Army Men World War: Land, Sea, Air Review
The Army Men franchise is personally my most loathed gaming series. Ever since that miserable Spring of '99 when the very first Army Men game was released on Playstation, I lost even more respect towards 3DO. Generally I thought that Army Men 3D was a trashy game, with moderate visuals and tediously slow gameplay, the game received awful scores, and there was really no surprise. But to everybody's surprise a second was made and that was Army Men: Air Attack, the game was decent in its own way and provided some fun, for a moment there I thought maybe 3DO learned from its mistakes. But I was dead wrong and my thought was shot down like a bad Milli Vanilli song. Army Men: Sarge's Heros was a game that was much like Army Men 3D, but had nothing improved over Army Men 3D and in some cases seemed like it was degraded from its predecessor. The true sequel to Army Men 3D was released, and it many cases the "true" part is indeed true (sorry about the corny pun). Army Men: World War suffered from almost the exact same problems that 3D suffered from. The frame rate was the same, visuals overall were the same and the gameplay still remained as crappy as possible. Army Men games are flying left and right, and they were picking up trashy reviews left and right, 3DO just wanted to make a few pennies so they wouldn't have to file for bankruptcy (that is a joke by the way), but if they continue releasing garbage like Army Men, they may very well have to file for bankruptcy. With the newest seven word titled Army Men game in my hands, see if 3DO is actually improving the series in any way or they have just given up.
Why does 3DO keep on re-using the same game engine over and over again? The Army Men franchise has always succumbed to an engine that boast poor visuals that are accompanied by a dull frame rate which would change every time. The Army Men look good... standing still that is, but their movements look as if they only had a few strands of animation cels, predictably 6-7. The movement now looks a bit choppy if you will, and the jumpy and glittery camera effect is still present which is also caused by the hampered frame rate. The texture detail isn't a bad as I would expect from the game, but not anything decent for that matter either. The log cabins in the stages look grainy, and for a structure that re-uses the same old object over and over again, the detail should have been much higher. Some of the textures such as trees almost have a pixely look to them, because of the lack of attention that 3DO is paying towards the damn game. The Army Men like the rest of the game look very bland, basically the whole structure is made up of green, which generates the look of a green, lightly detailed figurine running on about a strand of seven animations, all in what seems to be low resolution crap. Generally speaking, the visuals have not changed in any field except maybe for the barely improved draw-in.
Think Medal of Honor with green plastic men. The Amy Men: World War part is more or less a mocking of World War 2, but except real men the game uses green plastic toys. I despise the Army Men series just as much as I despise Nintendo (I know I hate it that much), 3DO has not shown me or any other poor gamer who actually paid forty smackers for an Army Men game, that they are the least bit trying to improve upon the franchise. Throughout every Army Men (land based title) the objectives have been the same, just shoot all of the Tan soldiers complete a mission that takes five seconds and go on to the next stage. Well this time around nothing had changed, Army Men World War: Land, Sea, Air's gameplay is no different than that of Army Men 3D, Army Men Sarge's Heros, and the first World War. All you do is shoot those frigin' Tans two-three times until they pass out and you move on, now if that is your idea of fun then you must have been abused as a child. I find the Army Men series to be the most dullest, tedious and quite frankly the most repetitive videogaming franchise to ever grace the videogaming console. Compared to something say like NBA Jam games, NBA Jam stands out like a god, an angel sent from above, better yet a savior, but then there is that damp swamp where the crocodiles and frogs swim, and flies fly around it that analogy is none-other than Army Men. Perhaps I may be exaggerating this to some extent but 3DO needs to learn that releasing the same game under a new name doesn't make a new game. When I first began playing Land, Sea, Air, Val and I both thought that we may have mistakenly received Army Men: World War with Land, Sea, Airs cover on it. It appears that it wasn't the case, it's just that both games are almost identical in every single way that for a few minutes I thought I may have been playing World War not LSA. The concept is the same except this time you can hop on a plane, drive a jeep with a machine gun rifle planted on to it, row a boat, or just roam around shooting Tans and having the time of your life (sarcasm included). Army Men: LSA is a game that breaths carbon monoxide, and smells worse than that kid in your third grade Math class.
The audio is far better than any other Army Men game out there, the gun shots actually sound good, but still don't pack that punch to make them really stand out. Environmental audio is decent, but the intro's voice acting segment was very good, and almost made it feel like World War 3. More voice acting would have been nice, and some background music accompanied by a few drum beats would have been appreciated in order to bring out that war essence, but 3DO was obviously doing something else then making a good game.
I will skip the controls, they are absolutely the same as Army Men: Sarge's Heros and World War. Moving around is still painful, and the Dual Shock is as weak as a feather. Instead I will end the review of the monstrosity that is Army Men World War: Land, Sea, Air. 3DO may very well be digging a grave for themselves with the arrival of the Playstation 2 in just about 20 days, 3DO is now the most un-trustworthy gaming company, PS2 owners be aware of the PS2 Army Men games, 3DO may be promising great stuff, but it surely may not be. The only Army Men game I am partly interested in is Army Men: Air Attack 2, which will be released in some time.