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Army Men: Air Combat

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Technically a Nintendo 64 exclusive, Army Men: Air Combat is the first Army Men game to include multiplayer. It's extremely similar to the Playstation game, Army Men: Air Attack, with some changes. These mostly deal with the N64s +2 controller ports. The main story mode can be played co-op style, or you can play a 4 person Capture the Flag or Rescue game.


A slight upgrade of this already slight upgrade was ported to the Gamecube in 2003. It was hailed as Army Men: Air Combat - The Elite Missions.

Featured Video

Army Men Air Combat (VG) (2003) - Clip Gameplay00:54

Army Men Air Combat (VG) (2003) - Clip Gameplay

This Article is about the Video Game Series, for the toys see Army men Template:Multiple issues Template:Mergefrom

Army Men
156px
Developers The 3DO Company
Publishers The 3DO Company
Global Star Software
Destination Software, Inc.
First release Army Men
1998
Latest release Army Men: Mobile Ops
2010
Spin-offs Portal Runner

Army Men is a series of video games made by The 3DO Company and Global Star Software. The series is based on various wars between four sets of plastic army men: the Green, the Tan, the Blue, and the Grey. Two other factions, Red and Orange, as well as a much smaller faction, Black, also have had minor appearances. Two additional factions, the Galactic Army and the Alien Army, were introduced in Army Men: Toys in Space.

History

The series began with Army Men (PC) in 1998, with a sequel, Army Men 2 (PC) released in 1999. Around that time, the first console game, Army Men 3D, was released for the PlayStation. The series continued with Army Men: Toys in Space (PC), before branching out with the Army Men: World War series for both PC and console. At around the same time period Army Men: Sarge's Heroes was released, and a sequel was released the next year.Template:When

Other variations and spin-offs of the series were also released. They included the helicopter themed games Air Tactics, Air Attack, Air Attack 2, Air Combat, and Air Combat: The Elite Missions, as well as the World War series. There is also a Contra-inspired game called Green Rogue. The only spin-off of the series was Portal Runner. A spin-off of Sarge's Heroes 2, it was released just a year and a half after the original game.

Factions in Army Men

  • Green – The protagonists in the series, the Green are a representation of the South Vietnamese nation and the Americans of World War II. In the first few games, the political balance was unstable, and they were fighting against the Tan and Blue, with the Grey sometimes allies and sometimes enemies. In Army Men: World War, the Green ally with the Blue against the Tan. In Army Men: Sarge's Heroes, the Blue are spies for the Tan, and the Grey are allied with the Green.
  • Tan – The Tan represent the North Vietnamese nation and the Germans of World War II. They started the current war with the Green when they invaded three main areas of the Green Nation: the Desert, Alpine, and Bayou regions. At the beginning of the game, they have a partial alliance with the Blue Information Network, though this alliance is fluid through the series.
  • Grey – The first encounter with Grey forces is in the original PC game: Sarge is attempting to outflank the Tan and finds himself on the Grey-Tan border. While they are both at war with the Green, they are also at war with each other and Sarge finds himself in a three-way shooting match. Shortly after, Sarge discovers the Grey have formed an alliance with the Tan in order to generate some rather bizarre weapons of mass-destruction (seen in the later games).
  • Blue – The Blue Army (often with a French influence) seem to have very fluid alliances, though they are rarely seen on the front lines. The Blue Army's real talents lie in espionage, sabotage and other such covert missions. The Blue Nation is often depicted as working toward anything they see beneficial, this often means they charge for their services. In some games they have an alliance with the Green Army, but in others they are an enemy.
  • Red – They appear in Multiplayer in "Sarge's War", one of them is rescued in Dr. Madd's castle. And in Sarge's Heroes in the cut-scene where Shrap is rescued from the spider machine. Although they are really supposed to be gray.
  • Orange – Mentioned only in Sarge's Heroes 2, when General Plastro is bragging about conquering all the nations in the plastic world. Not related to the Orange Aliens. Not much is really known about the Orange as they are never really seen and only mentioned.However in the multiplayer mode of Army Men Rts you can play as the orange army.
  • Black – Like Orange, not involved in any conflict, and make about as big of an appearance as Red. Black civilians are seen in a level in Toys In Space. As zombies in Army Men II also may occasionally sport a black-colored limb or head.
  • The Aliens – The main enemy in Toys in Space. They appear only in Portal Runner, and Toys in Space. As Tina Tomorrow secures an alliance with Sarge, the aliens form an alliance with the Tan Empire and join in their quest for domination by providing a whole new armada of lethal creatures and deadly new weapons to make Sarge's life miserable.
  • The Galactic Army – Allies of the Green Army in Toys in Space. They only appear in this game. Led by Tina Tomorrow, the Galactic Army is light blue in color. The main army is female with support troopers (e.g. Mini-Gunners) being male. The Galactic Army provides a number of unique weapons to assist Sarge through Toys in Space.
  • The Cult – Only appears in Army Men 2, in two levels. It is composed of Blue, Green, Tan, and Gray soldiers, as well as suicide bombers, led by an AWOL Colonel from the Green Army. Sarge was originally tasked to locate the Colonel, but learning of the Colonel's insanity he is ordered to instead kill him and his cult followers.
  • Malice's Tans – Only appear in Army Men: Sarge's War. They are responsible for planting the bomb in the statue and delivering it to the Green/Tan peace ceremony which destroyed it, with all Greens (except Sarge and remnants of the Green Army) and all of General Plastro's Tans caught in the blast.
  • Bugs and Insects – While not always seen in the Army Men Series, Bugs and Insects appear in Army Men: Air Attack (2), Army Men RTS and several other Games, they are usually Hostile to all Armies and pack some heavy firepower.
  • Dr. Madd's Creations – The demented Grey doctor's 'achievements', which range from the walking dead, to mutated, mutilated varieties of insects. The doctor is often seen working for the Tan nation, however, due to his mental instability, it is believed that his reasons for experimentation stem from his state of mind, rather than to please Plastro's desires. These creatures are trained to attack only the Green Army and their allies, though they may sometimes harm the enemy.
  • Other Toys – Other everyday toys, such as action figures, robots, and even Lego make an appearance in the series. Other species of plastic include (or sometimes include metallic) creatures. They are used and controlled by all nations. This is very common in the Air Attack games.

