"People are going to buy a DS just for this game..."

The Advance wars series is a tactics/strategy game made for Nintendo. The game is similar to Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem. When Advance Wars came out for the Gameboy Advance, I thought it looked like such a crappy game. Then one day, long after it came out, my friend lent the game to me. I have not thanked my friend enough for letting me borrow such a fantastic game. Then I saw a store selling Advance Wars 2 for 10 bucks and I immediately snatched one up. I have no regrets. With news of an Advance wars coming out on the DS, I knew that this was going to be one the reasons to own a DS. And boy was I right.

First Impressions : 9/10
I've got to say, when I first put the game in my, I was amazed. So much to do, so little time. Advance Wars 2 was so in depth, I wondered how the DS could do, and immediately I realized that everything can be done with the Stylus. Picking menus, Deploying troops and even ordering them with the Stylus and Touch Screen. It makes you really feel like a Commanding Officer. And I like that feel.

Story : 8/10
The story continues off of the end of Advance Wars 2. The Black Hole army has returned, but not to the world of Macro Land. This time, they start terrorizing the continent of Omega Land. The four nations of Orange Star, Blue Moon, Yellow Comet, and Green Earth have joined together to fight off Black Hole, calling themselves the Allied Nations. Unfortunately, most of the main characters and leaders from the last game are not present in the beginning, as they are busy tending to affairs back in Macro Land. Instead, you control new Commanding Officers, starting with Orange Star. Eventually on your travels, you'll meet up with other Commanding Officers from the four nations and with their help you will take down the Black Hole Army.

Gameplay
Single Player : 9/10
Multiplayer : 10/10

When you start playing Advance Wars DS, you will never want to stop. I've already mentioned that you can play the game with the stylus, but diehards might still choose to play with their buttons, so that's always an option. In Campaign Mode, you go through missions and using your skill to try to take down the enemy. The first few missions are training missions to help teach new players or to just refresh old players to how to play the game. When reaching the latter missions, it becomes more fully functioned and much more fun as you basically will be able to decide everything to your troops. There are many new features from the old games such as new deployment units, new characters, new enemies, and new battles. The game also introduces a feature that allows the use of 2 Commanding Officers at the same time if the opportunity arises. This opens up a wide range of strategy, just to decide which two Commanding Officers to bring into battle. Each Commanding Officer has different abilities, strengths and weaknesses, and if the two Commanding Officers are compatible, new powers can be unlocked. At the end of every skirmish, the Commanding Officers taken into battle will gain experience points similar to that of an RPG. The more experience gained, the more abilities a Commanding Officer can learn and have, so leveling them up is always advantageous.

But believe it or not, the game was not designed to play alone. The multiplayer is what makes the Advance War games shine. Up to 8 players can connect wirelessly through the DS, with a singular game cartridge if need be. You and your friends can test each others war skills this way, and it is extremely addicting.

Replay/Extras : 10/10
The multiplayer alone is enough replay for decades and decades. After the campaign mode, you can also play in the war room, play against the computer in versus, or play a nifty mini game in which you control your troops in a real time battle simulation. Also, in every mode, if you perform well in your battles, you'll earn points which you can use to unlock many battle maps for your war room, different colors for your COs, and many nifty secrets. And if that's not enough, you can even create your own battle maps in a Design Mode. There's virtually no reason to be bored with this game. At all.

Overall : 10/10
The game is superb, perhaps even perfect, design-wise. There are no regrets when buying this game. And with a price tag of 34 dollars, it's virtually a bargain. And like I said, I'm pretty sure people are going to buy a DS just for this game alone.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/25/05


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