Sometimes, you can imagine Earth Defense Force as an alternate universe sequel to Will Wright's SimAnt. Unbeknownst to Will Wright, a rogue coder planted a nuclear radiation button into the virtual ant colony simulation, and bam: Instant giant-ant invasion.
Well, it's better than the actual EDF story anyway.
EDF is a child of '50s science fiction, kooky modern sci-fi, and homage to any and all b-movies that came before it. It's unabashedly Japanese with a heart made of insect venom, extracted from thousands of dead-insect corpses scattered around what was once Tokyo.
Players take a third-person approach to the action, a low camera angle selling the mammoth size of insects, robots, motherships, totally-not-Godzilla-but-still-totally-Godzilla monsters, UFOs, and whatever else the hardware is capable of processing en masse. A port of the Xbox 360/PS3 edition that charmed its way into a cult following, almost none of the scale is lost to screen of the Vita. With sharpness generated from native resolution visuals and surprisingly few technical trims, EDF 2017 ports unscathed.
The kicker on the Vita is obvious: Online play absent from the home console. EDF is a mega-challenge on an infamous Inferno difficulty that is impassable without leveling. Enter online co-op and the game suddenly becomes feasible with the community in tow, four at a time. Maps lose none of their scale or weight. Levels are translated exactly from their Xbox 360 counterparts, meaning sprawling metropolis, landscapes, or more. With four people, the size of these stage designs make sense, different tactics approachable to conquer an almost invincible horde. With levels trim on length, the whole experience translates into a potable frame naturally.
A slapped together versus mode (with plentiful balancing options) is offered too, with barren lobbies likely because EDF isn't conducive to anything other than bug melees. The game is cheap, sloppy, and often broken which adds to the inherent charm. Much like the followers of dud films with no technical merit, video games have been given their equivalent.