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Is this better than Field Commander: yes and no. NO:It does not look as nice. It does not playing as slick or speedy. YES: It does offer more variety, more units and more strategy (and thankfully hexes not squares).
Is this game better than Advanced Wars: yes and no. YES: No gay anime! Yeah! More realistic units. More detailed maps and scenery. Hexes not squares. No stupid commander "powers". It has more screen to use for the map since it is not limited by the DS micro screens. NO: Does not have nearly as many maps (yet), does not have as well told a story, does not have nearly as good of a sandbox mode with options for setting up custom maps.
In general, it is a more strategic, realistic look and feel, more real modern units. It is trying to be a sim much more than Advanced Wars or Field Commander. That is not really better or worse, it just depends on which you prefer...
As for the satelite load screen: Yes, you can always push the x button and skip it. It wastes about 1/2 second of your time. After several missions your console is upgraded and you no longer even have the option to see the satelite transition, it is simply removed from the game. So if you don't like it, it does not last long.
As for map sizes, they are deceiving compared to the 2 previously mentioned games. The hexes are smaller in Endwar than the squares in the other 2 games, so more of them fit on the screen. So, though they appear to be smaller maps that don' t require much scrolling, actually they are still larger maps with smaller spaces.
No way man. My brother picked this up and I've been playing it the last few days. I also have Field Commander and I've gotta say, Field Commander is better in every way. Not just the obvious things like graphics and sound but the gameplay seems more fluid and enjoyable.
People seem to say Endwar is more strategic but I don't know, theres something about the gameplay that just seems so slow paced and lame.
Maybe it's just me but theres certainly more features and game time to be had in FC. For sure has my vote..