Sunday, November 3, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 126 - Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Earth Defense Force is a quirky kooky niche franchise beloved my some because it is quirky and kooky and hated by some because it is seen as repetitive and boring. In a desperate effort to bring those two groups together into one happy mass where everyone loves Earth Defense Force, there have been two attempts to Western-ize the games to appeal to a wider audience. These attempts have failed because they alienate the core fans who already liked it and the other people don't give a crap about what changes they made because it's still Earth Defense Force and they didn't want to play it in the first place. Anyways, today's Eric Vs. 365 title is Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon and it sucks. Click to read more and watch gameplay.

EDF Insect Armageddon came out in Summer 2011 for Xbox 360 and PS3. Despite really enjoying EDF 2017 and looking forward to Insect Armageddon, I never actually reviewed it even though I was sent a review copy. I just didn't "get" it. I hated it. It wasn't the Earth Defense Force that I wanted. It was different in all the worst possible ways. Back then I couldn't really put my thoughts into words, so I opted to just not review it at all rather than crank out something that wouldn't be useful to anyone. In 2019, however, I think I can explain why I hate it so much.

Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon sucks because they tried to make it Call of Duty. Suddenly it was serious and realistic and boring instead of cartoony and campy and fun. Suddenly there were mission objectives besides just killing every creepy crawly you saw. Suddenly the dumb brightly colored bugs were gray and brown and looked realistic. Suddenly the shooting started to feel freaking awful. Suddenly there were turret sequences and scripted set pieces. This was no longer Earth Defense Force. It was Call of Duty mixed with EDF but ended up somehow being lesser than the two.

I've tried to get into Insect Armageddon several times over the years and every single time I get about 4 missions into it and just get incredibly bored and quit. It isn't fun. It's awful. Until EDF Iron Rain came out it was easily the worst EDF. We'll have an Iron Rain video eventually ...

Why they thought that mashing COD and EDF together was some magic formula to Western success is mind blowing. They totally forgot what made people like the franchise in the first place and made something that nobody liked. 

Here's how to make Earth Defense Force more popular in the West. Polish the hell out of the mainline series-style games - 2017, 2025, EDF5. That's it. Make those type of games, but make the graphics look better, make them perform smoothly, make the shooting feel as perfect as possible. If you take what works, and make it as perfect as you possibly can, people will play it. You don't need to reinvent the wheel here. Just make sure it's round instead of octagonal so people have a smoother ride.