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He-Man, G.I. Joe settle childhood scores in Toy Soldiers: War Chest

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The He-Man vs. G.I. Joe battles that my best friend Richard and I staged were always unfairly one-sided, because the Masters of the Universe figures are so much larger. Fisto would uppercut a H.I.S.S. tank and Battle Damage Skeletor would rodeo-ride a Rattler into the ground like he was in Dr. Strangelove and that was about the end of it.

Well, that fight gets a lot fairer with Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition, which introduces the Joes and He-Man — at equal size — for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. It's an upgraded version of Toy Soldiers: War Chest, which was announced last year and arrives this summer.

I'm not going to BS you: Skip to 1:23 of this video if you want to see the Masters of the Universe (which appear to be He-Man, Battle Cat, a bunch of redshirt Eternia soldiers and, uh, Orko — but no Masters of Evil). G.I. Joe is just a teaser at the end. Duke strides forth at 2:04, but you can see the bolts for his swivel-arm battle grip and man, that brings back memories.

Ubisoft, the game's publisher, says two other licensed properties, as yet unannounced, also will get armies in the $29.99 Hall of Fame edition.

The $14.99, digital-only standard edition of War Chest features the four armies preceding He-Man and G.I. Joe's cameos in this video: Ghost Company, Black Dragon, German Empire and Star Power. Star Power's leader, "Starbright" also appears to be an homage to the 1980s UHF advertoon genre and Rainbow Brite, but all of these are original.

War Chest's Hall of Fame Edition will be offered both digitally and as a retail disc. For those who buy the standard edition and want to add G.I. Joe, the Masters of the Universe, or the other two unannounced armies later, they are $4.99 each, or $14.99 all together.

Toy Soldiers: War Chest grew out of Toy Soldiers and Toy Soldiers: Cold War, the widely acclaimed action-strategy games that Signal Studios published on Xbox Live Arcade in 2010 and 2011. Signal then partnered with Ubisoft to deliver War Chest.

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