Less than 150 games needed to reach our MobyGoal of 1,500 documented arcade titles!

Defender

MobyRank MobyScore
GameCube
73
2.5
PlayStation 2
71
3.7
Xbox
67
1.5

User Reviews

An amazing advance on the classic Atari game. PlayStation 2 Dark Lord (46)

Our Users Say

Platform Votes Score
GameCube 4 2.5
PlayStation 2 3 3.7
Xbox 3 1.5
Combined MobyScore 10 2.6


The Press Says

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
88
GameCubeGaming Target
While it is a heap of fun, Defender is not as big of a breakthrough as the original was. On the plus side of things, being able to pickup and deliver colonists, tanks and missile crawlers does add some strategy to what could have been a mindless space combat game. However, the game could have been made more intense simply by adding three or four wingmen to your side. Having ground forces helps but they are your support, not your comrades. Perhaps Defender II could throw in a few wingmen and maybe even a branching storyline. As much as I enjoyed Defender, a little something more would have made this a stellar title.
83
GameCubeThe Next Level
For all the flack Midway gets from most gamers, this has been a breakout year for them. After their incredible run of sports games that included the superb MLB Slugfest 2003, and the successful revival of Mortal Kombat, Defender is another notch on the belt for one of the oldest American publishers. While many gamers can’t appreciate a good shooter nowadays, those who can are recommended to give this one a try. You might be surprised at what you find.
80
XboxNetjak
Defender. Just saying the name brings back memories to a handful of gamers that are still around. One of the original Atari games that was ported from the arcade and then to the 2600, finally makes its next generation debut on the most powerful system on today’s market.
80
XboxGame Critics
This new Defender is best described as a mission-based space shooter. However, in place of the standard Top Gun-style macho pilot, our hero is actually an Asian female. This fact has absolutely no bearing on the gameplay, but I took it as a small (but positive) sign regarding the state of our industry. Any portrayal of a woman as both competent and fully clothed is a good one. Thumbs up to developer Seven Studios there.
80
PlayStation 2PGNx Media
There are a few publishers in the current gaming industry whose titles go almost as far back as videogames go. Konami has Frogger. Namco has Pac-Man and Galaga. Activision has its famous Pitfall. Then we move onto Midway. Midway’s list of classic games is very extensive and they are pulling some of those for 3d updates. We saw Midway bring back its famous Spy Hunter franchise back last year and this year they are bringing back Defender.
80
PlayStation 2GameZone
Following hot on the heels of its successful remake of Spy Hunter, Midway is now releasing Defender, a remake of the highly addictive shooter from the early 80’s. The basic formula has been retained, but the game features improved 3D graphics, a techno soundtrack, and several tweaks in the gameplay. While not very deep, Defender is an action packed game that any shooter fan should enjoy.
80
PlayStation 2GamePro (US)
At its core Defender remains faithful to the original coin-op classic: You fight off alien vessels while frantically trying to rescue colonists before they are whisked away and transformed into powerful mutant ships. In this reinvention, however, much more depth has been added to the gameplay formula. Now when you rescue colonists, you drop them off at factories where they'll build artillery like tanks and surface-to-air missile launchers, which can then be scooped up and dropped in strategic areas to help fend off encroaching invaders. The action is fast and the enemies furious, while a steadily increasing difficulty will keep your fingers taxed to their limits.
79
XboxGame Chronicles
Of all the recent retro remakes, Defender is easily the best of the lot. While it might not achieve the same level of technical splendor as other games currently being released for the Xbox, it does prove that a good game design can hold its own, even after 20 years.
75
PlayStation 2IGN
The original Defender is one of those games that practically every old-school gamer has played, and the mention of its name usually brings a grin to their faces as a bit of reminiscing starts running through their head. The original game is a classic, and the new version aims to stay true to its predecessor more than completely revamping it.
74
PlayStation 24Players.de
Im Prinzip ist es den Entwicklern erstaunlich gut gelungen, Defender in die dritte Dimension zu portieren ohne das einzigartige Gameplay zu sehr zu verfälschen. Natürlich gibt es viele neue Features, aber diese stellen in der Regel sogar eine willkommen Abwechslung zum ständigen Insektenabschießen und Kolonistenretten dar. Das Erspielen neuer Gleiter und Upgrades motiviert jedenfalls mehr als eine reine Highscore-Jagd. Auf der anderen Seite ist das Ganze aber auch weitaus unübersichtlicher als damals. Die ständige Hektik und der fordernde Schwierigkeitsgrad waren zwar auch vor 22 Jahren schon ein Markenzeichen von Defender, aber Orientierungsprobleme gab es damals nicht. Ansonsten ist die technische Umsetzung grundsolide und die Steuerung geht leicht von der Hand. Auf die Stimmung drücken allerdings unverschämte Ladezeiten und eine Lokalisierung, die so mies ist, dass sie fast schon wieder kultig ist...
