Though its footing in Vietnam was well noted, it's fair to say The A-Team (and probably its forthcoming Hollywood reset) didn't have much of a grounding in reality.
Instead, the series became one of those true '80s icons, brought up today in the sort of nostalgic conversation that touches on everything from Rod Hull and Emu to Ariston adverts.
Such flippancy doesn't mean it isn't well loved, however. On many fronts, it's fair to say GameHouse's take on The A-Team taps directly into the reasons why the show was so popular: it's accessible to all, easy to rib, and utterly disposable in the long-run.
Only problem is, by following the show's path so closely, play itself has almost been forgotten.Guns, but no glory
Substance has no place in The A-Team's gun-laden world. As you might expect, you take charge of Hannibal, the Face, Murdock, and Mr T as they shoot their way through fifteen levels of carnage.
Or, at least, that's what it might seem to anyone who happens to be watching over your shoulder. That's because while every goon that wanders on screen will be taken down in a rain of bullets you'll actually have very little to do with it.
It's a curious setup that follows the premise of mobile racers more than the expected action-shooter genre. As such, not a single shot that flies will be of your own doing – firing is taken care of automatically every time an enemy wanders into view.
Your main job is simply to move around the linear, fairly simple 2D levels. Sometimes you'll control just one character, but usually you'll find yourself taking charge of the whole band, switching between them with the left soft-key.No plan, no action
It's this fairly cursory take on strategy that The A-Team attempts to use to muster some kind of gameplay.
Each of the characters on offer comes with his own special abilities, with Face chucking grenades, Murdock firing on targets with air strikes, Hannibal taking charge of whether the team goes on the offence or defends his position (switching between either making very little difference, in truth), and Mr T throwing some punches when in the vicinity of the game's fairly stagnant bad guys.
Your job is to decide just when each ability can be put to best use.
In truth, however, playing on anything but the hardest difficulty makes such a setup rather redundant. It's fairly easy to walk your way through most of the levels, simply hiding behind the odd crate when taking fire before stepping back out to let the game clear the path for you.
As such, The A-Team – though crisply designed and keeping within the spirit of the franchise – is an utter non-event. The fact you're playing a game at all barely registers at any point, making this one plan that never really gets started.