Bring it Back – Team Buddies

Welcome to Bring it Back the place where I take a look at some of the games (and series and franchises) I want remastered, reimagined, rebooted, updated, upgraded, a long overdue sequel/prequel, or dare I say it – a remake. I’m not really fussy which one it is (well OK please not a remake), I just want it back somehow.

This week it is a little known PlayStation gem Team Buddies!

For years I have always wondered why not many people had heard of this game or why it never received a sequel or followup of some kind and in looking up what year it came out (2000 if you’re wondering) I finally learnt why, it received a limited release and was met with unpopularity (I have no idea why) although it has since gained a cult following. I suppose this was back when we had to rely on “games journalists” for information because things like blogs and YouTube hadn’t taken off yet.

Team Buddies is a tactical shooter (according to the genre listed on its wikipedia page) mixed with a real-time strategy where you had to stack crates on a little pad near your base that would give you all kinds of goodies. One crate produced a light weapon (pistol, uzi etc), four crates staked horizontally a heavy weapon (bazookas and miniguns etc), two crates vertically a buddy, and if you maxed out the pad and filled it 2x2x2 you got a vehicle (tank, robot suit, ufo etc). Added to this you had blue creates that produced “super” items, stacking a normal red crate on top of a super blue crate produced a super buddy or if you filled the pad out in its 2x2x2 formation with a blue create in there you got a super vehicle that dealt more damage and could take more punishment etc.

These crates would generally be somewhere pretty central on the map forcing you to compete with the other teams for them, especially the rare blue creates that gave you the super items and could turn the fight, this crate location would normally be where most of the mayhem ensued as you tried to control this most precious resource.

Simple enough gameplay – get crate, make weapon, kill, get more crates – with a single player story (where you unlocked new maps/weapons) and a multiplayer with multiple game modes – your usual king of the hill, kill the enemy team etc – plus lots of different maps and weapons to choose from there was a lot of variety to stop the game from feeling repetitive.

The thing I loved most however, and the main reason I would love to see the game brought back in some fashion, was its humour which was a stark contrast from its happy colourful cartoony graphics. Each buddy was a different colour and represented a different nationality, one colour was British, one was Australian, and they would taunt each other and say crude things similar to worms. You are blowing each other with all kinds of crazy weapons, giant robot suits, miniguns etc but the world of the Buddies is a happy colourful cartoon world where you wouldn’t expect such crude taunting and killing.

The game also had cut scenes as your progressed through the story similar to the cut scenes in the old Lego games before they added dialogue to show off the buddies discovering new weapons and the like, one of the cut scenes I remember is when you unlock the terminator style buddy or bikes and it was taking the piss out of the scene in ‘Terminator 2’ when Arnie goes into the bar and demands the guys clothes, boots, and motorcycle. The buddy comes out dressed in the leather gear and rides off on a bicycle instead of a motorbike and you see it peddle off into the night. It was just silly and fun.

Team Buddies was a silly, fun little game with a nice core concept, a colourful and vibrant art style, simple gameplay that allowed anyone to jump in and play, with enough variety in terms of maps, weapons, and nationality of the buddies with their differing dialogue and taunts to stop the game feeling too repetitive. It is for all these reasons that I would like to see Team Buddies brought back in some fashion, also with power of modern consoles surely it would be possible to have more than four buddies per team to allow for bigger battles or maybe increase the number of teams on a map (I think you used to be able to only have four teams at one time).

Did you ever Team Buddies? If so did you like or were you one of the people who hated it? How would you like to see it brought back?

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