Toy Soldiers for Xbox Live Arcade is an adrenaline rushing real time strategy game that is unique in both appearance and play. In Xbox 360’s Toy Soldiers, players defend their “toy box” from waves of attacking toy soldiers. Toy Soldiers also includes a highly addictive multiplayer mode, where one can attack opposing players’ toy boxes while trying to defend their own.
Whereas in most real time strategy games (RTS) that only allow players to control their troop movements (such as Star Craft), Toy Soldiers for Xbox Live Arcade allows players to directly take control of each unit. The ability to directly control units turns what would be an average strategy game into a must own game for any Xbox 360 owner with a hard drive.
Toy Soldiers provides something for everyone
One of the things that makes Toy Soldiers for Xbox Live Arcade such an entertaining game is that there are several different unit types to control, each providing a different experience. No matter what type of gamer you may be, Toy Soldiers has just the right unit for you to control.
Are you the type of FPS gamer who loves to camp? If so then the Sniper Tower may be right for you. Do you enjoy mowing down waves of enemy infantry? Then a gun turret will be your best friend. Want to inflict massive damage on your opponent’s defenses? A tank is just the thing. Tired of ground warfare? Then take to the sky for some intense dogfights.
The wide variety of units to control in Toy Soldiers makes for varied game play and help to extend its replayability.
Navigating each map’s battlefield is simple enough, with the left joystick controlling movement and the left analogue stick lets you rotate the camera. Pushing in the right analog stick will switch from third person to a bird’s eye view. One can then zoom in and out by pressing the right analog stick up or down.
After mastering the simple controls, advanced Toy Soldiers players will come to love the D-pad on their Xbox 360’s controller. Unlike games that do not take advantage of the D-pad, Toy Soldiers makes an effective use of it allowing players to quickly switch between each of their units without taking a break from the action.
Graphics and Sound
Toy Soldiers for Xbox Live Arcade takes advantage of the Xbox 360’s processing power, providing vastly superior graphics compared to Darwinia+ (another recent Xbox Live Arcade strategy game). Just as the popular Lego titles made characters look exactly like real toys, Toy Soldiers does an excellent job making the toy soldiers in the game look like actual toy soldiers one might play with as a child in a sandbox.
One disappointment that I encountered during my analysis of Toy Soldiers was unusually long load periods on each map. Although the wait is generally just under a minute, for a game that is installed directly onto the Xbox 360 one would expect load times to be minimal. Luckily there are no other load periods during gameplay.
In the main campaign of Toy Soldiers players take the role of leading the Allies to victory. After finishing the twelve level Allied campaign, you then switch sides to play an addition twelve level Central campaign for a total of twenty four intense maps in total.
On each level there are bonus goals, called ration tickets.” The ration tickets range from gassing fifty enemy infantry over the course of a level, to blowing up twenty five infantry at once with your Big Bertha. The inclusion of ration tickets provide both a challenge and make you experiment with each of the units rather than just playing through the whole game utilizing only your favorite one.
The difficulty settings in the main campaign are casual, normal, hard, and elite. An interesting thing to note is that on the Elite difficulty setting, units will only fire if you are directly controlling them. This makes for a totally different (and challenging!) game experience for those who think they’ve mastered Toy Soldiers.
Toy Soldiers has five different multiplayer maps, and in each there are different strategies that one must take advantage of to lead one’s forces to victory. Should you spend your money upgrading your defensive units or send in a wave of tanks? Each map tests player’s cunning with the provided units to control.
On one map controlling the sky with anti-aircraft turrets and mopping up surviving aircraft in your bi plane may be the key to victory. In your next online match it may all be about the Big Willie tank and ground warfare. With several different multiplayer maps available, Toy Soldiers will not lose your interest quickly like other Xbox Live Arcade titles such as Alien Breed Evolution: Episode 1.
Toy Soldiers for Xbox Live Arcade is a highly addictive game that can easily be played for hours on end. Gamers who are either new to real time strategy games or those who may not have liked them in the past will enjoy Toy Soldiers. For veteran RTS players, Toy Soldiers is a no brainer addition to their video game library.
The combination of easy controls, great graphics, challenging campaign, online leaderboards, and an intense multiplayer experience make Toy Soldiers deserve a solid nine out of ten. As far as Xbox Live Arcade games are concerned, Toy Soldiers is one of the best. Those of you still on the fence should try out the free demo – you won’t be disappointed. One can download the demo of Toy Soldiers for Xbox Live Arcade and purchase the game from the Xbox Live Marketplace here for 1200 Microsoft Points.
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