Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
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During the same month that Toy Story 2 was out in theaters in late 1999, No Cliché's Toy Commander was released on the Sega Dreamcast. What better time to immerse you in a 3D interactive environment full of toys and gadgets that look like playthings but are actually dangerous! You take on the role of young Andrew Guthy, a boy with a vivid imagination who ruled as the commander of the toys in his own home. That is, until an old-time toy named Huggy Bear, Andrew's very first toy, becomes neglected and decides to round up his toy pals and exact vengeance. It's up to you to use your new generation of toys to fight against these mutinous, angry playthings.
Toy Commander can be played as a one-player game or with up to four players in the multi-player cooperative or competitive mode. In one-player mode, you go through 50 missions with multiple objectives. Each room in your house challenges you to a test by one of Huggy Bear's allies. Players will make use of 35 toys as they fight their way through the house; such as a tank, jeep, truck, plane, or helicopter. By completing at least four of these tests per room, you'll get to go against the final boss toy for that room. Also, when a final boss is defeated that toy will become your ally. Each of the first seven play areas contain seven missions and area eight is the final confrontation with Huggy Bear himself!
Multiplayer consists of three distinct game types: Deathmatch, Cat and Mouse, and Capture the Flag. Deathmatch is a game where each side tries to destroy as many of the enemy's vehicles as possible. In Cat and Mouse mode, one player is the mouse and the rest are cats and will continue earning points until a cat hits the mouse. As its name suggests, in Capture the Flag you must get a hold of the flag from the enemy camp and take it back to your hangar. Don't forget to defend your own though! The player who plugs in his or her controller first will be the master (or host) of the game.
Each level has power-ups from vehicle repairs to gasoline and weapons. The basic weapon for all vehicles is a machine gun, but its ammunition is limited and therefore you must get the correct power-up to regain power. Special weapons like rockets, bombs, and mines are more effective but their ammunition is limited as well. The power-ups can also be used to increase the range of the bombs and mines. Some of the other features allow you to control your environment. A radar in the upper right-hand side of the screen keeps you informed of what is happening in a wide radius around your vehicle, while gauges onscreen help track your gas / energy level and damage status.
In the options screen, choose between 16 different controller configurations and "reversals" that can affect plane and helicopter altitude. Another option even allows you to change your screen to a 16:9 wide screen mode! And in the Juke the Box section you can choose to listen to all of the music tracks or just one during gameplay, either chronologically or randomly. Saving games is also an option that takes up about 10 blocks on the VMU. And last but not least, the game is compatible with the Jump Pack device for force feedback vibration.
It's all-out war between the neglected old toys and the shiny new ones as you try to regain the title of Toy Commander. But next time, be nice to your toys! ~ Cal Nguyen, All Game Guide