The Secret Genius of Earth Defense Forces Storytelling - Building Character

Steam watch game featuresteam games open on wrong monitor EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 5 game most of you already know what Humble Bundle is its always been a way to get a bunch of games booked software at a fraction of what you would normally pay all the while helping out charities like Doctors Without Borders and take this but what you might not have known is that now Humble Bundle allows you to help out your favorite artists and creators through the Humble partnership and the best part is it doesnt cost you anything extra all you have to do is buy things like you normally would and Humble support your favorite charities and channels Humble Bundle is how I personally discovered a lot of games that I might have overlooked plus if you subscribed to Humble monthly for the month of August you can get ahead in time and a few other games for twelve dollars 12 bucks thats crazy thats such a good game and it feels like it just came out all you have to do is use the link in the description below now onto the episode yes really Music Music Earth Defense Force 4.1 the shadow new despair is not a game you would associate with great story its probably not a game that you would associate with great anything really EDF has always been a series thats said to be so bad its good and sets itself firmly in the guilty pleasure category for a lot of people I mean it was the prime example I used when I told you why you should be playing bad games though obviously I wouldnt go as far to say that Earth Defense Force is a legitimately bad game yeah the game certainly has a chair flaws but its more accurate to say that EDF is a dumb game its something you can pick up play a podcast or YouTube video in the background and just mindlessly play for a couple of hours its not a game that has a lot of depth or nuance it doesnt require you to dwell on deeper concepts or become invested in the characters with deep backstory such as its not trying to revolutionize gaming with innovative game design its a game about killing a bunch of bugs and aliens with so many explosions that you can barely tell whats going on half the time Earth Defense Force doesnt waste your time with extraneous things like a story thats not an inherently bad thing though theres enough room in this world for games that challenge our skill and our philosophies and ones that dont however this is building character an in-depth link is from the greatest moments of storytelling and gaming in this series we talked everything about sessles Redemption the monster design of Silent Hill 2 - the greatest ladder in video games sonas Earth Defense Force secretly rival a famous storytelling of great games with lines like this no no it doesnt ETF is the equivalent of a low-budget b-movie complete with badly written invoice dialogue if youre a fan of the series I can probably guess what youre thinking its because of Earth Defense Forces hilariously cheesy narrative thats a major part of the games appeal and actually thats very true but having a bad story doesnt suddenly mean its good yet theres something incredibly enjoyable about how EDF presents its narrative thats because despite the fact that EDF is such a dumb game if you really think about it its also incredibly smart for those of you were unfamiliar with Earth Defense Force let me tell you about the deep and storied history of EDF jakku boohoo or simple 2000 volume 31 the Earth Defense Force was part of a set of budget titles released in Japan named such because they were sold for 2000 yen mainly published by d3 and featuring a wide variety of developers like Taito or tamsoft of senran kagura fame they released titles with amazingly budget sounding names like pinball fun and taxi Rider these titles were mainly released in Japan with very few making it to North America however the EU did have a lot of these titles localized so if I happen to have any friends in the PAL region who just so happened to have an extra copy of tank elite flying around you know who to send it to Im sure those games are as amazing as they sound out of all these budget releases there was one in particular that stood out that game was onii-chan bara also known as zombie zone oh I guess theres also a game called monster attack made by Sandlot monster Tech was a game about aliens invading earth requiring you to fight giant insects robots and Godzilla like creatures it was a third-person shooter we basically fought against every 1950s alien invasion and for a budget title he was actually pretty good I mean sometimes the frame rate would drop to single digits and it was just as repetitive and grimy as the rest as a series later be but it featured a large completely destructible city with hundreds of different weapons and that was pretty ambitious by playstation2 standards its hard to tell how well it was received but it was successful enough to warrant a sequel in global Defense Force and that was successful enough for the spin-off game global defense force tactics however it wouldnt be until Earth Defense Force 2017 released for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation Vita that we Americans would have our first opportunity a bug blasting but if youre worried you might have missed something by not having played the first two games dont be though its technically the third game in this series called GQ Vogon 3 EDF 2017 is actually a remake of the first game monster attack though to be fair if youre worried about missing a story you are playing the