When "Earth Defense Force 2017" came out for the Xbox 360 a few years ago, I won't lie: I was hooked. Between the hideously awful banter between soldiers (including an unnecessary "EDF! EDF!" chant) and the sheer level of destruction you could dole out, there was just something undeniably fun about the whole thing-- like a Godzilla movie, but with soldiers in place of the big monster and everything from giant ants to spaceships coming at you. It's still a great, mindless game to this day.

And now we can take it anywhere we want with a portable version for the PS Vita. "Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable" features a slew of new levels not found in the original (expanding its count to 60) along with abundant new options that let you play online with friends. We do miss the local two-player side-by-side-on-the-couch split-screen action the 360 version had, but there's no question that this is even better, especially if you have friends looking to save the world in pure cheesy style.

The game pits your team -- the Earth Defense Force -- against a group of villainous aliens called the Ravagers, who throw everything at you they possibly can, including those large insects, destructive walkers that would give Zords a run for their money face-to-face, and huge drop ships that continuously spew flying ships at you. Fortunately, your weapons, though not looking like much, can really dish out some imminent destruction. In fact, most of the buildings throughout the city can be blown apart with one well-timed shot. (Fortunately, you won't have to pay any sort of repair bill or face a senator's wrath. Whew.)

The gameplay is tried-and-true run-and-gun, and there's nothing wrong with that. "EDF 2017" feels just as good on the Vita as it did on the 360, and, thankfully, D3 Publisher didn't feel obligated to add unnecessary touch-screen features -- the analog controls work just fine here. And over the course of the game, you can pick up power-ups scattered by downed enemies, pushing your arsenal even further -- even if some of the weapons are useless, mainly because they run out of ammunition too quickly.

"Earth Defense Force" isn't the greatest looking game out there -- slowdown and pop-in are constant here -- but it is cheesy enjoyment, especially when a huge warship comes crumbling back down to earth, the result of your concentrated firepower. The thing as a whole looks like a really fun war, one you'll be happy to be in the midst of. And the sound effects return, including plenty of cheesy voice effects (the EDF chant returns!) and explosions, along with ridiculously bad sci-fi music.

As for the new features, instead of a local split-screen mode, you now have an online four-player mode, which lets you play through the entire campaign with friends -- which truly rocks. Sometimes, you'll get people dropping out through sheer boredom (the missions generally run the same: kill everything in a stage, etc.), but overall, having a whole team work alongside you is a wonderfully added feature. And you can also unlock the new Pale Wing soldier, who adds a new degree of the strategy to the game, as she's able to fly around with a jetpack instead of just jumping around. Getting a vertical take on destroying enemies is a nice new touch, and one that comes free with the game's purchase.

The only low point to "EDF" is its price. Rather than rightfully releasing the game for $19.99, D3 has let it loose for $40, which may be too much to pay for such schlockiness. Hopefully, we'll see a sale that justifies a much lower price point for it -- and perhaps a PSN release, as well. We could use some Cross-Play options.

While "Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable" won't suit those seeking a seriously entertaining shooter romp, it's a fun diversion, one that'll make you feel like a powerhouse as you bring down buildings and swarms of enemies with just a few bullets. The new features click really well, and the game has longevity to burn, especially if you feel like letting loose with friends.

Let's hear it, people. "EDF! EDF!"

Score: 8

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