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Worms has been a very popular franchise for many years. It first appeared on the PSP last year with Worms: open warfare. This game was a huge disappointment to worms fans due to the small weapon range and overall poor gameplay. Nevertheless this year worms has returned to the PSP and the difference is dramatic.
For those who are not familiar with the concept of worms, you control a team (ranging from one to four different worms) and your aim is to strategically destroy your opponents using various weapons and tactics. When you first begin the game, you have the ability to customize your team of worms by changing their names, the hats they wear, colour of their skin, as well as their victory dance, to name a few.
After you have completed making and modifying your team, you can get straight into the action. Single player mode is split into three main parts: Campaign, Puzzles and Time trial. In campaign mode there are six different environments (all containing five different levels) in which you face your opponents. The aim of this mode is to kill the other team using various techniques, tactics and weapons.
Campaign mode, at first, is very easy but as you move on, to the other environments, it gradually gets harder as enemies begin to have extremely accurate shots. In puzzle mode you need to either kill your opponents, capture all the boxes (which contain weapons) or get to the finish. It may sound easy, but puzzle mode requires you need to think 'outside the box' and is very challenging. However, I find this mode to be the best part of the game because it is very enjoyable for all ages.
In order to play time trial, you unfortunately need to unlock the levels from the shop. With only ten levels available, time trial is the shortest of the three modes. Though the aim is simple - to get to the finish in the shortest time using the weapons/tools provided, the levels are very difficult and tedious from the offset.
In order to increase the lifespan of the game team17 (the developers), have added a 'shop' in the game. When you complete a level you get a certain amount of money (usually 300 coins), which you can use in the shop in order to unlock many different parts of the game including time trial levels, extra challenges, landscapes as well as customisations for your team of worms.
The game is the most fun though in Ad hoc and infrastructure mode. There is very little lag as you battle near by opponents or people half-way across the world. Unfortunately there is game-sharing, with which I was quite disappointed.
The gameplay in worms is addictive and extremely fun. With over twenty five different weapons which you can use, the way in which you complete your objective is never limited. Unfortunately though, while playing the game, a single mistake could result in the death of a worm on your team or a game over because of many key factors you have to take into consideration when firing your weapon including the wind direction (which unrealistically changes all the time). Also, though it may be not noticeable when starting to play the game, between each go there is a small pause. This pause, as you continue playing the game becomes very irritating. To add to this pause, when it is the computer's turn, it takes three or four seconds before deciding what to do.
The sound is generally very good with the music being very suitable for this type of game. The voices of the worms are very funny because of comments like 'Exterminate!' and a cheery 'Watch this one!'. Unlike other games though, these sayings do not get annoying very quickly because of the light humour and cartoon like voices. The graphics are very crisp looking a definitely suit worms on the PSP.
The controls are definitely the simplest I have seen on the PSP. The left and right direction buttons are used to move your worm and up and down is used to aim your weapon. Holding down X determines the power at which you fire your weapon and square is used for making your worm jump.
The loading times in worms is generally quite good, never lasting any more than ten seconds. One of the great things about worms is the addictive gameplay. Due to the great AI you are hooked on campaign looking to destroy more enemies. Even though there is no proper story line behind worms 2: Open warfare there are very funny cut scenes between each mission which link the environments.
To conclude worms 2: open warfare is an excellent game for the PSP. The controls are perfect and the gameplay will keep you hooked for a long time. Finally this game is a definite improvement from the original and is necessary for any worms fan as well as any worms newbies.