wrong series the story is seriously aliens known as the Ravagers attack by dropping giant insects on the earth and a group known as the Earth Defense Force or EDF for short manages the stop that and thats pretty much it the protagonist doesnt have a story not even a name is completely silent most of the supporting characters only have a voice with the Bears two personalities the giant insects arent secret symbolism for the characters feelings of inadequacy or the consuming greed of late-stage capitalism you dont even know the motivations for why the Ravagers are attacking earth what story there is is mainly about how the war is progressing with the EDF forces either succeeding over the Ravagers or being defeated by them seriously most of the story is so inconsequential that the majority of it is written in the prologue thats found in the instruction booklet like they did in the NES days Earth Defense Force 2025 also known by a tree release named EDF 4.1 the shadow new despair is a direct sequel to EDF 2017 the giant insects have returned soon from there you find out that the aliens that attacked earth over eight years ago was more or less the scouting party this time the Ravagers have brought their full force and once again humanity is threatened but really its just an excuse to kill more bugs and giant robots needless to say Earth Defense Force is most likely a game that didnt even really care to have a narrative and thats fine not every game needs to tell a story but I promised you I would tell you about ATFs amazing storytelling but how exactly do you build character if there are no characters to build the secret genius of EDF is how it answers that question Earth Defense Force tells its story in a way thats pretty unconventional for video games starting with EDF 2017 a good portion of the games narrative isnt told to you through cutscenes but rather from radio chatter that goes on in mission-critical number of gunships arent about to swoop into the city your fellow soldiers support staff commanding officers civilians and news reports all deliver the story to you while youre fighting against the Ravagers Music in this way Earth Defense Force narrative is told to you more reminiscent of an audio drama you probably already know what an audio drama is despite the fact they havent really been popular since the mid 1900s its a story told through audio using voice actors sound effects and music surprisingly despite them not being currently popular in America they still hold some popularity in other parts of the world the United Kingdom is still producing them on the BBC radio stations in Japan having all sorts of audio dramas spin-offs of anime and video games not to mention the popularity of podcast has given him new life what channels like welcome to night Vale and midnight marinara you might be thinking a Metal Gear Solid 5 the phantom pain and how it used cassettes to tell a lot of its background stories and those are very much audio dramas its not really surprising that EDF uses it either one of the most famous audio dramas was the radio adaptation of the War of the Worlds something that Earth Defense Force had obviously taken inspiration from scientific knowledge far in advance of our own in fact EDF is not ashamed of its origins it pulls from movies such as Earth vs. the spider Godzilla king of monsters and them theres usually only a vague attempt to justify the existence of all these creatures and a lot of them are completely nonsensical the game features some truly ridiculous dialogue thats mixed with plenty of overacting and deliveries that come with extra cheese it goes without saying that ETF is not wanting to be taken seriously however while Earth Defense Force might be self-aware how crazy it is its a game that always treats itself with respect magic sword might be more useful than a gun and a wizard every line in EDF is delivering what I can only describe as despite the context every bit of dialogue is voiced with such conviction and passion check your contract exterminating dragons is part of the job yes sir there is never any sort of self-depreciation apology or an attempt to parody itself which makes Earth Defense Force seem so confident and genuine to use a wrestling term Earth Defense Force never breaks k8k faith is the act of portraying something that is fake or scripted as real EDF is always in character despite how ridiculous or crazy things might get it always treats it like its real it allows you to get invested despite of itself its the same reason why Hideo Kojima consults a narrative of a world war ii hero who summons a tommy gun by bees we somehow still take it seriously I cant stress how important this is and how difficult it can be to accomplish if you want an example of how it can go wrong you dont have to look much farther than Earth Defense Force insect Armageddon EDF IA wasnt developed by Sandlot but instead by a western developer vicious cycle software and it is very apparent that it was done by a different studio its obvious that the development team was fans of the series but you do get the sense that they didnt quite grasp what made ETF so enjoyable to play among many issues the Cory both takes itself way too seriously but also not seriously enough most of the mission chatter is very dry and form the craft is salvageable theres a waypoint indicating the Landers location on your particle display affirmative its hard to tell if its trying to come across as a modern military shooter or if its an attempt to parody how often as yonder takes itself too seriously meanwhile chatter among