I love something that can challenge me. I love being stuck and then, in an instant, the answer pops in my head and I get the feeling of satisfaction. I feel like I accomplished something. A-Men 2 the sequel to one of the Vita’s launch titles is now available and it provides a lot of challenges. So much in fact that It made me want to smash my PS Vita into a million pieces.
A-Men 2 features a cast of characters each with their own abilities that are needed to complete each level. The spy can disguise himself to walk past enemies and redirect them, the soldier can throw grenades, plant TNT, and use his rifle to shoot at certain areas of the map, the engineer can build and destroy bridges and the body builder can move crates and drop them to take out enemies. Finally, there is the elite soldier who can parachute off high areas and use a grappling hook to climb to areas others can’t reach. You may need the engineer to build a bridge so he can activate an elevator for the spy. The body builder may need to move a crate so other characters can reach certain terrain. The soldier may need to shoot a rope so it drops a rock down on a bridge destroying it so other players can get to new areas. I will say that the game is really clever in how it uses each characters abilities to pass levels. It really forces you to think about every single thing you are going to do in the level because one mistake can mean death. However, that is my biggest problem with the game. It is just way too damn hard.
I have played this game for hours and I have only been able to complete a few levels. It’s not for lack of trying I will tell you that. My main problem with the game is the insane difficulty. There are so many thing in a level that will kill you ranging from enemies, falling to far off a ledge, death traps. This game requires and insane amount of trial and error and while I do enjoy a challenge in a game, I felt nothing but frustration playing A-Men 2. For starters, while you can zoom in and out of the current level, it’s hard to get a feel of what you are supposed to do until you play around for a bit. It’s hard to get a grasp on exactly everything you are supposed to do and before you know it, you are dead. The first level in the game took me at least 50 tries to finish all for various reasons. I needed to take out a rock hanging from a rope so I did with the soldier, then I accidentally shot again. I didn’t realize that it was now impossible to finish the level. The game never tells you this so I keep playing not knowing I was wasting my time. I finally progress a little further and then die because of how your character controls. I jump up on a crate, press forward and it feels like the character is gliding on ice. Before I know it, my character is falling to his death. At this point I had to turn the game off because I was so frustrated. This was at least 20 times in a row I was failing simple tasks. I felt like the game was trolling me, mocking me for being so stupid. I didn’t make me want to continue.
The other problem is that, like a puzzle, you have only one shot at completing the level. From what I played, I didn’t discover a single check point and if you fail, you have to do the whole thing all over again. Wasted a shot with your rifle? Start over because you need to it to pass certain parts. Get all the way to end of the level and die because you fell too far? Start over. Again, I have no problem with a challenge but in this game it becomes incredibly frustrating to the point where I want to throw my Vita across the room. Some of the levels can take quite a while to complete so just like when your save data is erased for certain games, when I get far in a level and fail, I have zero motivation to want to do it again.
I will say that the game does have a plethora of unlockables that you can buy with in game cash. You earn cash after completing levels and can be used to unlock new clothing for your characters or even items to help you out in levels. Some of these items include extra ammo for the soldier, stronger detonation for TNT and a parachute you prevent you from dying from a high fall. Save your money and buy these items when you can, you’ll need them. I always love unlockables in games because they are what keep me playing the game. I love having a goal to achieve. Sadly, you can’t get the money to unlock these things until you beat levels and in my case, I didn’t want to complete the levels. There is also the major issue I have with the sound in this game. I had to play it on mute because the music and voice overs are incredibly obnoxious. Get use to the music that plays during levels, you’ll be hearing it a lot as of course it resets when you die. You also get to hear the characters make incredibly lame pop culture and internet references like “Ima chargin mah lazer”, “I believe I can fly” and “I have a strange feeling someone is watching me.”
Even with all my complaints, I can’t really call A-Men 2 a terrible game, I just think that it’s not really for me. I’m sure there are people out there that love the challenge, but for me, I want something that challenges me and wants me to succeed. I felt like this game was laughing at me for failing so much.
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