3D levels, fighting groups of enemies as you go, being able to progress once each group of monsters is defeated. You are also accompanied by a new sidekick called Rook which allows for 2-player co-op during the adventure. All this sounds like a very good start. It could so easily have been a game that combines the best bits of Streets of Rage, Lost Kingdoms 2 with RPG elements to create a pretty good game. Sadly its missing a fair bit of spark and creativity which becomes apparent when you start playing.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PSN | XBLA (reviewed)
Developer: Might & Delight
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Pid is very long and very, very difficult.
This ought to be a good thing. I've lost track of the sheer number of games that raised my hackles for failing to provide an appropriate amount of content or challenge, and Might & Delight have delivered on both. This surreal puzzle platformer serves up between 12-15 hours of cerebral adventuring, set in a soft focus world ripped straight out of a child's imagination. However, Pid's bizarre and beautiful imagery belies a game that delights in pushing players to the limit, both in terms of brainpower and reflexes. On paper, then, it should be an absolute stunner - especially for the bargain price of £6.99 or 800 Mirosoft Points.
Unfortunately, Pid happens to be the wrong kind of long... and the bad kind of difficult.
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Earth Defence Force 2017 Portable, the Vita port of D3's ridiculous shooter, has been confirmed for a Western release. The official Facebook page carries the US announcement, with a European version confirmed in the comments.
This new version will contain the full campaign, but with four player co-op and the ability to play as a jetpack-equipped Pale Wing.
You know the old chant, soldier.
No date as yet, but we'll keep you posted. UPDATE: Namco Bandai has confirmed a projected release date of "winter 2013." So, erm, don't hold your breath.
Famitsu has the latest on Earth Defence Force 4, which is set to follow in the schlocky stylings of its predecessor. Expect new classes, new bugs and big robots galore.
Better yet, we've got an official trailer after the break. You know the chant by now.Click here to read more...
Platform: PSN | XBLA (reviewed)
Developer: 2XL Games
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Don't let the rally stylings and namedrop fool you. Jeremy McGrath's Offroad may appear to be an authentic rally game at face value, but it soon becomes apparent that 2XL's latest title is a full-on, no-messin' arcade racer. Choosing from a small selection of vehicles including off-road buggies and souped-up cars, you'll hoon around some looping tracks as sideways as possible, spend plenty of time in the air and leave opponents eating your dust. It's more Outrun than Colin McRae, closer to Hydro Thunder than TOCA, and a downloadable dose of uncomplicated enjoyment.
Jeremy McGrath's Offroad isn't the biggest, deepest, most realistic or best looking rally game you'll ever play. But it's as fun as it is eminently affordable.
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When Dream Trigger was first announced, I was overjoyed that a weird, psychadelic and experimental shooter would be releasing on the 3DS. It's the perfect platform for Rez-style insanity, but sadly the dream-like visuals and unique play style become confusing and repetitive rather than gloriously visceral. I suppose I'll just have to wait in vain, pointless hope for Rez or Child Of Eden 3D. Still, if you fancy taking a punt, Grainger Games are offering a £9.99 price point that outpaces the competition by about a fiver.
If you're looking for a game that's just like Mario Kart that's packaged with a slightly different look, then Ben 10: Galactic Racing might just be what you're looking for. You've got your pick of 15 characters and they can be pitted against one another, or taken into one of the other modes in the game, like the time trials. You can get hold of either the 360 version, or the PS3 version, from the merchants listed above for £19.99, which'll save you £3 on the next best offers out there.
This hefty saving on Puzzle Quest 2 (the hefty sequel to the original hybrid classic) comes with a bit of a caveat. While this is the cheapest price on the PC, you can get it for £2.99 if you happen to own an iThing. However, since that's technically Mobot territory, we're not going to step on their toes.
When Dream Trigger was first announced, I was overjoyed that a weird, psychadelic and experimental shooter would be releasing on the 3DS. It's the perfect platform for Rez-style insanity, but sadly the dream-like visuals and unique play style become confusing and repetitive rather than gloriously visceral. I suppose I'll just have to wait in vain, pointless hope for Rez or Child Of Eden 3D. Still, if you fancy taking a punt, Zavvi and The Hut have soundly thrashed the £19.99 barrier.
When Dream Trigger was first announced, I was overjoyed that a weird, psychadelic and experimental shooter would be releasing on the 3DS. It's the perfect platform for Rez-style insanity, but sadly the dream-like visuals and unique play style become confusing and repetitive rather than gloriously visceral. I suppose I'll just have to wait in vain, pointless hope for Rez or Child Of Eden 3D. Still, if you fancy taking a punt, Grainger Games are offering a £19.99 price point that outpaces the competition by about a fiver.
When Dream Trigger was first announced, I was overjoyed that a weird, psychadelic and experimental shooter would be releasing on the 3DS. It's the perfect platform for Rez-style shenanigans, but sadly the dream-like visuals and unique play style become confusing and repetitive rather than gloriously visceral. I suppose I'll just have to wait in vain, pointless hope for Rez or Child Of Eden 3D. Still, if you fancy taking a punt, ShopTo are offering a £19.85 price point that's selling like hot cakes.
If ShopTo does happen to sell out, you can grab a copy for £19.99 over at Grainger Games. They're a much smaller outfit, but we've never had any problems with them.
It's time to slaughter the ravening ravagers once and for all in Namco Bandai's ludicrously OTT shooter. Cities will crumble, suits shall be pimped out and alien bugs will die by the thousands. Insect Armageddon builds on the surprise hit EDF 2017 with alternate armour types and improved vehicle handling, and if you're looking for the PS3 version, Tesco Entertainment are currently the cheapest around.
They're also charging £19.85 for an Xbox 360 copy, if you're in the market.
First things first: the cheapest way to get Puzzle Quest II is to download it for your iDevice or Windows 7 Phone from their respective marketplaces - or net it on XBLA. However, if you're seeking the Nintendo DS version, Choices UK have the cheapest price around. The sequel to the unbelievably successful (and, for my money, truly wonderful) original Puzzle Quest introduces a new isometric view that brings you closer to the action, as well as the new weapons, action points and block systems. It's an excellent game, but one that's also much smaller in scope and ambition than the first triumphant outing.
2XL Games, Reverb Publishing and D3Publisher have announced Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad for PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Arcade. It's set to be a "high-octane, mud-slinging racer" that features award-winning Supercross rider Jeremy McGrath, plenty of tracks and a variety of offroad vehicles to rag around in.
Considering that 2XL Games are veterans of Rainbow Studios who have worked on the likes of Baja: Edge Of Control and 2XL Supercross, it's clear that they know how to create a decent off-road simulation. Jeremy McGrath's Offroad is set for a "summer" release and a May 21st reveal - so we'll keep you posted.