They don't always need to be thoughtful big-budget blockbusters. As Sandlot's Earth Defence Force series has proven multiple times over the past decade, sometimes all we need is some mindless fun, and a heaping helping just landed on the PlayStation 4.
"It's so bad it's good" is the phrase that immediately comes to mind when describing the Earth Defence Force series, which began as part of the budget-priced "Simple Series" in Japan back in 2005. These were often-insane games that didn't worry about things like "proper voice acting" or "quality control." Just give the players a spectacle, make sure they're having fun and just do the best you can with the rest. So developer Sandlot gave players a massive playground to blow up laughable giant insects together.
Earth Defence Force 4.1: The Shadow Of New Despair, an enhanced PS4 port of Earth Defence Force 2025, is not a good game by many standards. The giant creatures stumble over each other, get stuck in buildings, get trapped in large numbers behind walls they should be able to scale.
The only thing more ridiculous than the melodramatic writing ("I won't let you die, commander!") is the way it's performed and distributed throughout the game's levels. In the video above you'll hear countless screams from terrified citizens, generally shouting the same couple of things over and over again while I ignore them and focus on shooting things.
And really that's the key to enjoying any Earth Defence Force game — ignore the problems and focus on shooting things. Whether alone, with a friend in split-screen local mode or online with up to three other players, just relax and enjoy the ride.
You want depth? Play around with your weapon loadouts or change character classes between missions. You want cake?
You're in luck, the Happy Fruits Cake Fair is in full swing.
In an age where big-name titles arrive riddled with minor bugs, it's fun to play a small-name title packed with massive ones. Also giant robots. And jetpacks.
Earth Defence Force 4.1: The Shadow Of New Despair is now available for the PlayStation 4. Earth Defence Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space, a remake of Earth Defence Force 2 for the PSP, launched this week for the Vita.