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Earth Defense Force (Super E.D.F)

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Released: 1992

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: SNES

Publisher: Jaleco

Developer: Jaleco

Submitted by: Steven Ronald Jackson

Shooters have been a video-game institution for decades. The appeal of taking command of a spaceship and firing missiles at aliens, invaders and other spaceships can be one of the most fulfilling video-game experiences on any console. Nearly all consoles and console generations have at some point boasted a shooter with the SNES's Earth Defence Force AKA Super E.D.F being one of the SNES's additions to this long standing tradition.

Super EDF was originally an arcade game, developed by Jaleco, which got ported to the SNES in 1992. As expected, you play as an unknown astronaut fighter pilot, whose job is to defend the Earth from the evil alien race, trying to inhabit our home planet. A traditional narrative for a traditional game genre.

The gameplay is very traditional too, but does have some alternations. Before going to fight the evil aliens, the player selects a form of artillery (each with their own stats) to help guide them on their quest to save the Earth. These include; Vulcan, Laser, Atomic, Homing, Explode, S. Laser, Photon and Grenade. Each of the weapons attack differently, meaning the player can try out each weapon once to see which they find most effective. While it isn't revolutionary, it does at least mix the gameplay up a bit.

The difficulty of the game though does not mix things up, it is hard! This game is difficult to complete, due to the fact you have only three shields at the start, which unless you get a certain score, is all you get. This means you basically have to complete the game without being hit three times, which is a nightmare. Plus, enemies take a lot of hits to kill, meaning shields are lost quickly and unfairly. Additionally, the levels are extremely long and I myself have not even got past level 1 as the game is so hard! There is an option to change the difficultly of the game but this still does not really change anything.

The game's presentation is presented vertically and looks reasonable enough. The graphics are detailed on the ship itself, showing how it tilts when moving up or down, but the enemies and backgrounds are nothing very memorable. The music also is not very memorable and is nothing you will hum to when not playing the game.

In conclusion, Super E.D.F is a difficult shooter for the SNES which I would only recommend for the most hardcore of Shooter fans or hardcore of gamers who want a real challenge. The game was originally only released in the USA and Japan, but was recently brought over the Europe as part of the Wii's Virtual Console. I would say, unless you are huge fan of shooters and want to play something really challenging, play Gradius III for the SNES instead, the best shoot-em-up for the system.