Review by KFHEWUI

"Short and decent game that suffers from lack of replay"

Army Men tells of the ongoing battle between the tan and green army, and the tan army is currently building an uber weapon. Sarge is tasked with finding out the details of the uber weapon then destroying before the tan army can use it.

The story is decent, and there is a decent amount of storytelling. There is a brief summary for each level before the start of each level, but there is no character development.

Starting the game will show a cut scene that reveals the whole plot up to the point, and the need to know info is tan army is at it again making new weapons. They must be stop, and while the cut scene plays, a nice tune plays that only has one flaw that it is short and loops. The rest of the music is not bad, and the quality is excellent. During levels the only music is a simple tapping of the drum which does get old fast. Surprisingly there is voice acting, and it is actually very good. Sarge's lines are clear, and it is easy to make out what he is saying.

The campaign of the game takes place over two theatres which are desert and alpine, and there are in total twenty-seven levels. Each level has one objective, and objectives ranges from kill all enemies, go to point B from point A, collect an item, or destroy an object. The levels are not long, and most of them can be beaten in a couple of minutes making this an ideal game for portable gaming. There is a password system, and the password system uses symbols instead of letters with each password having only four symbols.

Before jumping into the game, the player can play through boot camp where they can test out the controls which is advised since the controls do take some time to get used to specifically the movement controls. This game is a loose port of the PC game, and it plays similar to it with some modifications. Movement controls at first will seem awkward, but they are not that bad once the player gets used to them. UP and DOWN are used for moving forward and backward while LEFT and RIGHT are used to move a crosshair that is a few feet in front of Sarge. This crosshair shows where Sarge is going to shoot, and the big problem with this is that moving the crosshair, the controls feel loose and in the heat of combat it can be tough to line up a shot without taking too much damage. Along with the movement, Sarge can also lie prone and roll by holding "B" and pressing in one of the directions. The rest of the controls are solid and responsive, but the big problem pretty much comes from mastering the movement controls.

Sarge starts out with a rifle, which can be upgraded to automatic for rapid fire, and there are numerous other weapons that Sarge will be able to find including grenades, bazooka, mortar, and flamethrower. Sarge can carry only his rifle and two other items, and aside from weapons Sarge can also carry health and minesweeper. The majority of enemies that Sarge will encounter are tan soldiers, but he will also encounter tanks and blue spy.

Most of the levels take place on foot, but there are a few levels where Sarge gets to drive vehicles. One annoyance with the vehicles is that getting out of and into vehicles is done by pausing the game and selecting the option, and this has to be done every time the player has to get in and out of vehicles. It gets old quickly, and it would have been nice if there was some way it could be mapped to one of the buttons.

For most of the levels there is a single map with multiple levels, and thankfully there is a map that is accessible from the pause menu which shows where all the enemies are. This help keeps the player heading in the right direction, and also from the pause menu the player can see the objective for the level at any time as well as change the options or exit the level.

Army Men does not look that bad, but the background are repetitive and there are only two color schemes for the grounds. In the desert campaign the tan enemies can blend into the background which leads to some cheap shots, but in the alpine campaign, bullets can blend into the background making it hard to tell if the player is hitting the enemy or not. The animation is nice especially the roll and going prone, and the tan soldiers melting from the flamethrower is an amusing and enjoyable.

One area where Army Men does come up short is the replay value, and aside from boot camp, the only thing left to do is replay the game with different difficulty levels.

Army Men is short and decent game that is perfect for gaming on the go, but the lack of replay and controls hurt the game the most.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/21/12

Game Release: Army Men (US, 02/28/00)

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