"The wise men say 'there is no end to the truth'. In this war-torn place, there are two things without end- the universe and greed. Glittering stars give the impression of eternal serenity, but the reality is that they hide a lie. Among them blazes an endless war over limited resources, skirmishes that grow as the universe expands." Those words begin what is arguably the incredibly under-rated Mech Platoon, arguably the best RTS on the GBA and one of the best strategy games I've ever played. The game then shows a short, 10-15 second 3D video of two high-tech robots in a war-torn jungle hellhole dualing it out to some cool rock music. It then goes to the title screen, where the real value unfolds. This game is, quite simply, solid. It's one of the most complete packages you can get. A great single-player with a somehow involving plot that connects what would otherwise be a bunch of random battles; a Versus mode where you can play against a computer, one to three other humans, or any combination of a computer and another human (though you do, of course, need seperate GBA's, a link cable, and seperate copies of the game, which is why I sadly haven't gotten to try the multiplayer out); a series of tutorials to get you experienced with the game. The single-player alone is so fun and surprisingly deep (even though it only lasts about 9-12 hours on average) that it's worth buying the game for that alone, but the random battles, multiplayer, and unit creation will further expand that value. Similar to games like Metroid Prime, the game is great because it's one complete package, in which everything adds up to make something that's worth every cent of its price. The value, as stated above, is what makes me love the game so much, but Mech Platoon would be nothing without the actual gameplay. You control everything by simply moving around the cursor with the D-pad, selecting a singular unit or dragging around a box to select a group of units by pressing the A button and deselecting everything by hitting the B button. In addition to this, you can pause the game with Start as usual and bring up a mini-map with Select. The mini-map shows you where resources is, where units are, what team each type of unit is on, and what type of terrain the map is on (forest, desert, etc.). However, what makes it work is that when you select one or more units, a box appears at the bottom of the screen that lets you see the hit points those units have and the different commands you can issue. The commands range from move to attack to mine for units and produce unit to upgrade an aspect of your army to self-destruct for buildings. However, you have a resource counter at the top left of the screen, which tells you how much of each of three resource types you have. Each unit and upgrade requires a certain amount of all three resources, so you have to mine with your worker units to be able to increase your army's size and strength. The gameplay objectives range from defeat all the enemies to protect a unit/resource to do something chaotic in a time limit. I would have said that the gameplay is flawless, but the AI pathfinding can be stupid sometimes (having them just run around in circles, get stuck behind something, or stand completely still and spin around), and some missions can be very frustrating. Still, the gameplay is great, and if you like strategy games at all, you will love the gameplay in Mech Platoon. It's basically Starcraft Advance, but that's a good thing. The graphics in the game are amazing. The sheer amount of detail, even for an old GBA game, is astounding, from the water moving around to the unit animations to the sleek HUD to the tiny little props scattered throughout the worlds. You can tell that the game borrows a lot of its graphical style from Starcraft, but Starcraft looks great even today, so that's actually a good thing. The game's sound, however, is simply "good". The music has some annoying parts, but most of the sound-track is techno/rock-and-roll stuff that makes the game feel like it's in more of an action-based sci-fi universe instead of the kind of barren wasteland sci-fi universe that some games use. The sound effects are nice, but there are way too few of them. The sound could have some better music and more sound effects, but overall the game's audio is passable and is actually pretty good at times. Overall, Mech Platoon is a great game. If you like strategy games at all, you will doubtlessly get countless hours of fun from the game. If you want a deep, fun game to play on the go or while you sit around away from your bigger gaming systems, you would be a fool to not buy Mech Platoon. Despite some frustrating levels and the passable audio, the quality of the gameplay and even moreso the sheer amount of value you will get from this game makes it worth a purchase. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
Mech Platoon is probably one of the most underrated games of all time, and extremely impressive for a release game. Its also one of the few RTS on the GBA, sadly. It's a strategy game, similar in both idea and execution ... Read Full Review
There are very few RTS games that make it to a handheld, let alone ones that actually work out well. Mech Platoon is a prime example when showing that RTS games can be on other non-pc platforms. Well lets face it, the... Read Full Review