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Toy Commander  

 

  Ever wanted to know what it feels like to be in Toy Story or Honey I shrunk the Kids?  Well wonder no further, now you too can experience this just build your own Shrink Ray ;) Or you can just go out a purchase a copy of Toy Commander!

  You take on the role of a young boy, Guthy, who loves to play with his toys.  But after they are broken or he becomes bored with them they are sent into the attic, left to be forgotten about, until now that is.  The discarded toys start to rebel. They make their way down from above and wage war on you and all of your decent toys.

  You take control of various vehicles, cars, trucks, helicopters, planes etc… in a bid to stop the terrorism and restore peace to your house.

  A bit of a weird story, I know- but very entertaining- though nothing of the story is really mentioned during the game, a little bit at the beginning and end, that’s all.  But story does not matter when you have a game this fun.

  The game is set in a large house.  Each room has its own boss and each room has various missions to fulfill before you can go onto the next room.

  During the missions, you can go up to other vehicles and switch.  You will need to use a variety of vehicles on each level to complete it.

  Once you do all the missions in a room, you face the room boss.  After defeating the boss he joins your side.  So that when you come to face the main boss, you are able to use them against him- the more bosses on your side the easier it becomes.

  The vehicles you use have different functions. You may wish to take a plane and destroy any immediate threat using bombs then hop into a Jeep and burn past any of the remaining enemies to get to the mission goal.

 

Graphics:

  By today’s standards the graphics are still good- though nothing amazing.  When I first played the game I was gob-smacked. I thought that they were the most amazing graphics- though games like Shenmue and Ecco have now proved me wrong.

  There is no pop ups, as far as I can tell in the game (if there is its very hard to spot).  There are no glitches and overall, the game looks very solid, as though if you were to take a good swing at it with a baseball bat it would laugh in your face and spit on your shoes. 

  The game is very clear, you can see what’s on the other side of the room- they are bigger than you might think, (remember that you’re a very small toy).  There is also quite a lot on screen at once, enemies, other usable vehicles, random junk that you might find lying around your mum’s bedroom, (though nothing too rude-this is a family game).

  The lighting effects are quite good- nothing amazing a bit basic in some areas, though you can turn the lights off in the rooms and see things glowing around the room- which can be quite cool.

  The graphics don’t let up in multiplayer either.  Four players- no sweat, though the graphics aren’t quite pushing the Dreamcast.

 

Gamep lay:

   The gameplay is very good again.  The game is so easy to control and you should be able to pick it up within a couple of minutes.

   The game is very innovative, a unique look at the "toy world."  The way the missions are laid out and the ability to change vehicle puts the game into a league of its own.

  Changing vehicles is really easy, at the touch of a button you can change from a Jeep to a fighter plane.

  It is one of the first games that I found to be really interactive.  Go along in any room and you can turn out the lights by shooting the switch.

  I first played the demo of this game in local computer game store.  My mate was hanging around with me. I was randomly flying a plane around the kitchen.  I was thinking, at the time, "Not bad, graphics are good- clear no pop-up, but there’s not much to do."

  Anyway, I started to get trigger-happy and I flew towards the oven- looking at the hob.  My mate said "Wouldn't be cool if you could turn it on?" as if his prayers were answered I shot the dial. Wow- a big blue flame pops up damaging my lovely plane.

   There are loads of interactive things in the game- taps, buttons, animals…. “Hey is that cat asleep?” Not anymore- one quick missile (pencil) up the arse and that cat’s up, meowing and all.

   One of the missions, early on- I remember not being able to get up onto the kitchen table, or get to the plane that was on a higher ledge, in fact I was totally stuck.  I was really annoyed.  But wait!  I see a red ramp- perhaps I could use that for something.

   There was a ramp against the wall. Perhaps I could move it to help me get onto the table. No, it won’t move, damn.  Then I suddenly thought- what if I could drive up it really fast, I might be able to somehow steer in midair.  I took a nice big run up- charged to the ramp hit it with speed and flew up the wall. Though my wheels hadn’t left the ground, I wasn’t slowing down or falling.  What the? I hit the roof, stuck to the wall.

  Wow you can drive on the walls! You have to remember that you are playing with toys, and in real life, I’m sure that you got your little Matchbox cars and ran them across and up anything- I certainly did.  This is what makes the game, no cliché have put a lot of thought into the game engine and the mission designs, it’s just like playing with my old toy cars again- but much, much better.

   One of my favorite bits of the game is when you get to use the good old plastic soldiers.  Unfortunately, you cannot control the soldiers, but this makes the game more fun.  You drive up to them with an APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) and pick them up, and then when you come to an enemy or you feel that you have a good position for a surprise attack, you drop them off.  The soldiers will automatically fire upon any enemies in their range.  If you feel that your plucky little green guys are in over their heads then quickly drive by and pick them up, go back and recuperate.

   Another good aspect is the ability to upgrade your weapons, make them more powerful.  You have as standard, machine guns, mines and missiles.  The missiles are pencils, but you upgrade them to felt tips and marker pens.  The mines are in the form of ‘tacks’.  Planes have bombs instead of mines, in the form of erasers.

  It all keeps to the toy theme, keeping you entertained throughout.

  Multiplayer can be quite boring in two player- the rooms that you fight in are very big for two people.  But put in a couple of extra controllers and its fantastic- just a pity that you cannot network the game or play online.

  The missions can be quite challenging in areas and you will most likely find yourself playing that extra hour- just to do that *&%$ing mission.

  The missions have a different layout to them, some of them have similar aspects to another one, but you will find them different enough to keep you entertained for a good while. 

 

Presentation:

   The game is very well presented.  Easy, quick-loading menus, basic controls, even a small monkey could pick it up.

  Sound effects are pretty good- nice ‘zappy’ noises and quite a good soundtrack.  The music- while nothing too special does get you involved with the game, with a good ‘pumping’ beat to get you in the mood.

 

Replay Value

   This game will keep you going for a while- plenty of levels to keep you entertained for ages.  Once you complete the game, you can always go back through the levels and complete them in a faster time- the boss of the room has set certain times to beat, once you do you, complete the game again, and you unlock a special bonus.  A snail race- more fun than it sounds.

   The missions are very fun, worth playing over again.  Once you have completed the game, its always fun to have a quick pick up and play game- have a quick dog fight or stop that giant bunny from destroying the city.  The missions all have their individual appeal to them- no mission is quite the same- apart from maybe the race missions- but even they are very different.

   The two player mode (as I mentioned earlier) isn’t too much fun.  But the four-player mode is excellent.  It can become really hectic at times.  Its good fun when your mate has chosen a little truck and you have a bomber- flying over head dropping bombs (erasers) on his head.

 

Worth Buying Now?

   Definitely.  Very few games are this inventive, these days.  This game is one in a million.

   I couldn’t find a flaw with this game- apart from maybe the two-player mode – but the four-player makes up for it.

   The single player will keep you entertained for ages and you will find yourself going back and playing the levels over again.

 

Summary:

Genius, one game that I can safely say I’ve enjoyed all the way through, no complaints whatsoever.  Easy to pick up and play, hard to put down.

 

Graphics: 9- though might look a bit dated these days.

Gameplay: 9

Presentation: 9

Replay Value: 8

Worth Buying Now? 10

Overall: 9

~G~

Toy Commander lets you play with three other buddies for some serious multiplayer action. Better yet, there is no slowdown!

 

During missions, you can switch vehicles on the fly.

 

Wow, look at the tracers on those missiles!