Yeah, sure, go ahead and play those big-budget, blockbuster games. Play your Asinine Creed, your Call of Doodie. Me, I'll delve beneath the surface, deep into the $10-and-under bin at GameStop, and lose myself in the gooey, nougaty center of gaming that often tragically goes untouched. This is where one finds games like Pure, Two Worlds, and yes, Earth Defense Force 2025 (Disclaimer: as of press time, EDF 2025 costs $50).

            The sequel to EDF 2017, it surpasses its predecessor in every way, just as a sequel should. For starters, the graphics are better; not spectacular, mind you, but noticeably better. Guns now have more than one look to them, so your giant Gatling gun that fires a gazillion rounds per minute now looks different than your smaller Gatling gun that fires only a bazillion rounds per minute (gazillion>bazillion...I think). In addition, your character's movements now appear much more fluid, as opposed to the animations in EDF 2017, which looked like a constipated marionette (with all due respect).

            The gameplay is as gonzo as ever. The new class system is spectacular, with the rank-and-file Ranger, the soaring Wing Diver, the aptly named Air Raider, and the harbinger of insect doom the Fencer. While all classes are plenty of fun to use (though the Air Raider is much more suited for co-op than solo play), my personal favorite is the Fencer. Wielding a weapon in both hands, the player can toy with weapon combos to tackle any situation. One of my favorite moments in the game is firing a mortar into a horde of bugs and watching countless heads, legs, and antennae shoot out in every direction.

Every class has its own weapons that help each class carve its own identity. The gun variety is just as good as the previous game, even though astute fans will notice some repeats in the Ranger class.  You can also customize the color of your character's armor, and your profile name, which other players see. Seeing as I spend most of my time as a robot-esque Fencer, I named myself Optimus Lime, and made my armor bright green.

The barely-there story is conveyed through radio chatter and the occasional cutscene. This game has some of the most unintentionally funny lines I've ever seen; while you can't really rely on your AI-controlled compatriots to have your back, since they die quickly and do everything they can to run in front of your guns, they are certainly good for a laugh. In the midst of battle, with their brethren dropping like the flies that are killing them, I've heard soldiers complain about forgetting their sack lunch. The disembodied voices over your radio are no better; they deliver their lines with all the ludicrous forced emotion of an actor in an off-Broadway production.

All in all, Earth Defense Force 2025 is one helluva fun time. It manages to make the player feel like death incarnate while still providing a challenge as severe as you want. Any failure I faced seemed like it could be overcome with a better combination of weapons or a different class, though for higher difficulties it would be wise to bring friends. Even with my severe arachnophobia, I love this game.  I recommend it for anyone who needs a break from analyzing the intricate plots of games like Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us, or anyone who just wants to blow up bugs en masse.