I think this may be the worst reviewed game we have yet covered on this show. I’ve done casual games that may be worse, and a few Japanese games that simply didn’t have reviews that I could find on English sites, but I’ve never seen so many straight up negative sentiments towards a game as this one.
And to be fair, they seemed pretty justified. I haven’t played this but I often watch gameplay from the games I cover, if I haven’t played them myself. I watched some of this game and it seems atrocious. The idea of a console shooter in 2008 literally just starting with “Play Game” is baffling to me. No other modes, only the barest of settings options. Hell, I didn’t even see an option to change save files. It seems possible to me that you can only save one game at a time. That’s assuming that the game can be saved, which I just hope is true, although I never actually saw any saving or loading going on.
The Army Men series had some great games. Sarges Heroes on the Dreamcast was a lot of fun when I played it back in the day and I know many people who enjoyed the Playstation outings. It just seems like the biggest case of franchise bloat I’ve ever seen. Almost 4 games a year coming out all over the place by tons of different developers with all levels of quality… That’s just not a way to manage a series.
4/23 – Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune
Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.
Those of you who were playing video games during the days of the Playstation and N64 probably remember the Army Men series, games based on the fictional wars fought by plastic Army Men toys. Between 1998 and 2002, there were 19 games made in this series. After that, however, the series started to slow down and would eventually end. Today’s game is Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune, the last console game made in the Army Men series.
Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune was released in 2008 on Playstation 2, Nintendo DS and the Wii. It was made by Big Blue Bubble, a developer known for mobile ports and casual titles. Unlike most previous entries, Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune doesn’t use the look of the plastic green army men toys. Instead, players play as Timmy, a young boy who shrinks himself in order to fight alongside the green army men against the so-called “tannies”.
The game has little in the way of story and instead, takes players through several chapters worth of missions. Each chapter has five separate missions that players can play in any order. Objectives range from finding supplies or other items to freeing captured allies. Each functions similarly as Timmy must traverse various real-world environments such as a toy room or backyard in order to find the goal. Timmy can also drive vehicles in certain missions to traverse through the levels.
Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune was critically panned upon release with significant criticism pointed towards the controls. The game was primarily developed for the Wii and thus, utilized the single joystick and motion controls afforded by that console. This scheme was criticised on the Wii but understood to be necessary for the console’s limitations. However, this same control scheme was used on the Playstation 2 as well which involves the player using tank controls to move Timmy with the left joystick and aim the on-screen reticle with the right.
The game was also criticised for repetitive missions, bad graphics and music, no real story to speak of, and absolutely no additional game modes beyond the single player campaign. While this is the last console Army Men game, it’s unlikely that this game was what killed the series as popularity had been waning for some time prior to this. Soldiers of Misfortune was only the final straw.
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