your other units are fully aware that theyre in an Earth Defense Force game their delivery is so often over the top that you can tell the voice actors knew it was a joke the unfortunate result is that insect Armageddon ends up coming across as a game that lacks the same personality and charm but being a parody its entire existence is only defined by other games it being what they do but not quite understanding why they do it now Im not saying insect Armageddon is a bad game but it does prove just how easily it could have gone wrong its a testament to the fine line the series walks between being so bad its good to being just bad but most importantly it shows that because Earth Defense Force treats everything with the same respect there are genuinely great moments of storytelling because most of your time is spent blasting giant insects with overpowered weapons and chuckling at the hilariously bad dialogue its extremely easy to forget that Earth Defense Force has its roots and horror Im not saying EDF is a horror game heck no its a complete power fantasy featuring robots with ragdoll physics it was never gonna be scary well unless youre arachnophobia that doesnt stop Earth Defense Force from getting a bit grim at times for the most part youre in a losing battle though you might succeed in your missions the Ravagers are just too numerous and powerful even when you succeed theres often heavy losses your fellow EDF members go from hopeful to fearful - desperate troops that cheerfully talked about getting married or going out for steak then turn to talk about how everyone they love is dead even the famous EDF Battle Hymn goes from a confident war cry to save our mother once again comeback will unleash all our forces we will cut the man hes like - two days ago my brother died next day my lover fell today most everyone was killed on that we got that depressing crap meanwhile your radio is constantly buzzing on another unit or area that was lost while most of these scenes are often so over acted that its hard to take them seriously they are punctuated by moments that are legitimately impactful the transmission is bad we could only receive part of it what does the most effective part ahora isnt what you see but what you cant see using the audio drama isnt about just saving a couple of bucks having not to render cutscenes but also about providing a lack of information to create moments like these it creates a theater of the mind giving you context clues but not answers it allows your mind create the threat in your imagination which ends up being more effective than anything the game can actually deliver on this is further influenced by the subtle changes the game makes as you progress through the game the landscape becomes more and more devastated initially fighting in giant cities as civilians try to escape the giant insects to fighting and completely abandoned towns to the obliterated ruins of a city while the sky is covered in a permanent Twilight that is when you can see the sky at all announcements of new threats that wipe out any advantage that you had just a couple of missions ago are coupled with announcements that half the human population has been wiped out the human race has been destroyed then you hear this line powerful moments like that are admittedly rare the fact that they exist alongside the more absurd dialogue would normally seem like the games not sure if at once you dont laugh at it or not but because each line is delivered with the same conviction it makes the entire game feel consistent the game hasnt suddenly decided to take itself seriously but instead gives the impression that its always been serious it might have just been you who hasnt been taking it seriously Earth Defense Force does this not to punish the player for not paying attention to the narrative but instead uses it as an invitation to participate in it if the game was only about shooting bugs while it might be fun mechanically it would ultimately be a shallow experience the reason why we like stories isnt necessarily because we appreciate deep and complex narratives but because we want reasons to be invested Earth Defense Force wants players to feel like theyre part of the game and their actions have meaning and if the game itself only played it off as a joke then those actions would seem just as Hollow so EDF does everything it can to allow the player to become invested in it just as much as it allows the player to laugh at it and you really wouldnt believe how easy this is to overlook it widely has a reputation of a game that doesnt waste your time with a story and I dont blame people who get that impression Earth Defense Force implements these narrative techniques so subtly and naturally that Im sure even longtime fans of the series could have easily not have seen it but the genius isnt the hidden narrative the EDF tries to tell the real smart thing about EDF story is because you dont notice it Earth Defense Force is a game that knows its strengths and one of those strengths isnt the story despite all the interesting things about the actual narrative of EDF is seriously just giant alien bugs attack heck one of the reasons you might overlook it is because unless you balance it audio levels is just right the majority of the narrative is drowned out by the sounds of screens battle cries and gunfire most of it just becomes background noise that you kind of catch on occasion with heavier story parts being told during the brief lulls in combat by giving you something to focus on while you desperately rush to collect Armour boxes and