Product Type: other Dreamcast games
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Toy Commander (DC)
Member Name: kero-chan
Toy Commander (DC)
Date: 29/10/00, updated on 29/10/00 (150 review reads)
Advantages: Great fun and very varied gameplay
Disadvantages: Very difficult
Toy Commander is a real oddity of a game, the bright exterior and the games title suggests that the game is typically kiddie fair, best deserving to rot next to the dreadful Army Men games. A breif play will throughly tell you that this *isn't* a kiddie game - it's way too tough for that.
The basic premise of the game is that an evil toy - the Toy Commander - has taken over your house with the help of his Generals. With the toys which remain faithful to you, you need to go through each each area of the house completing missions to go on.
The house is split into several areas (the kitchen, bedrooms, garage, etc), which each area of the house having seven missions. To begin with the first two missions of the Kitchen are available. Completing one of these missions will open up another two missions, whilst completing another mission will open another two. Completing three missions will allow you to go on to the next area. The seventh mission of each stage is a special boss area. To get this available, you need to finish four of that areas missions within an extremely tight time-limit. However, by beating a boss they will become avail to you to use for the final battle with the Toy Commander.
The missions are varied and often fairly clever. For each mission you get a selection of vehicles, from Planes and helicopters, to tanks and jeeps, to troop transports. Each vehicle has it's obvious advantages and disadvantages, and typically you'll have to use all the vehicles at your disposal to help you defeat the stage.
The mission objectives are typically varied. The obvious 'destroy' type missions are suprisingly few and far between. More common are transportation missions, basically getting to one point and moving something elsewhere to achieve some objective. This could be anything from recusing a scientist from an enemy stronghold, to collecting water to put out fires, to getting a doll to the trainstation in time
for his date!! Of course, these missions do tend to also include a lot of destruction as well.
Also fairly common, and hugely frustrating at times, are Racing stages - taking your vehicle around a course at high speed trying to to finish last. These are typically very, very tricky, even more so if your trying to beat the boss time.
By far the cleverest mission type are the troop movement missions. In these you get a handfull of plastic troopers and a transport vehicle. Because the transpot vehicle as no weapons of it's own, you are required to move your plastic guys to spots where they can take out the various badguys and obsticals. But the men are very fragile, so you have to find good sniper spots to place your troops in order for them not to get hit. Of course, your transpot vehicle is also prone to being blown up, so you can't just barge through.
As mentioned earlier, this game is very tough. The difficulty curve is very steep, it gets very hard very quickly. Sheer determination (and dare I say, addiction) is all what will get you through certain areas. Certainly, if you can keep playing through the opening levels it will become complusive, the desire to beat enough boss times in an area to get the last stage available is immense.
The visuals for this game are good, with everything being about as detailed as you would expect to find on a Dreamcast. The rooms, whilst small in size compared to a stage on, say, Sonic, are very detailed with plenty of clever touches. The sound, however, is pretty non-descript. The music is bland. The controls are pretty sound, using the analog stick for direction and the triggers for back and forward movement.
The icing on the cake is a four player battle mode, which allows you to select from a huge selection of vehicles and any of the rooms you've opened. The vehicles are suprising well balanced (a plane isn't really better than a jeep if you know what you're doing),
but it can be hard to play initially, targetting proving to be very tricky.
In all, this is a suprising entertaining little game, inventive throughout and well crafted. The difficulty, however, is pretty harsh, so I recommend either renting it to try before spending your money on a copy, or try and find a cheap or second hand copy.
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