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Can I Get an Amen, Too? A-Men 2 Review

A-Men 2 (1)

These are exciting times for gamers. Sony’s PlayStation 4 launched just over a week ago, becoming the first true “next-gen” console. On top of that, Microsoft’s Xbox One has been on store shelves for only a matter of hours. Understandably, gamers’ eyes and attention are fixated on the new hardware and the games that come with them. This has caused smaller games, especially indie titles, to fall between the cracks. Bloober Team’s A-Men 2 is a perfect example of that. If you had asked me last week what A-Men 2 was, I’d have probably guessed the sequel to the sitcom where Sherman Hemsley played a preacher.

A-Men 2 is a strategic 2-D platformer where the goal of each stage is to kill a certain number of enemy solders. Once the specified amount has been reached, a helicopter will land on a helipad located somewhere within the stage and all of your playable characters will have to get to the chopper for EVAC. Making this no simple task is that levels have a strict linear progression to them. Doing something out-of-order can leave you in a perpetually trapped situation, forcing a restart. The game has plenty of ways to kill you, as well, including enemy soldiers, heights, mines, saws, flamethrower traps and more. Fortunately, there’s a one-time-use save station in nearly every stage to take some of the edge off of replaying sections repeatedly.

A-Men 2 (4)

While the “trial-and-error” format can be a bit frustrating, it’s plain to see that a lot of care was put into the level designs. Each stage is laid out like one big puzzle. The keys to solving them are using the right analog stick to freely survey the playing field and having a firm understanding of every character’s abilities. A-Men 2‘s army consists of five playable classes; Commando, Private, Muscleman, Engineer and Spy, each with their own special techniques. For example, the Muscleman can perform feats of strength that the other characters cannot, such as lifting and dropping heavy crates or throwing another A-man high up in the air so that they can reach inaccessible areas or platforms. Using the traits of every class to their full advantage, Bloober Team carves out a compelling gameplay experience.

In addition to the skills of the troops, A-Men 2 has a variety of other elements to make use of on your quest for victory. With the well-timed flick of a switch, enemies traversing the wrong bridge can find themselves plummeting to their untimely demise. Likewise, activating a TNT plunger or the power generator for a trap can achieve the same end result with a fiery flavor. Another delightfully devious way to smackdown foes is ripped straight out of the classic cartoons from yesteryear; the ever-popular human pancake technique. Occasionally, the opportunity to flatten baddies will present itself in the form of crates or, my personal favorite, the boulder. Dropping these objects from high up onto a bridge can even cause it to collapse, raining death down on any unfortunate soul below.

A-Men 2 (2)

On the presentation side of things, the game gets pinned down in the trenches by heavy enemy fire. Character sprites, while fluid, have a movement characteristic to them that’s reminiscent of grommet-jointed cardboard Halloween skeletons. The individual pieces that make up the sprites are quite visible when a character is in motion, especially on the PlayStation 3. The quality of the artwork itself is decent, but nothing to really write home about. Perhaps, that’s the best way to describe the presentation as a whole. Nothing about it feels special.

In the end, A-Men 2 is a worthy venture for those who aren’t put off by the trial-and-error nature of the beast or the bland packaging. Its style of gameplay is both entertaining and uncommon in this day and age. The satisfaction that comes from solving a level is comparable to that of making a keen deduction in the Phoenix Wright series and keeps you coming back for more. To the right person, the $9.99 asking price should be an easy sell. Disappointingly, cross-platform features between the PS3 and Vita versions appears to be limited to Cross-Buy for the game itself.

A-Men 2 (3)

A-Men 2 was played on the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita with review code provided by the publisher.

These are exciting times for gamers. Sony's PlayStation 4 launched just over a week ago, becoming the first true "next-gen" console. On top of that, Microsoft's Xbox One has been on store shelves for only a matter of hours. Understandably, gamers' eyes and attention are fixated on the new hardware and the games that come with them. This has caused smaller games, especially indie titles, to fall between the cracks. Bloober Team's A-Men 2 is a perfect example of that. If you had asked me last week what A-Men 2 was, I'd have probably guessed the sequel to the sitcom…

Review Overview

Gameplay - 75%
Story - 65%
Aesthetics - 70%
Content - 80%
Accessibility - 65%

71%

OK

Summary : A-Men 2's focus on trial-and-error gameplay may force it into "pass" territory for some gamers, but those who soldier on will find a well-crafted, smart strategy platformer.

User Rating: 2.92 ( 4 votes)

About Eric Blue

Often referred to by his nickname "Blue", the upbeat Eric 'BlueSwim' joined Tech-Gaming as its fighting game, pro-wrestling, and Sailor Moon expert in 2011. Although his heart belongs to the classics of yesteryear, this jack-of-all-trades gamer doesn't shy away from playing the modern-day greats as well.

32 comments

  1. Haven’t heard of this one. Is it indie?

  2. Damn, Coconut, you beat me to it!

  3. Sounds a bit like Lemmings or The Lost Vikings.

    Thanks, Blue. Good review.

  4. Loks like the art was done by the guy who made the “Homies”

  5. Seems like an interesting game. Where is Blooper Team from?

  6. Can you use touchscreen for the Vita version?

  7. A half price sale MIGHT do the trick for me.

  8. Doesn’t look like a game for me. Maybe now that Amazon sells PSN games, we’ll see a really good price though.

  9. Does the combat just use environmental elements or do the A-Team ever take them on directly?

    • There isn’t much in the way of traditional offense. The Private can use grenades and rifle shots, but by-and-large, it’s indirect combat.

  10. How about a “No, Man”

    The graphics look like a bad student project.

  11. Thanks, Blue. I have not seen ANY site really talk about the game. I know other people are crapping on the game, but I like hearing about more obscure stuff.

    • Thank you, kindly! 😀

      I haven’t seen anyone else talk about it, either. Even the forum for it on GameFAQs is a ghost town.

  12. I recorded a full stage of gameplay, if you want to see the A-men in action.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0BTGMuqDkw

  13. Hey guys!
    Thanks for the review and all of your comments. We are the team behind A-Men 2 and the upcoming “Basement Crawl”… If you have any questions for us, ask away!

    • How long did it take to make A-Men 2? Will there be an A-Men 3?

      • At the minute all our attention is on getting our game “Basement Crawl” out on PS4 which is like a creepy bomberman that focuses on local and online multiplayer… With that said however, don’t rule out the possibility of an A-Men 3!
        Thanks for the comment osprey!

    • There are a lot of bugs in A-Men 2 (at least on the Vita), and most of them have been mentioned on your forum thread over at PSN Profiles where you hold your competition to win a PS4. But you never replied on that thread. So when will these bugs be fixed?

      Some of the bugs are:
      * You can’t buy gear upgrades on the Vita, unless you have a friend on the same wireless network as you with the game, while on the PS3 you can just buy them. At least open up the Vita so we only require to be PSN friends, and not IRL friends lwho needs to be living next door.
      * One of the levels on the Vita have a higher enemy counter then enemies on the map. Making it impossible to achieve S-rank. On the PS3 so is it correct.
      * Trophies doesn’t pop, since S-rank levels sometimes doesn’t get counted.
      * Not a bug, but please make future games cross-platform and cross-buy. We consumers doesn’t want to buy the same game twice to be able to play it on both the PS3 and the Vita. Thank you.

  14. Maybe I spent too much time at Hooters, but your logo..it look like the “oo” are a pair of boobies.

    Am I just under/oversexed?