Review by EagleRebirth
"With so many new additions, it brings a whole lot more to the playing experience while keeping the same feel."
You heard it right. This game is chock full of new modes, commanding officers (COs), units, structures, and abilities for your COs that can give them an edge in battle as they gain experience. With all these new things to try out, you won't know what to do first!
AW:DS has a total of five modes for you to play: Campaign, War Room, Versus, Survival, and Combat. While the first three modes have been around since AW1, there are loads of new maps on which to play. The first new mode, Survival Mode, challenges you to complete levels within a certain amount of turns, time, or money depending on what you choose. There is also a hard version to it if you are up for more challenges. Combat mode is a real time game where you move one unit at a time and try to destroy all the enemy units before they destroy yours. This is a really fun mode to play if you want a break from the other modes. There is a hard difficulty and a brutal difficulty to Combat mode, but both are near impossible and will leave you crying for your dead units.
Previous Advance Wars games aren't exactly famous for their graphics, and this one is no different. The battle animations have stayed the same from the Advance Wars 2 ones, and are pretty cool at first but get repetitive after a while. However, the battlefield has been drastically changed and now has been slanted so that if your cursor is at the bottom of the screen, the units at the top will look smaller. This makes it seem less 2D-ish, but I don't really care for it. Most of the units sprites have been changed, some for the better and some for the worse (such as the battle copter which now has a weird bulge). The CO artwork is nicely done, with a few changes to the AW2 COs.
Music/Sound Effects: 10/10
Advance Wars games have always had awesome sound and AW:DS sticks to its counterpart's reputation. Each CO has a different theme song and there are plenty of other tunes in the game. The sounds of the units moving, firing, etc. are for the most part unchanged.
I'm not much of a fan of the touch screen so I stick to the old school D-pad usage, which works fine for me. I have tried using the stylus, and there are some downsides such as accidentally hitting the wrong command. After a while you will get used to what suits you the best.
This game now includes a medal system in which you earn medals by completing goals such as destroying fifty enemy B copters, completing campaign mode once, etc. With 300 to earn, you are sure to be occupied for a long time.
Rent or Buy?
Definitely but it if you can find it. This game is an amazing work of art and brings a whole lot more to the table this time around.
Overall Score: 10/10
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 08/29/05
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