74
GameCubeGame Chronicles
There is plenty of great action that will appeal to fans of the original, and even the kids of those same fans. So whether you want to save the universe from oppressive aliens one more time or just bond with junior, Defender is the perfect game for the job and one that is guaranteed to entertain everyone who plays it. With so few games in the simulation/shooter genre, this should probably be a part of everyone's game library.
71
XboxIGN
Defender is a fairly fun game, especially considering it's an update of a game that's about 20 years old now. It's pretty short, but it's also a fast, mostly mindless shooter, with a hint of some RTS elements thrown in, just to mix things up. The people who will appreciate this game most will likely have played the original Defender some, or at least will be those who enjoy a good throwback to the old days from time to time.
71
PlayStation 2Game Chronicles
Retro games have almost become their own genre. With high-tech remakes of classics like Asteroids, Space Invaders, Centipede, Frogger, and others there is an increasing selection of titles to put a fond smile on the thirty-something gamer’s face. Last year Midway released a 21st-century version of SpyHunter that put retro gaming on the proverbial map, and now they’ve done it again with the 80’s classic, Defender.
70
GameCubeNintendo Life
Defender is a bit of a surprise in that it's a decent game that builds upon the arcade original and delivers a fun mission-based 3D space shooter. There are some let-downs in the lack polish outwith the core game and the bare bones offering of basic single-player and two-player modes, but it's an overlooked title that Gamecube and Wii owners should definitely check out.
70
GameCubeKombo.com
With this whole slew of Midway games. Mortal Kombat: DA, Dr. Muto, Haven... the one that shines the most is Defender. I didn't have super high expectations of the game so I wasn't let down at all. Sure it's no Starfox or Rouge Leader and it doesn't have the impact that the classic Defender had, but it is a darn fine flight shooter that most gamers can enjoy. So if you're waiting on that next "big" game on your favorite console, Midway's Defender is a good buy to occupy your time.
70
GameCubeGamersMark
The stages of Defender are mostly a wash, rinse, dry, & do it again(over and over) gameplay. The new Defender has you picking up the colonist and dropping them off at a drop zone. Of course, the Manti aren’t just going to let you get away with their dinner so you have a short time to get the colonist to safety. The Manti will try and capture the colonist as well. If a colonist is captured, you have to be careful to rescue the human, by killing the Manti and catching the human as he falls(in slow motion). Failure to rescue the colonist will result in a mutation where the Manti that captured him becomes a more difficult and pretty damn fast opponent to beat. Since it’s so hard to aim anyway. The more humans you rescue, the easier the level, and the more points you earn.
70
XboxGaming Target
Unfortunately, Defender does get old pretty fast. Since it’s pretty tongue in cheek to begin with, there’s just not a lot of depth to the game. To be fair, it does what it set out to do admirably, but once the nostalgia factor wears off, you’re left with a fairly standard, though admittedly very well done, retro shooter with a fresh new 3D coat of paint. Kind of like an Egg Mcmuffin; good while you’re downing it, and you probably wouldn’t say no to another, but not something you’d eagerly line up for. Even if you’re a die-hard fan of the original, put a hold on that muffin and rent it first.
70
GameCubeIGN
The original Defender is one of those games that practically every old-school gamer has played, and the mention of its name usually brings a grin to their faces as a bit of nostalgia starts running through their head. The original game is a classic, and the new version aims to stay true to its predecessor more than completely revamping it.
69
PlayStation 2GameSpot
When it comes to releasing remakes of classic games, Midway, having one of the richest arcade histories in the entire business, is one of the best-equipped companies. Midway successfully delved into its back catalog last year with an update to its popular arcade game Spy Hunter. Now, one of the company's most famous properties, Defender, is getting an update of its own. The original was a feverish side-scrolling shooter in which the player needed to defend earthlings against a relentless alien invasion. The remake has many of the same themes and elements as the original, but it now plays from a behind-the-ship perspective and has a much heavier emphasis on scripted missions. And while it isn't quite as successful as Spy Hunter at re-creating the feel of the old game, Defender still puts on a decent show.
