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Toy Commander

video game review video game review video game review video game review Video Game Review: Toy Commander Publisher: Sega
Category: Sports, Driving
Platform: Dreamcast
ESRB Rating: Everyone    Release Date: September 1999

Overall Rating: 4 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
4 Stars out of 4

This game is war! Suit up, grab your favorite toy, and report for duty! 128 bits of power are on display with Sega's Toy Commander for the Dreamcast. This remarkably innovative air and land warfare game recalls the imagination of the original Toy Story with fully explorable 3D rooms.

This game is tough. Expect to spend far more than 50 hours completing the game. While not as mind-numbingly frustrating as Blast Corps, the game will certainly remind you of that award-winning challenge.

One of the most entertaining aspects of Toy Commander is the variety of toys that players must utilize for defense or means of transportation. Players control planes, trucks, tanks, jeeps, and helicopters, each with its own special abilities. Planes can be armed with pencil missiles or eraser bombs. The effect is that mere plastic toys take on an intense, realistic feel thanks to devastating firepower and explosive capabilities.

The forty missions require gamers to think strategically and use the tools and toys they are given. Objectives range from killing a toilet-hugging cockroach to herding eggs into a pot of boiling water. Don't forget to turn the stove on!

A multi-player mode offers capture-the-flag, deathmatch, and cat-and-mouse game play. Capture the Flag is by far the most fun. Talk about back-and-forth game play. Up to four players can battle via split screen with a menu of 30 different vehicles.

The game is so creative and refreshing that it pains us to describe its many technical flaws. First, the game has serious camera problems. Second, the control scheme does not allow you to land a plane with a single press of a button. It's like landing the seagull from Disney's The Rescuers.

Controls make the game unnecessarily hard. Steering is far too sensitive for ground vehicles. Lastly, of the 16 pre-set control configurations, none of them offered the kind of control I wanted (L to Brake, R for Machine Gun, A for acceleration). Unfortunately, you can not customize the controls beyond the initial 16 options.

These flaws will greatly annoy you at first, but by the third or fourth level, you'll be under the game's spell so much that you'll look for any excuse to forgive its flaws. Toy Commander is one of the best games of the year.

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