weapons its easy to think that one of the reasons EDF doesnt have a story is because it doesnt care about it I mean if it did it would probably call attention to it if you were to play almost any other game that had a story thats exactly what they do theres always the segregation a gameplay and story where its like okay hey heres what were telling the story and now you can get back to the game and there really isnt anything wrong with doing it that way most games do that so youre not overwhelmed so you dont miss anything and also because its better pacing that way and lets be real here if ETF had fully acted cutscenes it would probably be just as cringy as the rest of the game stronger and it would eaten away at the budget they had for more guns and levels and no one wants that it would seem like Earth Defense Force harkens back to this era when a narrative wasnt the most important part of the game at least not as important as it would become in modern games it feels like every decision was meant to make the narrative as unobtrusive as possible so you could focus on the thing that actually matters which is blasting away Ravagers with powerful weapons and thats exactly what the game does EDF places the gameplay on top of everything else but it doesnt do this because the story isnt important the narrative of EDF isnt told through cutscenes or the audio drama but instead its the gameplay that tells the story all this comes together one of my favorite missions at EDF four-point-one brute force it starts off with the Earth Defense Forces facing off against a huge army of giant robots called Hectors at this point a game a group of just two actors can be an issue they can take a lot of shots and deal a lot of damage while you can usually stun like one two becomes a bigger problem the thing is theres over 20 approaching you thankfully youre not alone with you as a complement of tanks and soldiers and some wonderful air support which weakens the approaching Hectors in a scene that it doesnt matter how many times I watch it its always awesome most of the giant robots are destroyed and all you have to really do is pick off the stragglers at first it seems like its gonna be a fairly simple mission then the backup arrives which is about 20 more Hectors supported by another unit known as the shield bears the shield bears create this dome that allows enemies to fire at you but deflects all attacks made at them even bombardment which means if you want to damage the Hectors you have to destroy the shield bearers which means going through the Hectors which put you at a range where they can just outright destroy you thankfully the enemies will prioritize AI units over you so your only hope is to use the cover of your tanks while you sneak around back and take out the shields see you get behind enemy lines and start taking out the shield bearers and hectors and now you got him in this flanking position and youre feeling pretty confident however by learning you so close to the edge of the map to get rid of the shield bearers the game exposes you to a wave of giant insects that spawn in the bugs arent a huge threat but considering you were dealing with the hectors on the other side of you it becomes a problem now youre the one being flanked but since you managed to take out the shields your artillery once again comes to the rescue making things more manageable not before the giant insects have probably done a number on the infantry that was supporting you though so youre probably trying to deal with the last remaining hectors and giant ants when the next wave comes a large unit of flying drones drones by themselves are more of an annoyance than a threat but there are hundreds and most likely there is little remaining of your unit left and thats been the only thing keeping every enemy on the map from converging on you thats not even the worst part over the radio you hear that because of the drones the air support that has been helping you out all this time has been forced to retreat the bombardment that has at least been keeping things reasonable is now gone this is even worse if youre playing the aerator class because you actually lose any use of artillery and vehicle drops and I need to belabor this to you Earth Defense Force a series that is known for its campy nature and throwaway narrative goes as far to pull a class function in order to drive home the feeling that things are really bad oh and to top it all off another group of Hectors just spawned it seems like all hope is lost at this point youre most likely fighting alone being harried by drones shooting at you while ants chase you and about a dozen Hectors are raining artillery fire in your position just as another wave of Hectors and giant insects start to flank you from the other side you hear this turns out despite all the risk Artemis whale borders the Earth Defense Force air support is coming back to save you and with it reinforcements from the EDF Armored Division air strikes rained down on the fresh group of Hectors and insects aerators regain their ability to call vehicles and support it seemed like the tide that was about ready to completely wash you away has turned this all happens in mission by the way none of this is a cutscene all this is going on youre still in complete control of your character and everything you do carries the same risk of success and failure while the audio drama informs you of impending air raids and incoming enemies its not dictating the story instead the dialogue is only providing a sort of commentary to the narrative told by the gameplay its