By: Uma Smith
If you’re looking for a type of game that will punish you with its difficult platforming puzzle challenges, then no further as Blooper Team is here to fulfill your masochistic desires. In fact, this developer has ensured that if you own either the PlayStation 3 or Vita, you’ll get all the punishment you need with A-Men 2. Pretty soon, you’ll be screaming “A-MEN” yourself.
The analog sticks serve to move your characters and the camera while the face buttons allow you to utilize items during the game. In terms of functionality, the basic controls are top notch. When jumping, however, it feels as though your character is floating more than you’d like. On top of that, aiming your weapons does not feel ideally accurate and responsive.
If you are playing via the PlayStation Vita, there are options available by default to use the touch screen to select weapons as well as characters. Additionally, you can change your view by swiping across the screen or pinching in order to zoom in. While this may be convenient, the responsiveness isn’t perfect. Still, it’s certainly great to have such a control scheme in place.
A-Men 2 sports a cartoony appearance, which gives the game its charm and humor. The environments are pretty well designed for the most part with a diverse array of colors populating the screen. Nonetheless, there aren’t that much special effects that would allow the game to look flashy or attractive enough. And in terms of the music, it does what it’s supposed to do without really going above and beyond. Therefore, you won’t get too much out of the game’s presentation.
Your objective in A-Men 2 is to lead your army of skilled individuals through various obstacles as you help them avoid traps and enemies within a number of settings. Each character has their own set of abilities. For instance, there’s the spy that supposedly can disguise himself to move unnoticed when passing by enemy soldiers. You also have the engineer that can build ladders and bridges at certain key areas. Hence, you’ll need to be aware of each of your character’s capabilities in order to come up with the optimal solution to pass each level.
The environments themselves consist of platforms that are arranged above and below you. As you attempt to overcome obstacles, you’ll also need to avoid dangerous death traps that take the form of sharp objects and falling debris. And to top it off, you also have enemy soldiers to deal with. The best way to handle them is to either trap them or just plain avoid being detected altogether. While the challenges are plentiful here, A-Men 2 potentially falls into its own trap of offering quite a frustrating experience to players. Considering that one’s rate of success depends highly on trial and error, it can become repetitive if you happen to get stuck on a level.
To alleviate such a situation, there are opportunities for you to purchase improvements in your characters’ abilities with the money you acquire from each level. The higher the score you earn, the more money you’ll get. Hence, it encourages players to revisit levels to improve on their performance. And, as an added bonus, you can purchase items that change the appearances of your characters. Although these don’t serve much of a purpose besides cosmetics, they add a little fun to the table.
A-Men 2 has plenty of content and levels to keep you engaged for a while. But where the real time is spent is in finding the solutions to pass each level. It can get to the point where you’ll spend hours on a particular level. And without a checkpoint, dying in the middle of your progress can really put a damper your enjoyment. In such a case, the game can grow to become pretty repetitive. Nevertheless, if you’re the type of player that hungers for challenge while at the same time has a high level of patience, then this particular 2D platforming puzzler will suit your taste buds.
Considering you get both the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions for the price of one, A-Men 2’s charming, cartoonish visuals and highly-difficult puzzles may get you hooked. It may not be worthy of getting an “A” grade, but it still demonstrates value and enjoyment.