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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
Game Boy
3DO Company, The
DC Studios
GENRE: Action
June 11, 2001
Army Men RTS

Army Men RTS

Army Men: Operation Green

Portal Runner

Army Men: Sarge's Heroes

More in this Series
 Written by Daniel Pelfrey  on August 15, 2001

Review: Advancing past the front lines of portable Army Men games of past history

While I knew 3DO had released numerous games within their franchise based on those little plastic army men of youth, never playing an Army Men title in past, I didn't quite know what to expect. What I wasn't prepared for,was how alternately fun and frustrating the latest game in the Army Men series would turn out to be.

Army Men has been around for a long time, in a number of iterations, and while the predictable, it's picking up in the middle of a long running story, which is somewhat irritating. The first few levels are of the standard ?escape? type variety. The character must escape from the tan army's jail, however it is never really explained how this came about in the first place. While the game includes Vikki and Sarge as playable character, the two essentially have the same storyline, resulting in nothing more than a mere option for the player's preference of persona.

Visually, Army Men Advance makes impressive progress for the series on portable platforms, with its rich color and design. Yet, a noticeable downside occurs during several ?night? operations, as the screen becomes too dark, causing player's to take more time to complete such levels. While this still may be a Game Boy Advance hardware issue, its result doesn't help the game in the end. Also, Army Men Advance suffers from unpredictable collision detection. There have been several times that I have been ?shot? by a bullet that has missed me, and missed by a bullet that I watched hit me.

The controls are fairly standard for the Game Boy Advance and works quite nicely as the A button fires, B throws grenades and the left shoulder buttons scrolls through weapons. The right shoulder button controls the character's ?strafe? which is a nice effect that helps when facing multiple enemies.

Thankfully, the levels are somewhat short lasting less than a minute or so. Unfortunately, there is no save option, and unless you plan on playing through the entire title in one shot, you'll be required to use the game's password feature. With 2 playable characters, 3 difficulty settings, and over 12 levels, well? you do the math; just be sure to carry a pen and paper.

Though Army Men Advance's sound is pretty decent, Game Boy Advance is capable of higher quality. After finishing off each of the many enemies, they make the same repetitive ?ug? sound, which is just one example of the game's less than stellar audio aspects. After a while, you'll surely be tempted to turn it down or even off.

Bottom Line
Coming back to play Army Men Advance after beating it a first time is pretty slim, as there is no apparent change in going from it's different difficulty setting or character options. This seems to be disappointing in sensing that the game was something that didn't push the Game Boy Advance specs in any way. While enjoyable and entertaining in small doses, playing Army Men Advance for a long length of time, just won't keep gamer's interest.

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