Review by GETdownNOWOK
"This game is awesome, no two ways about it."
Advance Wars: Dual Strike is one of the most appealing games for the DS at this time, and probably for quite a while. This game is the third in the Advance Wars series. It started with a lot of credibility and just keeps on getting better.
Now, you may ask what is so special about this game. Well, to answer your question, just about everything. This may sound a little too nice, but this game is almost perfect. It is a war-based game with a bit of a futuristic element. The game factors in everything, whether it be the terrain you are on, the weather condition, or even the type of wheels you have on your vehicle, it plays a role in the game. This probably sounds confusing to you now, but after the first few missions (which are tutorials) it will make perfect sense to you.
GRAPHICS: The graphics in this game are 2-Dimensional, and some people will complain about that. But if they will let that ruin a great game for them, then let them do that. This game wouldn't be Advance Wars with 3-D graphics. I can just imagine myself trying to see this game in 3-d, and my eyes burn at the thought of it. The backgrounds are 3-D, however, so it gives a nice mix. The opening theme is amazing. I often find myself watching it over and over again.
ANIMATION: The animation in this game is, to say the least, very strange. The units stand still when they are not moving, but when you highlight them they begin to run in place. They then face a fixed direction and move across the ground, still in the running animation. When a battle starts, the units seem to slide together. When a foot soldier is killed, they fly backward and disappear off the screen, and there doesn't seem to be anybody inside the vehicles, as they don't leave behind anybody when they explode. Also, the spotters for the vehicles NEVER DIE. Actually, they do die, but they never are attacked during the battle animation. Pretty weird, maybe a little too weird for this type of game.
SOUND/MUSIC: The sound in this game is of excellent quality. Again, I will bring up the opening theme. This game sounds even greater with headphones. When a unit moves, they make different noise depending on how they move (treads, tires, foot, etc.) and what they are moving on (mountains, plains, roads, etc.). During a battle, you can tell the difference between the weapons. The sound is probably the second best part of the game.
But what is the best part?
GAMEPLAY: This game has some of the most innovative gameplay you will probably ever see. The object of the game is to either A: Capture the enemy HQ or B: Rout the enemy (destroy all of their units). There are three types of units, Land, Naval, and Aircraft. They are then broken down even further from there. Each unit costs money to deploy. You get money by capturing cities. Each city provides 1000 gold per turn, which are known as days. All units have 10 HP, but not all units attack. Some are used to transport units (T-Copter, Lander, APC), some to supply units with fuel and ammo (APC), and some to heal units (Black Boats). There are different types of terrain, and each one increases or decreases the movement of certain units. The two most important units, although the weakest, are Infantries and Mechs. The reason they are so important is two things. A: They can cross mountains and cross rivers without bridges and B: They can capture buildings, the latter being one of the most important parts of the game. There are a few types of buildings, and I'll explain some of them here. Please note that all buildings give you a 1000 gold bonus each turn. Cities have no effect but the 1000 gold bonus each turn. Bases build land units. Communications Towers slightly increase firepower. If you lose your HQ, you lose automatically. There are also things called CO Powers. Each CO, or Commanding Officer has special traits, and 2 CO Powers. After giving and taking so much damage, you can use one. They do special things from shooting missiles to increasing funds. There is so much more to explain, but I will leave you to figure that out.
10/10 (Can I give it higher than 10? Cause it deserves more than that. Please, can I?)
REPLAY VALUE: The replay value for this game is pretty much endless. It has a LOT of War Room maps, 300 medals to collect, and two levels of campaign mode. Each time you win a match, the CO you used will gain up to 300 experience points, and after 1000 are earned, the CO will level up and gain new skills. Plus, you can play multiplayer mode on one DS or on two separate handhelds. This game will last even the best players at least a year.
DIFFICULTY: The difficulty in Advance Wars has always been quite challenging. It has a Campaign Mode and a War Room Mode. The Campaign mode is so-so in difficulty, but the War Room is HARD. The idea of the War Room is that you are pit up against the AI, but they have a distinct advantage over you. Luckily, you get lots of Experience Points for it. There is also a Survival Mode. In this mode, you are forced to use your resources to their fullest, because you must choose to win eleven matches under one of 3 limitations: limited gold, which forces you to make wise decisions about spending; limited time, which forces you to think quickly; limited turns, which forces you to think strategically. Winning eleven matches in a row is pretty difficult, but since each individual match is pretty easy, only half of the normal experience is earned.
OVERALL: This is just a plain great game. It has an excellent formula and great replay. This game goes down in one of my Top 10 favorite games of all time.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/13/06
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