Review: Toy Soldiers: Cold War (XBLA)

Review: Toy Soldiers: Cold War (XBLA)

A day may come when 2011’s XBLA Summer of Arcade ends, when we find that the event is over and the anticipation begins to fade, but it is not this day. A day of woes and lonely MSP, when the year-long wait begins anew! But it is not this day! …It’s Wednesday, and the last charge of 2011’s XBLA Summer of Arcade event is being lead by Signal Studios’ sequel to Toy Soldiers, the best selling XBLA game of 2010. Toy Soldiers: Cold War brings your toys to life against COMMIES (not like the Smurfs who practice a true communism, but more like the Russians who practice a corrupt communism), and it keeps you entertained from start to finish.

Now, Toy Soldiers: Cold War isn’t perfect. For one thing, the first major boss is disproportionately difficult compared to later bosses. While most of the later bosses consist of enemy waves, the first major boss consists of a giant tank-plane-thing that has more transformations and health bars than a freaking Super Saiyan (not over 9,000, but still a fairly ridiculous number). For another, the game isn’t entirely focused on the Commando barrage. I’ll get into that in a moment. All that being said, Toy Soldiers: Cold War has an incredible amount of content. From the single player campaign missions to the mini games and from the multiplayer content to the competitive leaderboards, you’re getting quite a robust game for the 1200MSP price tag.

Toy Soldiers: Cold War is primarily a turret defense game, featuring waves of various enemy types attempting to infiltrate your toy box. Using various turret types, you have to strategically place your turrets in the most effective locations to beat down the communist hordes intent on defeating your capitalist pig overlords…er…I mean, intent on defeating your oligarchical society…er…I mean, intent on defeating THE GREATEST COUNTRY EVER, AMIRITE?! Now, I said it was primarily a turret defense game. It is also a third person shooter at the same time. When in your turret defense god-mode perspective, you can select any of your active turrets, or any vehicles you have available on the stage, and take direct third person control. The drawback, obviously, is that you are temporarily taken out of your god-mode perspective, and you may lose track of what’s going on elsewhere on your map.

The benefits, however, are as various and wonderful as the ways in which my wife’s beautiful blue eyes sparkle and catch the light (hi, honey!). Taking direct control of a turret results in better turret performance, in my experience. On top of that, as you successfully use a turret, you build up a special meter that eventually adds a bonus to the abilities of said turret. If you max that meter out, you earn a Barrage. Barrages are where the game gets to be the MOST FUN EVER, depending on the Barrage you earn. Barrages are one-time-use special bonuses that inflict major damage on the advancing wave. Mortar strikes and artillery are automatic, while air strikes and the Commando are controlled. Now, I mentioned that one flaw of the game is the lack of more Commando. Commando is the 80’s action stereotype (camo pants, huge muscles, red bandana, mullet, weapons, and cheesy catch phrases) as a playable character. You run around launching rockets and firing your machine gun into anything that so much as has the temerity to EXIST on your map.

The game needs MOAR COMMANDO.

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Bottom line: if you ever sat around in your room going “PEW PEW PEW, BLAAAARGH” with your toys, Toy Soldiers: Cold War will be a very happy nostalgia trip. It definitely finishes this year’s very strong Summer of Arcade on a high point.


Lots of content
Lots of fun
Disproportionate difficulty at beginning
90 out of 100
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