Be careful not to get caught in the crossfire.
- System: Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Wired Productions Ltd.
- Developer: Kukouri Mobile Entertainment
- Release Date: December 21, 2017
- Price:$12.99/ £9.99/€12.99/
- Rating: T
- Genre: Action, Twin-Stick Shooter, Shooter
- Players: Single Player
Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL Launch Trailer Switch ESRB
Who it Caters to
As the New Year draws near, many of us are looking for some new titles to help keep us occupied until that final countdown. The 2017 holiday season is jam packed full of titles from those in the AAA scene with the likes of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Super Mario Odyssey and of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. What gives the library a little more girth, however, lies in the Nindies category where a lot of fresh new titles have been developed, and one of those titles is Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL. This indie title is a twin-stick shooter and places players into a military landscape where they’ll need to fend off enemy soldiers, infiltrate bases to rescue prisoners and fight off zombies. Wait, what? Yes that’s right, fend off zombies who try to prevent you from clearing missions. Any fans of twin-stick shooters will perhaps find the gameplay to be fun and entertaining, but does it live up to its potential? Read on for more.
What to Expect
Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL isn’t the greatest looking game but as the saying goes, looks aren’t everything. While some of the character models may look a bit unnatural, it’s perhaps where its humor stems from. The game really isn’t meant to portray a simulated military atmosphere but rather take players into a world that shares some similarities, but overall provides a comical experience. There’s a lot to experience within the game as it provides you with 60 missions to complete while also adding in 8 extra zombie campaigns, 4 fast paced undead wave maps along with a zombie survival mode. There’s a plethora of things to do so the action never truly goes stale, so long as you’re up for the challenge which the game surely administers. Once you’ve completed all the difficulties, we recommend going the extra mile and testing your skills with the ultra-hardcore difficulty, which is sure to keep you up real late during those cold winter nights. Once you acquire enough cash and medals, you’ll be able to purchase upgrades for your soldiers, as well as purchasing mercenaries to help subdue enemies that stand in your way. With all that being said, let’s jump straight into the gameplay section and dive a little deeper as to what Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL is all about.
As we mentioned earlier, Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL is a twin-stick shooter meaning that you’ll be using both analog sticks to control and shoot at targets around you. While it may sound a little jarring for those not used to such mechanics, we assure you that the Switch makes things very easy if you play in Handheld mode, or use the Joy-Con grip. Whichever way you decide to play the game is entirely up to you, but in the end, getting used to the controls will not take too long. The game provides you with a tutorial before jumping into the action and so, before being thrown into the shark’s pit, you’ll have an idea of just how to maneuver yourself around and not get killed. Weapons that you acquire are tied mostly to your shoulder buttons like L, R, ZR, etc, and so when moving around on the map, it’s important to keep in mind what buttons to press. Sometimes we ran into issues where we launched a rocket launcher attack by accident and forgot to cancel our actions, so our team ended up dying prematurely, so just bare that in mind when playing.
As you wander around the map, which is all in top-down perspective, part of your objective also is to collect medals and dog tags as they help to provide more cash and rewards down the road. Most notably, the medals are really pivotal since they can be used to revive your soldiers if they happen to perish in battle. So let’s say you have a high ranking soldier that you really want to keep alive because of all the buffs they have, then ensuring you have a plentiful amount of medals in hand is important. It costs 3 medals to revive one soldier so keep that in mind as you explore more of the game. The dog-tags we mentioned earlier just help to boost your points which eventually become cash that you’ll be able to delegate among certain things like weapon upgrades, soldier walking speeds and accuracy, costume customization among others. Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL isn’t a game that places heavy emphasis on a story despite there being one. Well, it’s not so much a story as it is a mission outline and your lieutenant is basically telling you to stop these enemies from wreaking havoc on the towns and villages. The main point here is that Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL is all action and raw sauce, it’s an all out battle and requires you to be on point at all times.
The early missions are quite simple, to be quite frank, as they’re more of a way to get you familiar with what’s to come. Once you get past the 30th stage is when things start to get a little more engaging, but also, you get to choose the difficulty prior to doing the mission. So technically, you could finish all missions on the easy rank (1 or 2 bullet rank) and be on your way, but then you kind of rob yourself of the experience the game is truly trying to present. Play on the 3 or 4 bullet ranks to really get a taste of the action and test your skills to see just how many enemies you can take on at once before you die in the line of the fire. Watch out for civilians as they reduce your cash flow each time you kill them, and they also affect your kill multiplier.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
In the end, Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL comes with a lot under the hood and so the replay value is certainly there for those who find the game to be enticing. However one thing we should point out is how the AI behaves in the game not just from our own teammates but also the enemies you encounter along the way. The enemies are quite slow in the sense that, they actively respond as often as you and so, you have to engage them before they attack. This doesn’t happen every time but it’s certainly noticeable. We would’ve loved to have some sort of button that allowed us to give orders to our teammates so that we could construct a tactical approach to eliminate a group of enemies, or to take down enemy buildings. It felt limited at times due to the lack of that option but it didn’t really make the game feel boring. It’s just something that would’ve added another element of excitement. There’s also no online multiplayer mode so basically your teammates are all AI based and while you’re in control of them, they don’t always go in the direction you want them to. Sometimes you’ll run up a hill and one of your teammates gets stuck on a wall and they can’t seem to avoid it at all. So you’d have to run back down the hill to make sure they stay alongside you. Other than that Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL is a fun title that will keep you busy for a while, should you make the effort to continue. Not everyone will fancy the game and so it really comes down to personal preference more than anything. Be that as it may, for $12.99 you’re not taking too much out of your wallet and you’re essentially getting two games in one.
- A lot of fast paced action with a comical style.
- Lots of replay value with a ton of missions to choose from.
- Challenging and rewarding.
- Lack of online multiplayer takes some of that appeal away.
- AI issues plague the game at times.
- May not appeal to everyone due to its twin-stick gameplay.
Honey's Final Verdict:
The holiday season is full of titles to play and so why not give Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL a try? Who knows, it may just tickle your fancy and provide a unique experience. The Nindies library is growing and this title is another great addition to that catalog. You don’t need to be a military junkie to really enjoy the game, it’s just a fun experience to shoot zombies and customize your characters in comical costumes. If you want to see more from Honey’s Gaming then be sure to follow us on Twitch as well as Twitter, since we post a lot of updates on the latest news in the gaming world as well as stream all those games for you!
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.