Bugging Out – Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space Review

Dec 17, 2015 by

You’re mankind’s last hope against an alien invasion. Find out why this cheesy, fun shooter is a must-have for Vita owners!

Developer: Sandlot
Publisher: XSEED Games
Review Platform: PlayStation Vita
Release Date: December 8, 2015

I have the unfortunate luck of suffering from both entomophobia and arachnophobia, meaning that I have a fear of insects, spiders, and the like. So when a game series like Earth Defense Force comes around, I’m usually a little wary of playing. After all, if I can’t stand the site of a normal ant, how am I going to deal with one that’s bigger than a bus? Thankfully, the Earth Defense Force games supply you with plenty of weapons to dispatch these giant insects, and it’s beyond satisfying.

Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space is a PlayStation Vita-exclusive remake of the second game in the series (originally released as Global Defense Force in the U.S.), which fans of the series often consider the best entry. After pouring hours and hours into the game, it’s not hard to see why. Invaders from Planet Space beautifully does exactly what it set out to accomplish by offering tight controls and a hell of a lot of fun.

It's your job to make sure you don't become bug food.
It’s your job to make sure you don’t become bug food.

Invaders from Planet Space puts you in the role of a member of the elite group known as the EDF, or Earth Defense Force. When aliens come back to invade Earth, it’s up to you to put a stop to it by blowing up anything and everything that stands in your way. The story is on the lighter side, but it’s still a goofily fun tale that harkens back to classic B-movies from the 50’s, especially Them!—there’s a reason the first level of the game has you battling giant ants.

Classic giant bug movies from the 1950's were a huge inspiration for the game.
Classic giant bug movies from the 1950’s were a huge inspiration for the game.

The main draw of Invaders from Planet Space is its gameplay. Before each mission, players can choose a class of soldier. There’s the Infantry class that can use a wide array of guns, offers good starter health, and can pilot vehicles; the all-female Pale Wing class, which can’t use vehicles but gives you a jet pack and access to energy-based weapons; then there’s the heavy-hitting Air Raider class, which can call in air strikes and can pilot vehicles better than the Infantry class. My personal pick was the Pale Wing, as she offers swift movement and the ability to fly out of a situation if it’s getting too hairy.

The Pale Wing class allows you to get out of trouble fast, and is the one I recommend for beginners.
The Pale Wing class allows you to get out of trouble fast, and is the one I recommend for beginners.

Gunplay is satisfying and the controls work wonderfully with the Vita. I experienced no issues using the left and right stick in conjunction with each other, which is more than I can say for some Vita games. As you go around killing these nasty alien invaders, you’ll collect loot drops, such as an increase to your overall armor or new weapons. The higher the difficulty, the better the loot. Because there’s over 400 weapons to collect and missions are so short, the game encourages replay value. If replaying isn’t your thing, then have no fear, as the game boasts 78 missions. There’s also an online mode, although I unfortunately wasn’t able to check it out.

Giant insects aren't the only type of aliens you'll be protecting Earth from.
Giant insects aren’t the only type of aliens you’ll be protecting Earth from.

The game isn’t without its faults. Invaders from Planet Space has bugs in more ways than one, as it’s not uncommon for enemies to clip through each other or buildings, for your character to go flying across the screen after one random hit, or for the frame rate to take the occasional dip. Still, there’s a certain charm to a budget title that’s a homage to B-movies having bugs like this. I’m not excusing them, but it’s hard not to chuckle when the corpse of a giant spider gets stuck in a building.

Review Overview


Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space reminds me of why I love video games in the first place. It offers goofy, arcade-style fun and a ton of replay value, all for an excellent budget price of $30. This is a must-have title for not only fans of the series, but Vita owners everywhere.

About Nick Ransbottom

Hoping to one day escape his Southern roots of West Virginia, Nick aspires for a career as a video game journalist. Though he suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, he doesn't let his disease stand in the way of him being what friends call "morbidly depressing," "pretentious beyond belief", "horrifically unfunny," and "an altogether terrible person." When he's not playing and writing about video games, he spends his time writing creatively and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.

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