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Game of the Month, July 2011


Winner: Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Do we dare to add a so-called “Budget Title” into our semi-serious pantheon of the years’ greatest games? We dare indeed! What Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon lacks in Triple-A polish and overall innovation, it more than makes up for in slap-happy thrills delivered at a mile a minute. You could call Insect Armageddon “dumb,” but to us, it’s like the Grindhouse of games, as it cheekily embraces everything you truly want to experience in a balls-nasty shooter, while shrugging off next-gen crutches, like *bleh* character development and story, that needlessly elongate what should be interactive entertainment first and foremost.


Above: “KILL ‘EM ALL! (Now with Jet Packs)

EDF is already well aware it’s a B-grade game, so it doesn’t bother with all the pretentious padding that modern games have tricked you into believing is actually important. Yeah, the game doesn’t set out to do anything new, however it’s borrowed the solid third-person shooter mechanics from several dozen great games that’ve come before, and refined them all splendidly for its own simple purposes. Kill waves, and waves (and WAVES) of giant insects. Now don’t stop ‘til you get enough!


Above: There’s an Achievement/Trophy for killing 25,000 of these and you’d be surprised by how effortlessly you might unlock it

Of course, all of that aforementioned same praise could be lavished upon the last entry in the cult-tastic, blisteringly Japanese EDF series, yet Insect Armageddon does kicks it up several notched by adding crucial new features. Online is no longer ignored, and co-op with buddies drastically enhances the nonstop insecticide one thousand fold. Plus, the added option of upgradable classes, featuring battle drones, jetpack equipped-soldiers, and turret-laying scouts, are enough to make you forget that you’re essentially killing the same handful of enemies over and over.


Above: Survival Mode might be the greatest thing to happen to gaming in 2011

Look, this month had no shortage of noteworthy titles to choose from. Bastion, Ms Splosion ManCatherine, are well worth cheering for. Hell, NCAA Football 12 technically got a higher score from us! However, we’d like to point out how rare it is for a “Professional Gamesz Journalist” to play something to 100% completion for the purpose of a review, and then continue playing it from home afterwards. Well, Chris is still playing it every day! That’s how deep EDF: IA has its mandibles in us.


Runner-up: Catherine

It can be described as, perhaps a bit uncharitably, Q*bert with boobs. And yet, the description sticks, because at its heart, Catherine is indeed an action-puzzle game, one that involves all manner of blocks, obstacles, and challenging encounters. But Catherine is so much more. It’s a game about growing up, about facing the fear of settling down, about measuring the saucy vice of infidelity against the serious virtue of love. It’s about nightmares populated with boxer-short-clad, sheep-horned men facing the same challenges as hero Vincent Brooks. It’s about choices, with Vincent chatting with his friends in anime cutscenes, responding to text messages from his girlfriend Katherine (as opposed to his temptress, the titular Catherine), and answering queries in a nightmarish confessional booth — all of which come together to affect the final ending(s). So sure, it’s a puzzle game with pretty pictures. But it’s also the most mature game of the month, and we mean that in a very good way.

Aug 1, 2011

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30 comments

  • soxknight1127 - August 2, 2011 12:40 a.m.

    Not hard to imagine Chris screaming and yelling to get this one done haha.
  • PanzerDSS - August 2, 2011 12:41 a.m.

    So far, I'm enjoying everything about Catherine except the block puzzles. And I loved Bastion. That game is amazing.
  • jackthemenace - August 2, 2011 12:43 a.m.

    Man, July's been kind of a slow month for me, since I've literally played nothing new (at least, in terms of release date). Still, i might have to try and look into EDF:IA, since I saw i cheap at Asda. And Catherine is a definite buy when it finally gets released in the UK. Which, of course, it has now been revealed it WILL. THANK YOU DEEP SILVER.
  • Draijan - August 2, 2011 12:44 a.m.

    "enough to make you forget that you’re essentially killing the same handful of enemies over and over." Id still notice I was killing the same stuff over and over, then most likely throw it out the window :[.
  • RODTheMaster - August 2, 2011 12:50 a.m.

    This has Antista written all over it.
  • DevonOO7 - August 2, 2011 12:51 a.m.

    EDF was okay but I really loved From Dust
  • Pocotron - August 2, 2011 1:18 a.m.

    Holy crap is Catherine tough. Fun as hell, but HOLY SHIT some of the puzzles on hard man.
  • TFUPrivateIron - August 2, 2011 1:21 a.m.

    Definitely a slow month if that piece of shit gets top honors.
  • Shanetexas - August 2, 2011 2:10 a.m.

    It's ok to admit it's a ok game. Don't go making it out like it's the hottest, bestest thing ever.
  • Zepaw - August 2, 2011 2:16 a.m.

    I would be shivering too often from how creeped out it would make me to shoot straight. Giant spiders, a la Dragon Age 2, are my least favorite enemy to fight.
  • codystovall - August 2, 2011 2:19 a.m.

    Defense Force is cool, catherine not so much. Seems to much like an anime I like.
  • CrispyPuppet - August 2, 2011 2:24 a.m.

    YES!
  • Yeager1122 - August 2, 2011 2:26 a.m.

    I would have given it to Bastion personally but then again i havent played Defense Force.
  • gmknoble - August 2, 2011 3:12 a.m.

    I found it laughable that there was a pic from NCAA in the mix under the headline. No way would you guys give it to a sports game, (which is fine with me by the way).
  • McSpermie - August 2, 2011 3:33 a.m.

    I'm sorry I can't believe you guys thought the new EDF was better than Catherine. It was fun, but not as good as 2017. Where Catherine is a fresh new IP. All the little details in it show how much love went into it, but whatever.
  • dizzzydragon - August 2, 2011 3:42 a.m.

    i personally would of went with catherine, every1 bashes on the puzzle segments but their like fun mind ****s that give u a since of accomplishment when you have beaten it similar to portal or super meat boy!
  • kicking222 - August 2, 2011 3:48 a.m.

    Best possible choice (and yes, I'm saying that as somebody who has played "EDFIA" for 80 hours thus far). Bravo, GR.
  • Yaro - August 2, 2011 5:26 a.m.

    Hmm, I'll still take Catherine thank you. Shoji Meguro and Persona team's Catherine is just so impossibly superior to EDF. If it weren't for this article I would never even think about those two games in one sentence/thought XD.
  • TheGreatWeskby - August 2, 2011 6:07 a.m.

    Catherine is most definitely GOTM for me
  • nyef - August 2, 2011 6:17 a.m.

    Yes, killing bugs is fun, but mentioning "make you forget that you’re essentially killing the same handful of enemies over and over," shows that although it may be fun, it does not bring anything new to the table. I think this should have went to a game that separates itself from the everyday game, such as Catherine, or Bastion. Man I loved Bastion. Its fun combat system, narrative, and art style is flawless, and the soundtrack is one of the best I've heard in a game :)

Showing 1-20 of 30 comments

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