"Feel the fear, face the action and conquer evil. Be Action Man,
the greatest hero of them all."
I’ll admit off the top, I’m not up to the latest in action figures. When
I was younger, G.I. Joe was the order of the day. Action Man
seems to be along the same lines as G.I. Joe though, a hero out to
stop the evil forces from taking over the world. Less guns, less
violence, same old plastic quality. Now, Hasbro Interactive is
taking advantage of Action Man’s popularity, by releasing a video
game based on the action hero. Kind of ironic though, that a video
game based on Action Man, offers absolutely no action
Action Man: Raid on Island X is best described as an action /
adventure title. It features characters based on the action figures,
including Action Man himself and Dr. X. The plot is a simple and
familiar one at that, to raid Dr. X’s island and put an end to his
world dominating ways. Your adventures will take place in a
number of locales, including urban cities, tropical forests, the
frozen arctic, and much more. You begin the game in your base.
Here, you get to decide what your character will look like. You can
choose from a number of different faces, shirts, pants, etc., in order
to create your own hero. After you’ve created your Action Man,
you’ll begin a series of training missions that will expose you to
various skills you’ll need to use later in the game. You’ll enter a
firing range, go bungie jumping, go scuba diving, take
photographs, and much more. After you complete this first series of
missions, other areas will open up and you’ll begin to adventure
towards the island of Dr. X.
The biggest problem with Action Man is the lack of, well, ACTION!
The missions are far too simplistic and involve absolutely no skill
whatsoever. Performing mundane tasks is the order of the day in
Action Man and I found myself completing every mission without a
single scar or wound. Do you even get hurt in this game? Can you
die? When I first played this game, I managed to complete every
level and won the game in just a few hours. It’s understood that
Action Man is geared more to younger gamers, but I can’t see how
even fans of Action Man will remain interested in this game for
more than 15 minutes. The obstacles and enemies found in the
game are unimaginative, the levels repetitive, and the replay
value is zilch. I can’t think of a single element of gameplay that
was original or interesting in any respect.
The graphics in Action Man are colorful, if anything. Action Man
does not feature any 3D technology, so the level of detail in the
environments, enemies and objects is minimal. The only upside to
the graphics is the use of color. Action Man features an assortment
of bright colors that I suppose is intended to keep people
entranced enough that they’ll forget the gameplay is so bad.
Action Man also features a series of movies throughout the game,
but it really doesn’t do enough to make up for other areas. The
audio is also lacking in many respects. Thumbs up to the music,
which seems like it came from a Jerry Bruckheimer movie or some
sort. However, there only seems to be one track and it became
repetitive, real fast. The sound effects in the game are scrappy at
best. They seem entirely generic and have no atmosphere to them
at all. There are spots of speech in the game, but overall the
presentation in terms of graphics and sound is well below par.
The controls in Action Man are as simplistic as the gameplay. You
can use either your mouse or your keyboard to maneuver your
hero around and there’s usually only one button/key used beyond
that for each level. That’s all there is too it, and for those of you
excitingly asking yourselves, ‘Is there multiplayer?’, I’m sorry to
say that there isn’t. I know, you’re crushed. I am too.
I’m really not going to ramble on much longer about Action Man.
Is this guy really an action hero? I’ve watched Golf matches that
had more action in them. Bingo is more exciting than this.
Watching Ally McBeal is more fun than this. Action Man, meet
garbage can. Garbage can, meet Action Man. C’est tout!