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Army Men Air Attack 2: Second Airstrike Approved
Company: 3DO

The graphics look very smooth in the early beta that I had the opportunity to play. Far more refined than the original Army Men Air Attack. There also seems to be more detail in the levels of AMAA2. The three levels that I played took place in ?Our World,? and included plenty of familiar items scattered about, and these are always fun to take a closer look. :)

The sound effects included satisfying booms and bangs, and the voiceovers were wacky as usual. Ok, where they picked up Woodstock I don?t know, but he sounds like a German Jamaican. Odd. The soundtrack is pretty good and really gets you pumped for battle, although the Halloween-ish type music seems to get a bit redundant. The others don?t, however, and fit the levels perfectly. A new addition is the video pop-up screen that appears in the lower left of your viewing area. Your co-pilot (or the Captain at times) will appear and give you instructions instead of simply announcing them to you. This is kinda neat; doesn?t necessarily change the gameplay for better or worse, but it helps to involve you more in the storyline. Even in this very early version, Army Men Air Attack 2 is looking pretty good.

If you played the first Army Men Air Attack, you know what to expect. You command a green army helicopter, along with your trusty co-pilot (you have four to choose from) in various assaults on the tan army. Each co-pilot has their own kick-ass weapon to offer, and the one you choose reflects more your fighting style, rather than what level you are doing. There are also four helicopters to choose from (my favorite being the Apache), each having it?s own specialty and therefore, each being best for certain types of levels.

The demo I played had three levels and all were fun and different. One involved searching out the tan army?s newest ?Weapon o? Destruction,? and keeping them from getting it to the ominous ?Their World? portal... a doll?s head. A freakin? doll?s head! (The green guys already managed to snag the doll?s body). I have a strong feeling this doll comes back later to haunt us. Another required you to feed batteries to the green army?s bulldozer to keep it going until it could get to the green army camp. This was cool as not only were batteries scattered about the level, but there were also numerous items such as cell phones lying about. -Ah, the decadent and luxurious life of Silicon Valley - Blast em and *poof*, a battery appears. Pretty cool; because if you don?t have that oh-so-necessary destructive streak, you?ll run out of batteries too soon. I like being rewarded for my violent tendencies. :) Still, yet another level involved a search and rescue mission where you locate a downed plane and save your buddy, Woodstock. Pretty straight-forward stuff, and a ton of fun as well. The levels are well-designed and are fairly large, providing a good amount of gameplay.

Multi-player ability is another new addition to Army Men Air Attack 2. Cooperative was the only one available in the demo I played, so I tried it with a friend in split-screen mode and got claustrophobic. There just isn?t enough area to see what you are doing. But there are going to be a number of other multi-player modes available at retail, so hopefully I?ll be able to find one that suits me.

AMAA2 offers a pleasant level of difficulty. It starts off slow and ramps up nicely. I never felt too overwhelmed with enemies, especially with my handy co-pilot there, always waiting to dish out the smack-down on the tans. Again, only three levels here, and I got through them pretty quickly, but it?s in the early stages, so expect much more.

Your most important feature is, once again, your chopper?s winch. Only this time, it?s not just a matter of pick-up-and-drop, now you can sling the things you pick up at your enemies. Very cool. Just whip that flowerpot around and create mass destruction. I always had trouble in the first AMAA as I wasn?t too great with the winch - I just relied on my guns. AMAA2 forces you (or rewards you) to master the winch as your personal equalizer, so learn I did. Of course, your chopper comes equipped with groovy weapons and so does your co-pilot, but the idea is to use the winch as it saves on ammo. Plus, you can do far more damage with a dog food bowl than you can with a gun. :)

The enemy A.I. is pretty dead-on, even in this early stage of the game. Damn bottle rockets NEVER miss you, even after you destroy the jack/tan guy/bottle rocket launcher shooting them at you. Argh! Tan guys seem to come out of the woodwork when you kill a few off and are feeling pretty cocky. Good job here as there is nothing worse than stupid A.I.

Here?s the brass tacks - if you liked the first AMAA, you?ll like AMAA2. I did and I do. There are a few nifty additions here and a few that need some refining, but what you have is more missions and more gameplay, and that?s really what it?s all about anyway. I can honestly say that the three levels I played left me greatly wanting for more. Be on the lookout for this hot sequel in the Fall.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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