ARMY MEN 2Reviewed By: Chris Ryan
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER
Genre: Action/Adventure, Strategy & War
Available both as a PC and as a console game, “Army Men 2” is the second in a series of several top-down action games that depict battles between plastic toy soldiers (as hinted at in the Toy Story movies). “Army Men 2” was the first game in the series where the battlefield spilled over into “our world,” i.e. the kitchen counter, a child's bedroom, and the front lawn.
In both the “our world” settings and on more conventional battlefields (12 levels in all), our plastic hero “Sarge” fights his way through a flood of opposing enemy forces (and even a few cockroaches) on his mission to stop the evil tan soldiers and to foil their mysterious plans. Sarge can control and issue orders to other friendly green soldiers, as well as drive many of the vehicles that appear throughout the game (tanks, jeeps, and PT boats). A variety of weapons and ammunition are hidden throughout the game board, from the conventional (rifles, grenades, and mortars), to the fairly ridiculous (magnifying glasses, flaming aerosol cans, and M-80 firecrackers).
As you might imagine, game play is very tongue-in-cheek and often hilarious, as soldiers melt after stepping on kitchen stove burners, assault toy castles and log villages, and shoot it out with cockroaches in the flowerbed. Several well-made video cut scenes add greatly to the plot and the overall feel of the game, as does the classical music soundtrack. Many tired jokes originate from the point that all of the characters are plastic (Major Mylar and General Plastro are only two examples). Action is fast and furious, with players often operating under serious time constraints in some phases of the game, and the endless onslaught of enemy soldiers at every turn. The game interface is quickly understood and easy to learn, requiring only the mouse and a few keys on the keyboard for the PC version. Hints are available at any time in the game, and several difficulty levels make the game possible for a variety of ages and skill levels.
There is no blood in this game, nor sexual content. There is, however, a high level of violence. Plastic soldiers scream when killed and are burned by fire or blown into bits by explosives. After the Sarge character dies, video cut scenes show an eerie scene of Sarge's grave, or hint at Sarge being injected by needles or ripped apart by plastic zombies. Sarge sometimes utters Clint Eastwood-style lines after dispatching enemy characters. This is particularly problematic in that the console game is targeted at younger children. Parents should consider their own comfort levels with military violence in deciding whether this is an appropriate game for their children. It is worthy of note, however, that in this current era of extremely bloody and graphic action shooters, the degree of violence in “Army Men 2” is by comparison, VERY tame.
If you would enjoy a fast-paced, entertaining, and often humorous top-down action game, the plastic mayhem found in “Army Men 2” will surely fill the bill.
Year of Release—1999
Comments from Young People…
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