Army Men 2
In Army Men, you are cast in the role of Sarge, an onscreen hero who is responsible for fulfilling a variety of mission With Army Men II, 3DO corrected a number of the original game's issues. As the game begins, a beautifully rendered scene sets the stage for the action: Green troops stumble across a pan-dimensional teleporter that transports them to a strange world (ours). Tan troops follow them through the portal, and a firefight breaks out on a kitchen countertop far, far away.
After a brief opening mission in which you must guide your troops past roaches and electric stovetops, you all get teleported back to the world of Army Men - where you will find yourself for most of the game. Every once in a while, you'll get another mission back in our world.
Gameplay is essentially the same as in the original game. Again, you command Sarge, a hard-nosed soldier who can not only handle every weapon known to man but also drive any manner of military vehicle (including PT Boats). You view the action from a top-down perspective and guide Sarge using the keyboard and/or the mouse. The default keys take some getting used to, but you can remap them. Mouse control is sufficient most of the time. In case you're wondering, your troops follow your lead around the map unless you select and assign them specific orders.
You can also order specific units or groups of units to attack, defend, hold position, or rally around you. Additionally, you can now save your game at any point during a mission, which is nice because some of the missions have several stages. Perhaps the best new feature, however, is the addition of experience ratings for your troops. Each solider under your command gets a little more proficient with each mission he survives. In other words, it is in your best interests to keep these boys alive for as long as possible.
Other new things to look out for: The game now offers a few new weapons, including the super-cool magnifying glass, an M80 (woo hoo!), and an aerosol can that can be used with lighters to do lots of wonderful damage. Sarge also gets to tote around a sniper rifle, which is perhaps the best weapon in the game.
Army Men II seems quite a bit more forgiving than the original, with well-stepped difficulty levels that let players of any skill level move through the game. Most missions are well designed, with interesting (and often familiar) objectives and settings. There are a handful of missions that seem to have just one too many objectives - you know, the type that just never seem to end - but the rest are well thought-out and fairly challenging.
The soundtrack deserves mention. The music is a collection of classical pieces that at times fits the situation and at others seems terribly out of place. The cutscenes, on the other hand, are fantastic and for the most part funny (especially the scene that plays when you fail a mission).
Overall, Army Men II is fun and a welcome addition if you're a fan of the original.