Earth Defense Force 2017 and its sequel Insect Armageddon were neither technically nor artistically impressive when they were released on the Xbox 360, and this Vita release is not out to change anyone's expectations. The visuals are not offensive, but if you're hoping for something to showcase the raw power of the Vita, your expectations are seriously misplaced. Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable is graphically identical to its predecessors: giant bugs and robots roam the cityscapes that are your battlefields. Buildings crumble and collapse into nothingness. Things get a little sketchy as they get farther and farther away from you: buildings go from erect to completely nonexistent in just a few frames, and the run cycles of your fellow soldiers resemble something straight out of Gumby. But as long as you're paying attention to what's directly in front of you, the action is fluid and unrepentantly goofy.
Camp is the backbone of Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable, and the audio design reflects that. The panic of the alien invasion is palpable, though you might not totally buy into the arm-flailingly over-the-top expression of that panic. But it's okay; this game is obviously inspired by cheesy monster movies from the 50s and 60s, and those pictures didn't exactly capture the gravitas of the human reaction to world-shaking cataclysmic events. But the true weak link of the sound design is the explosion and weapons effects. This is true of all the EDF games, and it's true here. So overall, not too impressive from a presentation standpoint.