|Procrastination isn't a very prevalent theme in videogames, but it has somehow made its way into Earth Defense. Evidently the United Nations of Earth waited just a tad too long to launch an attack against an alien menace invading our world, and only after they've seized control of our blue and green sphere do we send out our best to do battle. Apparently the only time the inhabitants of Earth can unite is when we're fighting a common enemy, so we join forces in creating the most powerful craft ever created -- The Phoenix Spitfire.|
Climbing into the top-secret Phoenix Spitfire, you're facing the challenge of saving the Earth from these space creatures by flying, dodging and blasting your way through five vertically-scrolling levels filled with a veritable army of intergalactic opposition - but fear not! Not only is the Phoenix Spitfire equipped with a standard cannon and an "Invincible" attack allowing for temporary invulnerability, you may also soup it up by collecting a variety of powerful weapons along the way.
The Tri-Shot increases your firepower by thrice, while the Napalm Bomb sends out powerful waves of destructive energy. Supporting Spitfire places small drone ships on either side of your craft, effectively increasing your attack threefold, while the Rear Shots power-up covers you from attacks from behind. And of course, 1-Ups give you an extra ship for you to wreck. Each of these power-ups are found in the form of icons and can be collected upon destruction of certain foes.
Starting off, you'll possess three lives; lose all three in the heat of battle and you'll need to use a continue to return to the action, lose all three continues and it's sayonara to you, as well as the world's freedom. For the squeamish types, an option menu is included, allowing you to raise your amount of lives and continues to five and six, respectively, while shoot-'em-up veterans who laugh in the face of this so-called danger can increase the difficulty to Hard. One player can choose to take on this mission alone, or a second player can join, fighting the good fight simultaneously.
Entering the battle in level one, you'll make your way through five distinct levels of mayhem -- from cloud-filled skies above the sea, to sandy, dune-filled deserts, all are infested with robotic alien foes eager to shoot you down. Spinning and flaming Yin-Yang symbols, destructive energy orbs, mechanical fire-breathing snakes, and ground-based foot soldiers are just a few of the foes you'll encounter through each level, while end-of-level bosses await. A simple engine-like vessel with a turbine generates large amounts of shots on the first level, while later bosses turn larger, more powerful and sometimes span the width or height of the screen.