While going blocky may, at first, seem unnecessary for a series that's already rather retro, this kid-friendly entry in the old-school sci-fi shooter series actually adds more than just cuteness. Like other Earth Defense Force games, Earth Defense Force: World Brothers has Earth under siege by alien invaders who, instead of doing the job themselves, save the dirty work for swarms of giant wasps, huge ants, and truck-sized spiders. Except, unlike other E.D.F. games, this one has a decidedly more cartoonish and Lego-esque look about it, which makes it cuter. Sure, you're still spilling the blood of giant bugs everywhere, but it's a lot less gross when the insects look like they're made out of plastic bricks.
Making this version more adorable isn't the only difference, though. Along with clearing the cities of alien invaders, you also have to rescue fallen E.D.F. squadmates, which lets you play as them when you play the game in co-op mode. Even cooler, solo players can put together a squad of up to four E.D.F. soldiers and then switch between them on the fly to use their unique abilities. Just be careful where you go, since you can fall off the edge of this blocky world. For all the good stuff here, there are also some annoyances, including technical glitches, music you can't turn all the way off, and characters who reinforce problematic stereotypes -- including a man in a sombrero who yells "Tequila!" and complains about being hung over. While other potentially iffy representations aren't as clearly defined due to the characters' blocky nature, this one is pretty evident and doesn't leave a lot of room to misinterpret the implication that he's Mexican. Still, the frantic fights against all those big bugs make Earth Defense Force: World Brothers, like its less pixelated cousins, a fun (yet silly and rather mindless) shooting gallery.