69
XboxGameSpot
When it comes to releasing remakes of classic games, Midway, having one of the richest arcade histories in the entire business, is one of the best-equipped companies. Midway successfully delved into its back catalog last year with an update to its popular arcade game Spy Hunter. Now, one of the company's most famous properties, Defender, is getting an update of its own. The original was a feverish side-scrolling shooter in which the player needed to defend earthlings against a relentless alien invasion. The remake has many of the same themes and elements as the original, but it now plays from a behind-the-ship perspective and has a much heavier emphasis on scripted missions. And while it isn't quite as successful as Spy Hunter at re-creating the feel of the old game, Defender still puts on a decent show.
69
GameCubeGameSpot
When it comes to releasing remakes of classic games, Midway, having one of the richest arcade histories in the entire business, is one of the best-equipped companies. Midway successfully delved into its back catalog last year with an update to its popular arcade game Spy Hunter. Now, one of the company's most famous properties, Defender, is getting an update of its own. The original was a feverish side-scrolling shooter in which the player needed to defend earthlings against a relentless alien invasion. The remake has many of the same themes and elements as the original, but it now plays from a behind-the-ship perspective and has a much heavier emphasis on scripted missions. And while it isn't quite as successful as Spy Hunter at re-creating the feel of the old game, Defender still puts on a decent show.
68
PlayStation 2Gaming Target
Before R-Type, there was Defender. Before Gradius, there was Defender. Defender is the granddaddy of them all. The first side scrolling space shooter has been updated for the next generation systems. The question is, is this just another remake that uses a classic title and nothing else? Or is Defender an honest to god updating of a true video game classic? The answer is that it's somewhere in between those two extremes somewhere in between the beginning and the end of this review.
60
PlayStation 2Eurogamer.net (UK)
Defender is a fair stab at the aerial combat genre, but in the context of the super-successful original, this update has only a fleeting amount in common with its hardcore original, and certainly will have none of the impact. After some of the incredibly diverse and engaging games we've played recently, Defender feels fairly old-skool and limp in comparison. It's doesn't have the adrenaline fuelled action of the original, nor any neat new ideas to make it feel like a progression. Defender is merely a few borrowed ideas cobbled together and repackaged in new, but not especially sexy clothes. It's the Marks & Spencer of shooters; it's good quality, reliable, but entirely lacking innovation and just not very exciting.
60
XboxGamesAreFun.com (GAF)
In the end, Midway painted themselves into a corner with Defender. In order to keep with Defensive nature of the original title and the “rescue the innocents” gameplay, this new Defender is never able to fully embrace the 3-D shooter mayhem. However, the cooperative mode really opens the game up and gives you and your friend Scarface Tony a chance to scream, “I buried those cockroaches!”
60
GameCubeNintendoWorldReport
In the end, Defender isn’t entirely without merit but it is a game that keeps itself from being easy to recommend for anything more than a rental, if even that. Even fans of the original, unless they really want to go back to the one-dimensional “shoot things and repeat play” of the original, will probably find it hard to be compelled to play through the game with enthusiasm. Defender, in the end, just comes off as a reasonably well-made game that desperately needs a soul.
60
XboxGameZone
If Defender had been named something else, it would have been thought of as a half-decent flight/combat game (which it is). But as the long-awaited remake to a 2D classic, Defender had so much (perhaps too much) to live up to.
55
PlayStation 2Jeuxvideo.com
Un titre qui aura malheureusement bien du mal à se démarquer comme avait su le faire son ancêtre. Defender, reste un jeu de tir banal, comme on en a vu si souvent et qui tente de remonter sur un podium dont les autres l'ont depuis longtemps éjecté...
25
XboxThe Video Game Critic
This game isn't very fun. A fundamental flaw is the difficulty in shooting anything - the crosshairs are way too sensitive, and aiming is frustrating. Actually, this new Defender bears little resemblance to the original. Only a fleeting sound effect here and there will remind you that you're playing Defender. I did enjoy the "Historical Perspective" documentary included on this DVD, but a better bonus would have been the inclusion of the original Defender.