Also available on Windows
I love Army Men. It is the game series nearest and dearest to my heart. It was a hallmark of my childhood, and a full set of the game has been a gaming goal of mine since I started collecting. They are not, however, "good" games, and no game in the series that I've played so far better illustrates that than the Game Boy Color port of the original Army Men. The definitely has some positive aspects, but those positives are sadly few and far between.
As a whole, it's actually quite impressive that 3DO managed to port as much of the game as they did from PC to Game Boy Color given how relatively primitive the GBC's hardware is. The port includes two of the three campaigns from the PC original - desert and alpine - and while the missions themselves aren't exactly the same, the gist of the story remains intact. The Tan Army invaded the Green nation, and Green intelligence learns over the course of the fighting that the Tan are constructing some kind of "uberdevice." The objective of the latter half of the game becomes securing the uberdevice for the Green Army. The end of the game doesn't show quite the same events as the PC original - there are newspaper headlines that mention that Sarge is a big damn hero and that the uberdevice is in Green hands, but it doesn't say anything about the uberdevice being a key that opens a portal like you got in the closing cutscene of the first game.
Unfortunately, the amount of the original game that got crammed onto a Game Boy Color cartridge is where the impressive aspects of the game end. Visually, it's absolute trash. The desert levels look almost like one of the more impressive Atari 2600 games, and the alpine levels look like an Atari 5200 game. Considering that the Game Boy Color is significantly more powerful than both of those consoles, that's not a plus (okay, so maybe it's not QUITE that bad, but it's not too far off). The music is even worse. It takes the exact same painfully repetitive theme from the PC original and turns that into a digitized and garbled 8-bit monstrosity that assaults your eardrums like the German blitzkrieg over the Franco-Belgian border. The only redeeming part of the game's sound is that Sarge's digitized voiced dialogue actually sounds really good given the system that it's on. It sounds better than Pikachu's voice in Pokemon Yellow Version in my opinion.
Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing compelling about the Game Boy Color port of Army Men. The gameplay is competent enough, but the controls are stiff and clunky, giving it an even more awkward feel than the already hard to play PC game. It looks like rubbish, and the music is downright offensive, but if you're either really into the series like I am or just LOVE Game Boy Color games, it's playable. Unless you're a hardcore Army Men fan or GBC collector, though, there's absolutely no reason for you even to bother emulating this game. It's really got nothing whatsoever to offer.
My Rating - 2 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.