Army Men 2: Sarge's
System: Nintendo 64
Publisher & Developer: 3DO
Capabilities: Controller, Rumble, & Expansion Pak's
3DO is back with the 3rd N64 Army Men game within a year (the other two being the first Sarges Heroes game, and the other, Air Attack) in one of the quickest growing Franchise series of games ever. In case you dont know what the series is like, this game is a 3rd person perspective game with little toy army men battling each other. Will this one be as good as the original? Lets get onto the review and find out.
Well, in the first game, there was two armies at war, the good army (green soldiers) and the bad army trying to rule the world (tan soldiers), and in the end of the first game, the green army reigned supreme. But now the Tan army is out for revenge, and they brought an ally with them, the Blue army. Also throw in the grey army and you got 4 armies waiting to do war!
For the most part, the graphics are above average. The environments are especially well done, and is something to gaze at, while battling in backyards, a creek, or in the household kitchen for example. The animation is well done and quite fluid, like you can really tell when a soldier is melting after you nail them with a flame thrower. Everything manages to fit on the game screen perfectly, which is just your life gauge, and the weapon youre using, and it doesnt get in the way of game play. Well, the game is Expansion Pak enhanced, so the game should look a lot better than the Playstation Army Men games. But after playing the game with Expansion Pak enhancements all I notice that is improved, is that the single player mode models look a little bit more polished, and the frame rate is improved a bit.
But in multi player, with or without the Expansion Pak, you still got really crummy visuals, like PSX quality, plus a horrible camera which has a tricky time trying to follow you around the game. I was expecting 3DO to do way more detail on the soldiers for an N64 game, they look really jaggy, and a bit toned down on detail. Next time 3DO should put a lot of effort into these visuals of the soldiers.
You got all your basic sound effects here, you got guns firing, explosions, and just about everything else youd find in a war game, and it all sounds fitting and appropriate. The background music sets the tone of the war theme of the game, and sounds fairly decent. Now we get a few voice samples here and there during game play, like youd here Sarge say, good to go after getting a health power up. But in the games campaign modes, you dont here the voice acting like you do in Playstation Army Men games because of the N64 size capabilities, but instead, you get just text screens replacing it. I also think its a damn shame there was no voice acting, considering 3DO probably couldve pulled it off if they made the cartridge size bigger, this game is only 64 megabits in size, if they upped it to 128 bits, they couldve easily added voice acting. Again lousy efforts on 3DOs part.
You move around with the joystick, and fire your gun with the A button, and the C buttons operate as changing weapons, lay or kneel down, and change camera views. And from borrowing a page from Rare, they used the R shoulder button to give you this great sniper aim view, which allows for pin-point accuracy, but it is a bit tricky to maneuver the cursor around your foe with the control stick, also moving around in general is a problem because the games camera is so off when you move youll be going around in circles and getting lost before you know it. Of course you can customize the controls to your pleasing if you dont like the default ones. To try and get past the games tricky controls, you can try the Boot Camp game mode, for people who never played the Army Men games before, where you perform certain tasks to earn medals, and you familiarize yourself with the games controls.
The games main mode here is campaign, which is a solo player journey though several levels and you go through the story of the game by beating the Tan and Blue armies. You get a lot of interesting swerves in this story line, like traitors, and unexpected allies, and I even found myself having a blast in campaign mode. While playing you can get various ammo boxes or health power ups so you can keep playing, and even find new weapons, I was really amazed at the variety of weapons in the game. From a flamethrower to a several types of guns and explosives! The games best mode though, is multi player, where up to 4 players can play for an all out party! You pick from six battlefields, and up to 4 players can go against each other in free-for-alls or team battles, and whoever scores the most kills first, wins! Me and my friends had lots of fun in here, but wheres the extra multi player modes? I mean theres no usual Capture the Flag, Tag, or other great multi player modes that are usually in all the other games.
Well, dont try to let that control bother you to much, while it may take a while to learn, Boot Camp will try to get you past it. The campaign mode is really challenging to play and will boost the single player replay. And the multi player is the icing on the cake to make this into a party game. Now if there wouldve just been more multi player modes and options, this wouldve had loads of replay!
+: Game runs at a fast rate, great multi player, awesome campaign mode
-: Couldve used some more extras in multi player, 3DO couldve done a better job on the graphics and added more voices too
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 6.8
Replay Value: 7.4
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 7
Fans of the Army Men series will eat this up, its a pretty good game overall, but pretty flawed. Now if 3DO couldve took the time to polish up on the control, and graphics, and made the cartridge size bigger to add voice acting, this couldve been a sleeper hit! Add more multi player modes and options, and you wouldve got a guaranteed hit! But if you just gotta have an Army Men game for the N64, I recommend getting Air Attack (or Air Attack 2 if its released for N64), it controls way better. But this would be a better multi game though, and its worthy of a rent.