Army Men 2 Review

3DO’s old stand-by, the Army Men series, has generally been lambasted on most of the systems its popped up on. For the most part, the series in its many incarnations has felt sloppy and rushed, and since it seems like there’s a new game every three or four weeks, there’s probably a reason for that. But the first Army Men, on the GBC, despite being a bit slow, was actually a pretty fun experience. Perhaps the simple play control and design are more palatable on the handheld system. Perhaps we just expect less from the Game Boy, or maybe it’s just that the game was simple fun.

Now comes Army Men 2, and despite the change of setting, it is very much like its original predecessor. The main changes that have been made are generally improvements, meaning that Army Men 2, although it might not be terribly complicated, has a simple and consistent enough concept and gameplay that follows through in an entertaining fashion.

The game takes the traditional “one man versus an army” route, pitting just you against the huge, evil empire of Tan soldiers, tanks, helicopters and other instruments of destruction. You’re the Green Army’s lackey, doing all of their dirty work for them as you run, crawl, and blast your way through enemy territory. Thanks, in part, to the control scheme, this is a pretty swift and fun experience. One of the problems with the first Army Men was that the slow pace, and here it has been picked up. The control scheme works like a first-person shooter, despite the overhead perspective. You can switch to a more traditional scheme, you probably won’t want to. The controls are fine the way they are, and they actually suit the game nicely, even if they do take some getting used to.

Another nice thing about Army Men 2 is the increased number of vehicle levels that break up the on-foot portions of the game. In the original they were smattered about, but here you climb into a Jeep or Tank quite often, and while these portions also aren’t terribly difficult to comprehend, they are quite enjoyable despite the lack of complexity.

All in all, the game looks above average, although certainly not beautiful. The levels themselves are all clearly defined as giant versions of our own world, with items scattered about that you’d recognize, such as baseballs, phones, pencils, toys. The overall look is very reminiscent of the Micro Machines series in its perspective and detail.

Army Men 2 just might be the best title in the Army Men series yet released. It takes a pretty good game and updates it decently, creating an exciting, if pared down, experience for the Game Boy Color.

Graphics

While the look is simple, the graphics and color are decent enough, giving the game a functional look.

Sound

Army Men 2 features a typical, non-threatening Game Boy soundtrack, with typical Game Boy sound effects.

Enjoyment

It just might be the best Army Men game, and while that feat wasn’t too hard to accomplish, 3DO must still be commended on an entertaining addition to the handheld’s library.

Replay Value

It’s the type of game you can come back to again and again. It has that kind of accessible, easy gameplay once you get used to the unique controls.

Documentation

The instruction booklet is all right, but it doesn’t go into enough detail as to exactly what you’re supposed to be doing in the game.

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