For some reason, we’ve got two reviews for the NES this month in GameCola, so to even things out, I decided that I would also review a game for the PlayStation 2. The thing is, I’m a little out of my element when reviewing any videogame that was released after Clinton was elected President. Although I’ve been playing PlayStation 2 for years now, my selection of games is not really that diverse. The easy thing for me to do would be to just half-ass a review about one of the few games that I own, but something tells me that the world doesn’t need another review of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. No, this one would require a little more effort on my part.
Naturally, I went over to my friend Randy’s house to see what he had to say. After copious amounts of liquor as well as other substances that are somewhat less-than-legal to possess, Randy told me that I should play Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, because according to him, it’s “fuckin’ awesome and shit.” After loading up his saved game, Randy got me started and made sure that I knew that the best thing is the Bunker Buster. “I think this is my base here, and I don’t like this place there, because it pisses me off.”
In Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, you’re given the option of choosing one out of three different characters to play as. I’m not sure if any of the characters have any specific abilities since I only played with one. I’m not sure what his name was, but he did have a handlebar mustache and a lame faux-hawk. Also, he looked like he was about 50 years old, but trying to look 25 thanks to his midlife crisis. When he talks, the voice sounds like he’s nowhere near a toilet, so he’s forced to use all of his strength to keep from blowing a hole through his pants with violent diarrhea.
The movement in the game felt sluggish, but this could have been because of my own chemical-induced state. I also had some trouble with the controls. I counted about 15 different things that you could do with a single press of a button. That is way to many options for someone that is not only used to the five-button controller of the NES, but is also very under the influence.
I started the game, and after firing missiles randomly in every direction, then accidentally blowing up some building after hitting it with a laser target for a bomber plane, I shot the ground with a missile that landed a little close, and I was killed. Not to be discouraged, I began a new game, and got right back to the killing. I played through three different missions that all involved blowing something up, I got bored with the game and turned it off.
The storyline of this title, much like that of a lot of similarly genred games, is that the US is, once again, at war with communism. The game is full of jingoistic xenophobia, along with a portrayal of war as a romanticized adventure to stop those evil Commies. In the story, North Korea has randomly decided to invade South Korea. This restarts the Korean War. As a mercenary you’re free to accept missions from various parties, and you get to choose which side you’re own in the conflict. Of course, that’s assuming the sides are America, South Korea, the Korean Mafia, and China.
The graphics look pretty good, though no matter how high I turned up the volume on the television, I was unable to hear the game over Randy playing loud metal on his guitar.
I’m sure that there are some people who loved this game, but it really didn’t do much for me. After the first 15 minutes, the game stopped being fun. Well, except until I started ignoring my missions and spent the rest of the time running over American officers with my stolen mafia truck. That was kinda fun.