very similar to professional wrestling the commentators are there to provide context and insight but its only really meant to exemplify the actual story thats being told by the wrestlers in the ring oh my god Natalie think about it Earth Defense Force really is just the professional wrestling of video games oh man that would have made a much better angle for this video thats gonna bug me and thats the real genius behind PDF storytelling despite the fact that the events themselves are scripted its really only meant to be a catalyst the real stories are the personal feelings you experience while playing its that feeling of having the fight to survive its the stress of having to go behind enemy lines its that dread washing over you while youre overwhelmed and its the inexplicable pride as the air support returns those are real emotions you dont have to empathize with the protagonists to understand how they felt because you felt it you become invested not because of some clever writing or excellent character development but because its just involving you as a player its telling your story thats not to say that EDF manages to accomplish this all the time other games 89 missions only a handful manage to accomplish something comparable to a mission like brute force the reputation of Earth Defense Force being mindless and bombastic isnt entirely undeserved nor do any of the missions and EDF create any sort of complex emotion or try to make any sort of statement EDF isnt going to be replacing games like Metal Gear Solid er Silent Hill anytime soon but thats not what its trying to do Earth Defense Force really is just trying to be a fun power fantasy its a game that plays to its strengths but it does go to show that you dont mean to have a good story to tell a great story I am glad though that the series is finally getting the recognition it deserves with Earth Defense Force 5 selling over 300,000 copies in Japan the series has gone from a scure budget title that only really had a cult following - by all rights a success story for sanli with the english release of EDF v hitting sometime this summer and with the Yukes developed Earth Defense Force iron train releasing sometime in 2019 there will be plenty of more giant insects to deal with in the upcoming years and with that a lot of opportunities to gain some experience Okami didnt do so well in either ditch and mu check out my video series on why these games sold like that that depressing crap then how about this song my name is sobered orphan that was your narrator I hope you learned something and built some character I wish a wrestler the boys oh speaking of EDF if you havent had the chance to experience it it comes highly recommended I personally put hundreds of hours of both the ps4 and the steam version if you just so happen to be thinking about getting it for yourself or a friend I recommend using that Humble Bundle link in the description below not only does buying Humble Bundle support the channel but it also supports your favorite charities and its all absolutely no extra cost to you though if you do want to give a bit more you can always support the channel on patreon while you dont get a copy of Earth Defense Force you can get access to videos early channel updates pixel art made by me and even your name here speaking of which a special thank you to all of those who support the channel already if it wasnt for you I would not be able to make videos like this so your support is greatly appreciated and if you cant support the channel right now trust me I understand the monster world is right around the corner I you can always support the channel by subscribing if you havent already and sometimes even YouTube might tell you when I release a video Music remove steam games from library Get Earth Defense Force 4.1 for Steam here!: Earth Defense Force is a game that has a reputation of not having a story, or at least not one worth talking about, so why exactly am I talking about it? Today I put the often overlooked narrative design of Sandlots Giant Insect squashing simulation under the magnifying glass to see if there is anything we can learn and why EDF might have something in common with professional wrestling. Special Thanks to Michael Hillard for creating the EDF Jazz! The EDF Jazz Song: Patreon - Ko-Fi - Humble Bundle - Twitter - Facebook - Twitch - Discord - Disclaimer: The following documentary is intended for the purpose of educating viewers on game design by examining and critiquing a work of art. Any views, experiences, criticisms, and opinions are my own and are intended to be subjective. This video may also contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Its purpose and design are intended to be used under fair use. If you are the copyright owner and you believe the content found in this video has been used in an unauthorized manner, or have any questions or concerns regarding the content found in this video, feel free to contact me at I have not received any compensation from any company to review or promote any product or service that may be found in this video. If any video is part of a promotion, then full disclosure will be shown at the start of the video and placed in the description. This video is monetized in an effort to alleviate the cost of production. It is *not* an attempt to profit off the art of others. If you enjoyed the video, please support the developers and artist who originally created the art. how long to steam fresh broccoli steam connection error but i have internet steam deck.shipping steam featured games squad steam charts