Review by TeddyBear
"A reason to buy the DS."
The first two Advance Wars games for the GBA excellent and had amazing replay value and gameplay. Advance Wars DS will not let down the Advance Wars veterans and will be great for people just getting the game too. This turn-based strategy game is a good reason why you should buy the DS.
The best part in Advance Wars DS. With this game comes new characters, maps, better AI, and more. The standard modes from past Advance Wars are here in this game, including Campaign, War Room, and Versus. Campaign is where you play through the story, while War Room is where you can play through maps to fight specific COs, or commanding officers. It is very difficult to win in some War Room maps where you are fighting three COs by yourself.Two great new modes have been added to the game, which are Combat and Survival. Combat mode is a real-time battle where you battle with various units with a few COs. Combat is a bit disappointing, because it gets boring once you play it too much and is pretty much boring when you play it on multiplayer too. In Survival mode, you must beat a number of maps under certain requirements, such as a time limit, or a limited amount of money to spend, or a number of days you can only use.
The AI of Advance Wars DS has improved a lot since the first game. Now, the AI, in Fog of War, acts more like a human player would, where it did not seem like they could see the whole map. When your playing in Versus mode, you can set what type of AI you want to fight against. You can set for the AI to go offensive, defensive, on assault, or set it to a general type of AI.
Campaign has improved a lot. Once you beat the first few missions, you will be introduced to Tag Battles. You choose two COs in which you can switch during your turn to do battle. This makes for good strategies where you can bye a lot of stuff with Colin for cheap prices, and then switch to Kanbei the next turn with extra power. Plus there is a new type of CO power other than the Super CO Power and CO Power. It's a Tag Power, and is very brutal when unleashed on the opposing COs. Plus, soon in Campaign you will also be introduced to battling on the upper screen, called DS battles.
There is not much of a challenge in this game on Normal Campaign. If you did not find Normal Campaign much of a challenge, you can now play on Hard Campaign. This is by far the easiest of the other Advance Wars games. I have really nothing to complain about the gameplay of this game.
Now that the DS is wireless, multiplayer is now even better than the last two games. You can already play Advance Wars DS multiplayer by only using 1 cartridge of this game and 1 DS, but now you can play wireless on Combat mode with 1 cartridge of this game and 2 DS systems. With multiplayer you can trade maps and battle your friends. If you have a lot of friends that like this game, there will be massive replayability.
The graphics are basically the same as they were in the past Advance Wars games. You can see waves in the water and you can see gulls flying overhead. In this game, there are different types of environments to fit with the weather or what is happening in the story. For example, a map with a desert type of environment will have sandstorms in it. Or during the story there will be a few maps that look like wasteland. The details on the maps have improved and the units great. Under every army, they have the same units, but all of them have a unique look to them. When units engage in battle, it zooms up to where the units are attacking. The graphics there look excellent. Another thing that is different from the last two games is that the field is tilted.
The sound effects in this game are great. All the guns firing, missiles launching, and the explosions made when units are destroyed are amazing. When you zoom into a battle with infantry, watch them fire at each other and listen for the ricocheting bullets. The most amazing part of the sound is the music. Every single CO has a unique theme and when you battle them you have a feeling of dread. Once you unlock the Sound Room, you can listen to music there all you want. There is a wide variety of music so there you should like a few of the CO's music. I love the feeling of success I get when I hear the victory music at the end of a long, fought out battle with my friend. When the volume is very low, just loud enough so you can barely hear the music, the music is sort of messed up and ruined, so put the volume high enough so it will not do that.
Basically, the controls are the same as in the last two Advance Wars games. A few functions were added for buttons X and Y. Anybody new to this game will have the controls down quick and ready to play in very little time. All the standard buttons from past Advance Wars games still have the same functions.
My only gripe with the controls is that using the touch screen creates a problem. Since a lot of movement and using the controls to move around is involved, the controls create a few problems in-game. When first picking up this game, I've tried using the touchscreen, but I always made a few mistakes. Movement is hard because you might make a mistake about where you want to go and accidentally confirm the action. You might also fire on a unit you did not want to fire on when using the stylus on the touchscreen. Luckily you are not forced to use the touchscreen to control your units. You will most likely find yourself using the buttons over the touchscreen.
The story let me some. Although there are some changes in the story, it's basically Black Hole attacking, and the armies Orange Star, Blue Moon, Yellow Comet, and Green Earth must join forces to fight against them. A character I liked story-wise in the game was Hawke. His purpose is really shown in Campaign and I really liked the lines chosen for him. The missions in Campaign Mode, the story, are all different. In some, you have to destroy certain weapons, while in others you just need victory, while other missions are timed.
This game will last you months, days, and even years. There is a ton of stuff to do in multiplayer, so much to unlock, the challenge of beating War Room maps, designing maps, and a lot more. Even if you beat Advance Wars DS on Hard Campaign, there is so much stuff you can do on multiplayer. If you don't have a lot of friends, or some don't like turn-based strategy games, you can try Combat Mode with them. This is a must-have and will last you some time. In this game, there are 300 medals. You get medals for doing some special things, like destroying a number of units. If you get all 300, you will get a prize. That will also last you a long time.
BUY OR RENT?
This is definitely a buy. Even if you do not like turn-based strategy games, try renting this game out. This is enough of a reason to buy a DS for the game. It was the first game I ever got. You must have this game.
Advance Wars DS is probably the best in the Advance Wars series, or it could be Advance Wars 1. This game is probably better than any other game on the DS. It's cheap enough for only 30 dollars at some stores and is worth more than it costs. BUY IT.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 12/26/05
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