EPIC PIRATE DANCE PARTY!
- Jan 4, 2010
Toy Soldiers was created by the good people at Signal Studios, and is the melding of three types of games; RTS games, Tower defense games, and action war games. You command your Toy army, and it is your job to prevent the opposing forces from entering and subsequently destroying your toy box, or base. To do this, you have to earn money by destroying advancing enemy waves, and then buying and upgrading different units that you place in predesignated spots, to protect your toy box. If you get multiple kill combos, this will allow you to earn more money, to spend on upgrades and units.
Now, I have never been a fan of RTS games. They are usually way too much work, and I am way too lazy. But with Toy soldiers, the RTS portion is just a small part of the game as a whole. There are a few different options on how to play the game. You can place your units and watch them take out wave after wave of enemy forces. Or you can jump into the action, taking control of any of your units, from machine gun nests, to mortar cannons, fighter planes, bomber planes, or my personal favorite, tanks. As you progress through the game you will face more and more difficult enemy units. And most levels end with a boss this is going to take your combined might to destroy. The game has a single player game mode; you can play split-screen, and XBL multiplayer modes.
[img_inline width=350 height=350 caption=Alright Billy, now remember, you only blow up the units you hate. Even if they are on your team.]http://wedonetwork.co.uk/wedotech/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Toy_Soldiers_screenshot.jpg[/img_inline]
The campaign is pretty straight forward as you progress through the levels and complete various objectives to unlock different rewards. But these rewards are mainly for show. But once you complete a level and unlock different units or new upgrades. The multiplayer action is surprisingly fun. Just like the single player mode you place various units on build spots and protect your toy box from the attacking opponent. However, instead of just being on the defensive, you also need to use some offensive strategies, and launch various waves of units at your enemy.
The controls are very solid. I have had very little trouble using them, and I am usually terrible at flying planes in video games. But after a little practice, even the controls for airplanes are easy to master.
The game it's self is beautiful, and completely unique in the sense that it's a WWI theme. Which is something you hardly if ever see. Most war action games are set in WWII, modern times, or the distant future. So, this was a refreshing change. The WWI theme is carried throughout the game with destructible buildings, wire fences, trees, sandbag fortifications; the ground will be kicked up with dirt and bombed out. Cool video effects when your toy boxes health gets low. The screen will slowly start to lose color, and begin to look like an old scratchy film. And when your flying around the battlefield, since these are toys in the diorama, you can see the surrounding room filled with bookshelves and desk lamps. It's absolutely amazing to see how much work Signal Studios put in to have us be engrossed in the landscape of Toy Soldiers.
If players are having an easy time playing through Toy Soldiers, which I highly doubt will happen, they can always crank up the difficulty and play through Elite Mode. In Elite Mode, players must manually control every unit on the map rather than have a computer AI aid in the defense of the toy chest. At the tail end of the single-player mode, the game throws hordes of enemies at the player to raid their toy chest, so it's hard to image players breezing through Elite Mode. This is yet another thing the game excels at. The game challenges you, and if you think you are ready, I recommend you try out Elite Mode.
Xbox live Arcade had progressed by leaps and bounds, and Toy soldiers is certainly one of the best. But that's not to say there is no room for improvement. The lack of a multiplayer team co-op mode was a bit of a let down. I felt that Signal Studios could have also made more levels without the game becoming dry or boring, instead of only 12 levels. And, one more thing that I feel would make this game perfect, is a map editor mode, similar to Halo 3's forge. Imagine, you have a blank diorama, and you could build it anyway you want, and then take on the enemy. That would have made this game not only worth the 1200 MS points you paid for it, but worth a full price, of $60 in a retail store.
[img_inline height=150 width=250 caption=*Being eye raped by the scenery*]http://microsoftfeed.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/0119.jpg[/img_inline]Toy Soldiers gets a 9/10. Probably in my opinion, the best XBL arcade game to date. The addictive A Kingdom for Keflings not withstanding. But, with very few levels, and the absence of a multiplayer co-op mode for it makes the game seem incomplete. But still fun. And if you are getting this game soon, expect many hours of your life consumed by this game, while still have a blast. Signal Studios deserves a pat on the back for creating a unique tower defense title that sets itself apart from the rest of the pack.
I, Sir BloodyThoughts, do not own any of the pictures that are in this review. I have taken them from google images, so all credit goes to the creators.