Games

Title Release date Platforms Information
Army Men 1998 Windows, Game Boy Color The first game of the series, it was released for PC but was ported to Game Boy Color. Regarded as a classic by fans, this is one of the few games to actually display Sarge and his squad as merely pawns in a bigger battle. Two features that make this game almost unique in the series are its storytelling (Black and white spoofs of old-time, World War II-style newsreels), and the fact that it often depicts fighting that doesn't involve the main characters. Many fans of the series as well as reviewers rate this game the highest.
Army Men II 1999 Windows, Game Boy Color This game is a direct sequel to the first game. The enemies in this game are diverse, ranging from suicide bombers, to zombies, to cult members, to cockroaches. There is also a wide range of battlefields, such as kitchens in the "Real World", and tank factories in the "Plastic World".
Army Men: Toys in Space 1999 Windows This game adds two new armies, the Space Troops, and the Aliens. This game introduced a science fiction element not present in any other Army Men games. It also reorganized the control of squads and introduced new weapons and units such as Alien Laser Troopers, Tina's Freeze Ray and her Mini-gun Troopers as well as a small selection of new vehicles.
Army Men: Air Attack 1999 PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Windows The main character in this game is a Green Air Cavalry pilot named Captain William Blade. This game has over 12 missions with three extra helicopters to unlock. The available helicopters are a Huey, Chinook, Super Stallion, and an Apache. There are also three co-pilots to unlock. They are "Woodstock", "Rawhide", "Hardcore", and "Sgt. Hawk". There is also a Mr. Yuk Spoof that can be seen in the fifth mission. This game was also known as "Air Combat" on the Nintendo 64.
Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 1999 Windows, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color This is a console to PC port of the PlayStation game of the same name. This is the game in the series to appear on Nintendo 64 or Dreamcast. In this game, Sergeant Hawk must reassemble his squad of captured soldiers. General Plastro unveils his new "Super Weapons" (household items and toys) that were taken from the "Alternate World" through portals that connect to the "Plastic World". Sergeant Hawk must use his "Bravo Company Commandos" to help him defeat General Plastro and the Tan Army.
Army Men: Air Tactics 1999 Windows In this title, the player controlled character was Captain Blade of the Green Airborne Cavalry. This was an overhead view flight simulator that placed the player in a number of different helicopters. Captain Blade's main responsibility is to act as aerial support for Sarge and his men. This game introduced abilities such as lifting heavy objects and transporting them to other locations, landing on the ground to load/unload soldiers and featuring unique airborne combat not seen in the other games.
Army Men 3D 1999 PlayStation This installment is a 3-dimensional remake of the original "Army Men" game. The main character's goal is to collect the tinker toy keys which lead him to a Portal to the Real World.
Army Men: World War 2000 Windows, PlayStation The first of the World War titles. This game focuses solely on combat in the "Plastic World", with most of the missions being based on World War II. The PC game starts with a D-Day style landing after which there are a number of missions that all have themes from World War II lore, such as "A Bridge Too Far". This is the only game in the series where vehicles can not be controlled by enemy forces. This game is the only PC game in the series without an appearance by "Sarge". This game also had an in depth system for organizing large numbers of soldiers under the player's command. This game was also known as "Operation Meltdown" outside the US and Canada.
Army Men: World War - Land, Sea and Air 2000 PlayStation This installment is a sequel to "Army Men: World War". The game is made up of five operations with three missions in each one.
Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 2000 PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64 This is the sequel to Sarge's Heroes. It introduces several new characters, and the concept of "Plastrification". Plastrification, according to Dr. Madd, is a condition that occurs when a soldier from the "Plastic World" spends too much time in the "Real World" causing the hardening of the limbs and the forming of a plastic base. However, the character Bridgette Bleu has developed a serum that reverses the effects of plastrification.
