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Army Men: Air Combat

Score: 50%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: 3DO
Developer: 3DO
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Flight

Graphics & Sound:

In a word - outstanding. Cool explosions, brilliant graphics and detailed and varied environments make for an awesome gaming experience. The graphics look great and the game is very smooth. Again, you have wacky co-pilot characters and silly voice-overs, but this is all part of the Army Men appeal. Since we are dealing with a cartridge-based system, you don't have the lovely FMV's you'd find in a PSX version, but the still graphics do the job nicely. Now, in the sound department, Air Combat really shines. Each and every tune that you'll hear in this game is terrific - all very catchy and perfectly suited for the mood of the game. You'll definitely be pumped and ready for battle. The sound effects are good too. Satisfying booms and silly buzzing bugs all work together well to create the perfect atmosphere. Oh, but that Colonel Grimm who finds it necessary to continuously insult me when I screw up. I'd like to take a match to him. Yes I would.


Air Combat is basically Army Men Air Attack for the N64, and as such, you can expect very similar gameplay, with a slew of added multi-player features for you to enjoy. You are Captain Blade, piloting your little green army helicopter as you take to the skies to battle the Tan menace once again. There are 4 co-pilots at your disposal, each with their own personal flair (and weapon), my personal favorite being Woodstock. As in AMAA, your helicopter's winch is your best friend. Use it to pick up objects in the environment and smash the Tan guys every chance you get. Helps you to save on ammo too!

The 1-Player Campaign has 16 action-packed levels lined up for you and you'll be tackling such missions as protecting bases, blasting anthills with cherry bombs, recon missions to save Tan scientists and of course, snagging cool weapons from the Tan to use for the Green Army's evil (oh wait, I mean good) purposes. Each level is so very different, making for a varied and really fun gaming experience. My favorites include the recon missions to rescue a UFO and also a giant teddy bear. After you save them, they help you by blasting Tans with their lasers. A teddy bear terrorizing tan army guys with lasers shooting outta his eyes - good stuff.

Got a craving for multi-player chopper action? Air Combat has you covered. Choose from Cooperative or Officers Club (Head-to-Head), which has 4 different multi-player game types including Flag-Nab-It, Food Fight, Air Rescue and Bug Hunt. Personally, I prefer to fly solo, but I must admit that I had a blast in both Head to Head and Cooperative. Some levels seem designed to maximize Co-Op, so play around with them and find the one that suits you best.


Once you get the hang of using your winch while flying your chopper, you will be set. Don't get me wrong. By no means is this a walk in the park. You will be presented with a ton of challenges, all the while being barraged with everything from bottle rockets to shooting RC cars. Sometimes the screen is so filled with enemies (all after a piece of you) that you can't do anything more than just unload your homing missiles (or whatever your weapon of choice may be) on everything that moves. I would have to say that the difficulty is just right. You won't get bored and you won't get frustrated. You'll just want to see what the next level holds.

Game Mechanics:

The almighty winch plays a heavy role is this game. You must learn to use it to progress through certain levels and by mastering it, you can save on ammo and crush enemies in one fell swoop. Your chopper can strafe left and right, which is a definite help if you approach the enemies Quake style, circling around them - although I did often feel like I needed a 3rd hand to pull this off. But this is an N64 controller problem and certainly not the fault of Air Combat or its designers.

In the multi-player modes, you have the split screen effect going on, but it works quite well. In Cooperative, I found it best to have one player accomplish the 'goal' of the mission, while the other runs interference. The Head to Head mode was cool in that you each had a goal to accomplish and whoever did it first, won the level. For instance, kill 100 bugs first. The player who uses the map to find the bug mother lode first, wins the level. A little different than just running around a level and blasting each other. Oh. You can do that too, though. :)

All in all, Air Combat is yet another fine addition to the growing chopper action segment of 3DO's Army Men series and one which really pushes the limits of the N64. If you like shooting stuff, you'll like Air Combat. If you like mission-based games, you'll like Air Combat. If you like games, you'll like Air Combat. Are you still reading this? Go buy the damn game already!

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

Sega Dreamcast Fighting Force 2 Sony PSOne Army Men Air Attack

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