Army Men - Sarges War
With its Toy Story-style plastic servicemen and over-the-top, almost-cartoony action, Sarges War initially seems like a decent tour of duty for tots. And as long as I keep reminding myself it's just a kids game, I can overlook some of its dubious design choices, like the difficulty-draining, overly generous autoaim. I can try to appreciate the bizarre mish-mash of kiddie and real-life environments (one level, youre in little Jimmy's playroom; the next, you're in 'am). Heck, sniping a few Tan tangos from their tin can hiding spots even got me pumped...that is, until the clunky gameplay problems knocked off my kid-colored glasses. The killjoy camera, which you must constantly correct, is frustrating enough, and then you discover that autoaiming and strafing occupy the same shoulder button. As a result, you'll accidentally autotrack offscreen targets and be forced to choose between losing your lock and getting a look at whatever youre emptying magazines into. These same technical troubles also mar the multiplayer modes, where any incentive to make yourself a mobile target is totally destroyed by the bright autoaim bracket thats always on you, leap, and lunge though you may. Standing still and holding down Fire is all the strategy you need here. This is no bloodless Battle of the Bulge just another anemic action romp under the Army Men banner.
Why blow good dinero on Sarge's War when you can replicate the experience for free? Heres how: Step 1) Dump a bag of tan toy army men in any room of your home. Step 2) Dart from one piece of furniture to another while blasting the tan toys with a cap gun. Step 3) Rearrange the toys and furniture slightly, then start again at step 2. Cha-ching! You just saved 50 bucks! Better still, you wont have to battle through this games repetitive levels (most of which are a subtle variation of the previous stage) and deal with the iffy control. Why wont oP Sarge shoot when I press Fire? Things liven up near the end, but by then, the horrors of War had me in a glazed-eyes daze.
Sarge's War sets the standard for being standard. In this banal third-person shooter, Sarge uses the usual boring weapon assortment to dispatch the monotonous (and monochromatic) Tan army forces. On every uninspired level, he tediously searches for bombs in order to blow up enemy ordnance. This routine starts thin and wears thinner. Any aspect of the game that aspires to distinction is negated by mediocrity. The areas where Sarge wages Lilliputian war among giant shoes and beer cans would be quite memorable, if not for the lackluster graphics and ho-hum level design. Although the vapid Sarge's War is the best Army Men game yet, its still nothing special.