Army Men: Operation Green 2001 Game Boy Advance In this game, the player can take control of a generic Green soldier in a 3-D isometric world. This title is set almost exclusively in the Plastic World, and several vehicles are available to drive.
Army Men: World War - Final Front sometimes referred to as 'Lock N load' 2001 PlayStation This game features four fronts with three missions in each one. The Tan Army once again launches an unprovoked attack upon the Green Army, so the Green retaliate by attacking the Tan capital. When they discover that the Tan have created weapons of mass destruction, they declare a full-scale war against the Tan and deploy their forces worldwide to destroy the revived Tan Army and its new weapons. This game introduces submarine warfare to the World War titles.
Army Men: Green Rogue sometimes referred to as 'Omega Soldier' 2001 PlayStation, PlayStation 2 Set during the time of "Sarge's Heroes", the Green Army creates a super soldier composed of DNA spliced from all the members of Bravo Company. Plastro tries to capture the super soldier, but the crash-landing on the helicopter transporting it inadvertently awakens Omega Soldier, causing a one-man rampage against Tan forces. Unique to this game is the fact that all of Omega Soldier's weapons are made of metal instead of plastic.
Army Men: Advance 2001 Game Boy Advance The player can choose between Sarge, or Vikki, and will receive several objectives by radio, such as recruiting fellow squad members, escaping from prison, and breaking into enemy installations.
Army Men: Air Attack 2 sometimes referred to as "Blade's Revenge" 2001 PlayStation, PlayStation 2 The sequel to Army Men: Air Attack. It includes 2 new helicopters, the "King Cobra" and the "Osprey", in addition to the Chinook and Apache. There is a new co-pilot named "Bombshell". In this game each co-pilot has a special secondary weapon which can only be used by that co-pilot.
Portal Runner 2001 PlayStation 2, Game Boy Color This spin-off of Sarge's Heroes focused on Vikki Grimm and Bridgette Bleu. In this game, Bridgette Bleu, trapped Viki Grimm in another dimension through the use of a portal. In this game, Vikki and a lion named Leo, must find the right portal, to take them back to the "Plastic World".
Army Men World War: Team Assault 2002 PlayStation The last game released in the World War series and the last released for the PlayStation.
Army Men: Air Combat - The Elite Missions 2003 Nintendo GameCube The Final game in the air combat series gave gamers the same experience from the N64 original with upgraded features, graphics, and new levels.
Army Men: RTS 2002 Windows, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube This game was one of the last Army Men titles released before The 3DO Company filed for bankruptcy. This Army Men game is a 3D Real Time Strategy game. It provided a brand new perspective on the Army Men game - base building, and a fully 3D camera. This game does provide some unique elements such as collecting the melted plastic after a battle and recycling it to create a fresh supply of troops. It is also unique (along with Army Men: Sarge's War), in that all of the soldiers in these games are equipped with metal weapons, grenades and minesweepers as opposed to most other games in the series, which offer plastic weapons.
Army Men: Turf Wars 2002 Game Boy Advance The Tan Army has struck once again and has taken over a Green Army base. Colonel Grimm has formed a two-man team: Sergeant Hawk and a blue spy to fight the Tan Army.
Army Men: Sarge's War 2004 Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube The last game that follows the series. Lord Malice has formed a secret militia of Tans, who have attacked the Green and Tan nations at the Green-Tan peace ceremony. Everyone, including Colonel Grimm, Vikki, and General Plastro, have been killed, however, Sergeant Hawk and Malice's militia have survived Sarge then seeks revenge on Lord Malice. This game was initially developed by The 3DO Company, but after 3DO filed for bankruptcy, the game was purchased, completed, and released by Crave Entertainment. The game is more darker and realistic than its predecessors; for example, when Sarge is shot, holes will appear in his body.
Army Men: Major Malfunction 2006 PlayStation 2, Xbox Major Malfunction was released by Global Software. The main character is a soldier named Private Anderson and the villain is a character named "Major Malfunction", The game received largely negative reviews [citation needed], although graphically it is regarded as the "best looking" game in the series.
Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune 2008 PlayStation 2, Wii, Nintendo DS

