By Contributing Writer Jimmy Payne Rating: Crappy After finally seeing Saving Private Ryan last week, I was really excited about playing Army Men 3D. The thought of maneuvering around in numerous areas and blowing up plastic army men really sparked the five-year-old inside of me to life. Well, that five-year-old inside of me is going to have to wait a little longer to come out again, because 3DO couldn't match Speilberg's magic if their life depended on it. Maybe I've been spoiled by my experience with the Dreamcast, but this game's graphics are shameful even for a PlayStation game. Pop-in runs rampant throughout the game, and the backgrounds are very plain and boring. Another thing wrong with the graphics is the smeared colors. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between a cactus and a soldier because the colors run together so badly. Your enemy being tan doesnít help much, either. Whoís bright idea was it to make a desert level that is almost completely tan and then throw in a bunch of tiny, tan soldiers? The control in the game sucks just as much as the graphics. When maneuvering around, you can fire your weapon, walk forward, walk backward, walk side-to-side, crouch, and roll left or right. It seems decent at first, but once you get into the game youíll realize that this control set-up just doesnít cut it. When you're being shot at, running forward or backward will only get you killed, and strafing doesn't work very well either. So the only thing left to do is roll like a madman. And you canít shoot while you roll, so how are you supposed to fight back? You either constantly roll to avoid enemy fire or run into the enemy head-on firing wildly and pray that the game decides to let you live. This kind of game "balance" is nothing short of absurd. Driving vehicles in Army Men 3D is also more of a chore than a joy ride. Trying to fire at something with the tank and successfully hitting it is almost impossible at times, and controlling the jeep is like controlling a remote control car with a wheel missing. Frustrating to say the least. The music and sound effects in Army Men 3D suck just like the rest of the game. When toasting an enemy with a flame-thrower, I expected to hear some really cool sound effects so I could enjoy my kill even more. Itís those kinds of things that take a game the extra mile, but unfortunately Army Men 3D's sound effects are silly and sound unbelievably fake. Even the machine gun sounds are childish, and itís pretty tough to make a gunshot sound fake if you ask me. The music is also out of place. It does a terrible job of setting the mood, and mood is a key factor in becoming really involved in any game. Setting these fatal flaws aside; Army Men 3D does have some shining points. First off, the game is very original, which is becoming increasingly rare in the video game industry. Also, the weapons in Army Men 3D are a blast to play with. For example, the grenades are thrown by holding the button down and watching a cursor move forward and backward into the background. When itís at the point that you want it to hit, just let go and watch it fly. If you connect it can be a very pleasing experience. Still, the originality and the cool weapons are nowhere near enough to make up for the game's numerous shortcomings. Beneath the horrible graphics and the unbalanced gameplay is a game with some potential. If the powers that be at 3DO had refused to release the game in its current state, they could have really turned it into a decent title with several months of polishing and balancing. As it is, Army Men 3D is a huge disappointment and is not worth any of your time or money.
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