(Ubisoft for PS4)
By Mike Delano
The concept of Toy Soldiers is solid gold: Actual toy soldiers duking it out on a virtual battlefield, reminiscent of those many on-the-rug or on-the-couch action figure battles that comprise roughly 90 percent of the waking life of kids under age 10. This War Chest update to the series definitely looks the part, with knowing riffs on popular 80s toys (elements of Barbie, Star Wars, Care Bears and more are thrown together to create the game’s four main armies) rendered in shiny and recognizable fashion as they blow each other to bits in classic tower defense-style skirmishes. How do you improve upon such a solid foundation? Just drop a big nostalgia bomb in the form of the Hall of Fame Edition of the game, which unleashes four additional armies. These new armies aren’t just homages to the toys of your youth, though — they’re the real deal. He-Man vanquishing foes with his sword while riding atop Battle Cat. Cobra Commander running amok blasting foes with lasers while G.I. Joes return fire with bazookas. It’s a dream come true for toy enthusiasts or anyone looking to reminisce about lazy Sundays in front of the toy box at home while Dad was mowing the lawn. It would be nice to see the overall presentation of the game — technically and artistically — receive an upgrade, especially since these new consoles are capable of so much more than the B-tier XBLA visuals on display here. But that doesn’t detract much from the fun of actually orchestrating these miniature war epics, which bring to life the widespread mayhem your younger self always envisioned.