Soldiers of Misfortune is the latest game of the series, published by Destination Software, Inc. The plot of Soldiers of Misfortune is a major departure from the rest of the series. No mention is made of the regular Army Men characters, or of any events that occurred in past games. The player assumes the role of a young boy named Timmy, who imagines himself as a toy soldier and use weapons such as a miniature dart. This game is not officially part of the series, and is not considered canonical. The game was a failure and received largely negative reviews similar to Major Malfunction, many fans consider Soldiers of Misfortune to be the worst game in the series.

Army Men: Mobile Ops 2010 Mobile The newest mobile game brings back the war between the Green and Tan army.
Army Men III TBD Windows The third sequel to the original Army Men II. Originally Army Men Extended, a Half-Life 2 Mod.

The Plastic World

Much is unknown about the Plastic World, mainly because it is never shown on a map or discussed for an extended period of time, though, there are certain things that can be inferred.

There is a Pacific island area (stated in "World War"). The eastern part of the world houses the Blue Nation (a border is seen but it is unknown if this is another country) while the Western part houses the Tan. It is unknown where the Green, Orange, and Red Nations reside, as it is never stated.

The Gray Nation is in the western area as well because it borders the Tan nation according to Army Men. The only thing really known about the Green Nation is that it contains desert, alpine, and bayou regions.

Seen in Army Men (the first game in the series) during the beginning movie, it shows that the Green Nation is almost completely surrounded by Tan territory. The bayou is in the south.

