Game Review: The Mean Greens

Release Date: December 2015

Rating: RP (Rating Pending)

Many old school gamers will recall the Army Men series during the Fifth-Generation era and how it depicted the age old battle of Green vs. Tan. Those who wish to once again experience that war will take a liking to The Mean Greens for the PC.

The Mean Green is a third-person multiplayer shooter that has players fight as either the Green Army or the Tan Army in maps based on household locations. Individuals who either enjoyed the classic Army Men games or are bored with shooters that focus on gritty realism will enjoy this unique title.

The game offers players 10 maps to battle in along with a selection of 10 different gameplay modes. The gameplay modes are the basic ones found in any multiplayer shooter which include Death Match and Capture the Flag.

While the gameplay modes may not bring any wow factor, it’s the layout and design of the maps that make this game memorable outside the nostalgia elements. The Mean Greens features levels that are either inspired by moments from Sarge’s Heroes or are original designs that fit well into toy world setting. Overall; Virtual Basement did an excellent job of using the Unreal 4 engine to create these detailed maps that player will appreciate.

The Mean Greens’ greatest achievement overall is it’s so well made, that an old school gamer will forget how awful most of the Army Men games were. Come on let’s be honest; with the exception of Sarge’s Heroes and Air Assault, most of the Army Men games were either mediocre or just awful.

Some may feel the games only straight comes from its nostalgia factor, this is a wrong assumption to make, as any gamer will enjoy The Mean Greens regardless if they played Army Men. However there are a few issues that are holding it back and might make a gamer second guess themselves.

The biggest issue that plagues The Mean Green is the lack of a single-player campaign, which creates two major problems; the first is that the Army Men games were mostly known for their single-player campaign. The second is that there are already too many multiplayer games available on Steam while the most popular ones are free to download. Plus, The Mean Green mostly appeals to a niche audience- there have been a few times where finding an active server has been difficult due to be a limited amount of players.

Despite those minor setbacks, The Mean Green is a multiplayer shooter that will appeal to both old school gamers who want a nostalgic battle or a new generation of gamers who want to play something different on the PC.

Rating: 7/10

Written for The Indiependent
1/9/2016
Original Article: Game Review: The Mean Greens

5 Games That Failed But Earned A Second Chance

The path to success is always met with a series of failures, and the gaming world is no exception. Not every game series started with a major hit, as several iconic titles had a rocky start.

The following are examples of five major games that failed at first but the creators worked to learn from their mistakes.

5. Driver 

The series started as an icon during the days of the PlayStation but became a joke when Driv3r failed to redefine the genre. A follow-up, Driver: Parallel Lines, was also met with modest reviews by critics and failed to reignite gamers’ interest. By the time gaming entered the Seventh Generation, the series was almost forgotten.

After Ubisoft acquired the rights to the series, they aimed to redeem it for the fans. Driver: San Francisco abandoned the GTA-style elements and returned the series to its roots while introducing new gameplay content. This paid off, as Driver: San Francisco was highly praised by critics and became a hit among gamers.

4. Just Cause

This was one of those games that had a good concept but terrible execution. Just Cause has Rico Rodriguez working to overthrow a South American dictator by waging a guerrilla war alongside rebel factions.

However, its clunky function along with poor control setup earned it mediocre reviews from critics and gamers. It also failed to standout from games like Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

All the game needed was a little polishing, and it paid off with an iconic sequel. Just Cause 2 kept the premise of the original, but had smoother controls and gave players a more reliable gaming experience.

Gamers fell in love with Just Cause 2 so much that a group of dedicated fans created a multiplayer function that received the blessing of the game’s developers. Meanwhile, Just Cause 3 is in the works and is set to be released sometime in 2015.

3. Hitman

Mr. 47’s introduction to the gaming community didn’t go as Eidos and IO Interactive planned. Despite its unique premise, Hitman: Codename 47 suffered from poor controls and clunky gameplay. Critics were not impressed, but it did develop a small cult following.

One thing gamers had to admire about Eidos was their ability to learn from their mistakes and apply that knowledge to sequels. Hitman 2: Silent Assassins fixed the clunky gameplay and presented a polished second chance for Mr. 47.

The sequel was highly praised by critics and fans. Its success was followed by Hitman: Contracts, a retelling of the first game by recreating several of the original missions.

2. Killzone

The series has become staple for PlayStation gamers, but many forget the game failed to be a classic when it was first released. The original game for the PS2, a fast-paced action shooter set in a futuristic conflict zone, was marketed as Sony’s grittier rival to the Halo series.

However, the game was met with mediocre reviews and was mocked by gamers for failing to live up to the hype. This could have been the end of the Second Extrasolar War.

The series earned a little redemption thanks to Killzone: Liberation for the PSP. But more needed to be done save the series. Lessons were learned in time for the Seventh Generation consoles, and the result was Killzone 2.

The sequel was a hit among gamers and was praised by critics as one of the best shooters for the PS3. Its follow-up, Killzone 3 improved an already successful setup and avoided being branded as a Call of Duty knockoff.

1. Grand Theft Auto

A game series doesn’t become a cultural landmark without going through some trial and error. The series started as an innocent racing game titled Race’n’Chase, before a glitch convinced DMA to create what is known as Grand Theft Auto.

The game was a success on the PC, but failed to gain the attention of console gamers and received mediocre ratings. Grand Theft Auto 2 did no better. This would have been the end of the series unless real changes were made.

Grand Theft Auto III took the concept of its predecessors and incorporated it into a 3D environment. The result transformed the video game world, moving it from being a niche culture toward becoming part of popular culture.

Its success was followed with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City  along with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which broke its predecessors’ records and raised the bar for the gaming industry. At the same time, the concept of open world-gaming became of the most popular genres.

The legacy of the series has not ended, as the 2013 release of Grand Theft Auto V sold over $1 billion in three days, making it the fastest-selling title of all time. The PS4 and Xbox One ports were released in late 2014, but gamers are still anticipating the PC version.

The moral of the story is that everyone will fail, but a successful person or company can and will learn from their mistakes.

Written for GameSkinny
1/4/2015
Original Article: 5 Games That Failed But Earned A Second Chance