EDF Week Part Deux

And so we march onwards, an unstoppable military force forging a path through fire and steel and bug blood and the shattered steel of a thousand thousand improbable alien death machines.

Or, more accurately, following in the footsteps of one or two anonymous guys with strange powers of resurrection, donning armour made of ‘Continues’ and ‘Retry’ and weapons made of incremental advancement. This is EDF.

But this hasn’t always been EDF. Let me take you back, back twenty years or so, back to the first great war. Let me take you back to the age of the Super Nintendo, or perhaps the Super Famicon if you were one of those hoighty-toighty ‘furriners’ the British tabloid press are so keen to write about. Let me tell you about Super Earth Defence Force (E).

The (E) is important. It designates European, and it indicates that you’re playing a ROM. Or, more strictly, I am playing a ROM so that you don’t have to. And this is important because it leads me to what is important about the first EDF outing: it is not a special game. It’s a perfectly ordinary title that does a lot unexceptionally but little wrong; it’s one of hundreds of perfectly acceptable but unmemorable shmups of the 16-bit era. You fly a little ship. You enjoy the delectable company of little drones that whizz around you or attach to your ship in order to boost your weapon power. You select different weapon times to fit the level you’re about to play. You dodge incoming fire and waves of enemies in predictable patterns. You take down lacklustre bosses. Yep, if you’ve played a Gradius or an R-Type game, you’ve played something better than this.

Rather than bang on about a twenty year-old game and its predictable design flaws, I thought it might be more fun to capture some video of me attempting to play the game. In this day and age hardcore shmup players and developers have moved enthusiastically into bullet hell territory, which in terms of design and challenge is far beyond something simple like Super Earth Defence Force. It’s also a type of game that appears accessible – typically featuring simple controls – but is a challenge to truly learn and master. And for these reasons, I thought the readers of Arcadian Rhythms might find it amusing to see just how terrible I am at Super Earth Defence Force, a dated and mediocre game.

Let the great experiment begin!

Shaun EDF SNES from Shaun Green on Vimeo.

If all else fails, select ‘explosion’. ‘Explosion’ will fix everything. And did you see how I killed a boss? It was a fairly pathetic confrontation in all honesty, especially after the difficulty I had with those flying turret things. Still, I hope you enjoyed this unprecedented and unadulterated footage of my exhibiting some hot, erotic sucking.

Coming up later this week: our first actual review of Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon (with takes on the game from three contributors) as well as my retro reviews of Global Defence Force and Global Defence Force: Tactics for the PS2.