Trivia

  • Plastrification, according to Dr. Madd in Sarge's Heroes 2, is a condition that occurs when a soldier from the "Plastic World" spends too much time in the "Real World" causing hardening of the limbs and forming of a plastic base, and getting plastered. The soldier, afflicted with this condition, becomes paralyzed and grows a plastic base, ending up like the army men commonly sold at toy stores. Also in SH2, Bridgette Bleu has developed a serum that reverses the effects of plastrification, which she uses to revive General Plastro. She has also developed one that causes plastrification. The reversal serum is stored in Cola cans.
  • In the opening cut scene in Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 there is a map of the Plastic World on the wall behind Sarge.
  • The version of the M16 changes from cut scene to cut scene and game to game. Certain ones show it as an M16A1 with a 20 round magazine, other times its an M16A2 with 30 magazine, and sometimes an M4 with a 30 round magazine.
  • In the first few games Sarge is shown to be an ordinary soldier who is never personally identified. It is also mentioned that Sarge's father was Col. Grimm. This would contrast the fact that in the Sarge's Heroes series Grimm wants Sarge to marry Vikki. It is mentioned in the Sarge's Heroes manual that Sarge's father was melted. This leaves open the possibility that either Sarge was adopted by Grimm or that Sarge and Sergeant Hawk are two different people, which would greatly explain these questions.
  • The Army Men series features toys that exist from around the world today, examples of this are Lincoln Logs, Lego, Meccano and several other toys.
  • One may see references to several famous movies scattered throughout the games. One example is featured in Army Men 2. On one level, there is a patrol boat on a jungle island, which is used to hunt down an insane Green special forces colonel leading the Cult, a reference to Apocalypse Now. This plot is also present in RTS, as the main plot is to hunt down an insane green special forces colonel named "Blintz".
  • Vikki Grimm and Bridgette Bleu are the only characters not to have a coloured skin (Green, Blue etc., though they do have coloured hair) instead they are modeled with flesh tones more like Barbie dolls and simply wear clothing that matches the colour of their allegiance.
  • Most of the titles of the levels are named after war movies. For example, in Sarge's War there is Das Drain, a reference to Das Boot, or The Thin Green Line, which refers to The Thin Red Line. Some levels are also named after video games such as "Toast Recon" referring to "Ghost Recon".
  • Army Men: RTS features a number of breaches of chain of command during its cutscenes: Most notably the opening cutscene where Sarge is walking along and is saluted by a private (the rank of Sergeant is a non-saluting rank). This is followed by Sarge entering the command tent where Colonel Grimm and Lieutenant Calt are waiting - Grimm salutes first, Sarge returns the salute and Grimm is also the last one to drop his hand. This should actually occur in the reverse order, as it stands it suggests that Sarge outranks his Commanding Officer. Although this could also mean that Sarge had won a Medal of Honor or some other award that is equivalent.
  • The Army Men series is not set in a specific time period. In a few of the games, modern weapons such as the M16A2 can be seen, but in others, the vehicles and weapons seen are from the World War II or the Vietnam War era, with weapons & vehicles such as the M16A1, the M48 Patton tank, the P-51 Fighter, the M-79 grenade launcher and various other weapons. However, modern helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache can be obtained in Army Men: Air Combat. Famous battles such as the Normandy landing are imitated, and the style of fonts and film quality mimic the style of the 1940s.
  • Army Men RTS and Army Men: Sarge's War have some particular criticisms, for example all of the soldiers have metal weapons, grenades and minesweepers as opposed to the rest of the series, which features plastic weapons. Army Men RTS also lacks flamethrower soldiers (with the exception of Scorch).
  • In Army Men: Sarges Heroes, Fort Plastro has the same structure of Fort Apache.
  • In Army Men: World War: Team Assault the Tan army apparently speaks a different language although this is not mentioned or shown again in any of the other games.
  • 3DO released several small action figures including a card with a bio, tips, and stats. The figures released were Sarge, Vikki, Riff, Grimm, Hoover, and Plastro. A second series was planned but the company filed for bankruptcy before they were released. The second series was to include Tannenberg, Scorch, William Blade, Thick, Shrap, and Bridgette Bleu.
  • In Army Men 3D on the multiplayer level 'Clean up this Mess' there is a secret key which opens a secret part of the level. However it has never been known how you actually use the secret key and enter the secret part of the level.
  • In Army Men Air Combat co-pilot "Woodstock" makes several Jimi Hendrix references like "Lord knows I'm a Voodoo Pilot" referring to the song Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).

End of 3DO

Army Men: RTS was the last Army Men game to be released by The 3DO Company before they filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy. The major franchises were auctioned off, and Army Men was purchased by Global Star Software (Now 2K Play).

In 2004, Global Star published Sarge's War. The PS2 and Xbox versions were completed by some members of the original 3DO Sarge's War development team. Global Star then released Army Men: Major Malfunction for the Xbox (as well as a limited region PS2 release), and planned a Nintendo DS version, which was not released. Army Men: Mobile Ops is currently the latest game in the series. Future installments are possible, but unlikely, due to the poor critical and commercial performance of Major Malfunction and Soldiers of Misfortune. [citation needed]

Criticism

While originally received as a good series, each title seemed to decline in quality. The Army Men series has been a target of criticisms from several parts of the video game media, including X-Play[1] and Seanbaby of EGM,[2] for the frequency and declining quality of each new title.

A major criticism was the series' lack of consistency. Gameplay constantly changed in a game from version to version. There is also an inconsistency in the time period in which the series takes place. Many of the games, such as the Sarge's Heroes games, employ World War II and Vietnam war era weaponry (Ex. the M16 assault rifle and the M2 flamethrower), whereas the Air Attack/Air Combat games use helicopters from the Vietnam War era.

External links

References

ca:Army Menfr:Army Menvi:Army Men
Facts about "Army Men: Air Combat"RDF feed
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