By Steve Baltimore / November 17th, 2014
|Title||Tiny Troopers Joint Ops|
|Release Date||October 28th, 2014|
|Genre||Top-down Arcade Shooter|
|Platform||PS3, Vita, PS4 coming soon|
It had been a while since I’d played a top-down shooter, so when I saw Tiny Troopers Joint Ops was heading to the Vita I really wanted to check it out. The game looked interesting, and is a port of two Tiny Troopers games that were released on mobile devices in one package. Seeing as I am not a fan of touchscreen-only controls, this gave me a chance to see if I would have some fun with the game or not. The big question is – did I?
The game looks pretty good on both the Vita and PlayStation3. While the graphics will not blow you away by any means, there is nothing broken here. The little troops and environments, while not being overly detailed, aren’t bad to look at. I do love the superdeformed look of the troopers, and they fit into the mini-sized environments very well. The missions are conducted on your basic outdoor terrain with snow or mountains.
There is no in-game music, which I thought was a little odd, but the sound effects add a lot to the experience. You can hear gunfire and explosions in the distance which gives you the feel of being on a battlefield. The gunfire and other sounds are not realistic sounding at all. Instead, they sound like they are coming from tiny guns or are little bombs exploding. This makes it feel like you are truly in mini warfare, which is pretty cool.
This game plays really well. The Vita version has a combination of touchscreen and button controls, and your troopers will move as a squad. The left analog stick will move your troopers and the right will fire in whichever direction it is pressed. Alternatively you can you tap on the screen where you want your troopers to move and then tap on whichever target you want them to attack. Both control schemes work pretty well, though I did prefer to use the analog sticks myself. The only problem I found with the controls is when you need to use your grenades or rockets on the Vita version. The icons for these are located on the right side of the screen and you have to tap them and drag your finger across the screen to target them. While this works fine if your target is on the left side of the screen, it can be problematic if the target is on the right side. You use these weapons on the PS3 version by holding down the the shoulder buttons and using the analog stick to target them.
Before you set out on a mission there is some setup that needs to be done. As you complete missions you will earn CP or command points. You can spend these points for different things, including for upgrading various aspects of your troopers such as firing range, health, and accuracy. You can also purchase different outfits for your troopers, and some of these will award you bonus CP at the end of a mission as well as netting you other effects.
Each mission will give you two or three troopers to get the job done. You can recruit additional troopers for some CP. There are also some specialized troopers to unlock. These include medics and flamethrower troopers. You obtain these units by collecting the medals found in each mission and spending them to unlock each class. These troopers are very useful and can really help you out in a pinch. Missions range in scope from simply surviving for a certain amount of time to destroying certain targets. There are eight different mission types in all and they provide some pretty good variety. There are around 50 different missions to complete across both campaigns in total. This may sound like a lot but each mission can be completed within just a few minutes. There are also different difficulty settings, making it likely you will replay some of them.
After you complete a mission your troopers will begin to level up, earning HP and the ability to do more damage. It is very important to keep them alive. If one should fall in battle you can revive them at the end of the mission, but this will cost you precious medals. Most of the time you can avoid this since the game lets you purchase support items mid-mission. You can spend CP at any time during a mission to buy health packs, rockets, or even replacement troopers for those that have fallen during this mission.
Last but certainly not least I would like to talk about the zombie missions. Because no matter what kind of game it is, zombies make it better, right? Well in this case I would say yes. Zombie missions are basically a survival run. You will start off with one trooper and can obtain up to four as you slaughter the waves of zombies. There are several different types of zombies, including suicide bomber zombies, huge monster zombies and even zombie chickens. These missions are a ton of fun. You get special troopers for these missions so don’t worry if they die, the troopers you have been leveling up are not used in this mode; meaning they do not level up like the other troopers, but they are at a level that keeps this mode fair and balanced. For playing these missions you will obtain some CP that will likely be much needed for something.
I have to say, I had a lot of fun with Tiny Troopers Joint Ops. With the short missions it is a great game to pick and play for a few minutes to have some fun. Overall I played for about five hours, and for its tiny price of $7.99 you get a cross-buy between all three platforms. The game does support cross-saving as well. If you are fan of top-down arcade shooters, I don’t see how you can go wrong with this one. It does have a few controls issues and can be slightly repetitive, but there is still a ton of fun to be had here.
Game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
ArmyPlaystationShooterTiny TroopersVitaWired Productions