Review by timetaffy

"Even if you hated Advance Wars 1 or 2, you may enjoy Advance Wars: Dual Strike"

I bought Advance Wars 2 thinking it would be a fun challenge, but the game was a major disappointment for me.

After looking at the reviews for Advance Wars: Dual Strike, I decided to give it a try.
This game has been in my DS ever since I got it. It's one of the few rare gems where you can lose track of the time playing it. Normally portable games are meant for the road, something quick and enjoyable for long car trips. AW:DS is so amazing that you will probably spend a lot of time playing at home.

There are a few minor setbacks of the game, which caused me to rate it 8 out of 10. The worst aspect of AW:DS is the sound. The fact that the sound is the worst thing about this game should be a good indicator of how amazing this game really is. One will first notice the problems with the sound when they start up the game and go to the menu screen. The music is full of static, and does not sound good at all. There are a few other examples of poor sound quality. 90% of the sound in the game is amazing, but the small 10% that isn't is big enough to notice.

Another minor inconvenience is the difficulty. Expect to spend a lot of time practicing or you will find yourself losing, again, and again. Missions in the campaign can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. If you make a mistake later in the mission, you may find that you have to restart the mission, losing all you've worked for. This game can be quite frustrating at times. Casual players may find that the game is too hard and give up.

The graphics have improved little over the previous games, but the game is still fluent and comes together nicely.

One of the biggest perks of AW:DS is the large amount of things to do in the game. The best example of this is Combat mode. Combat mode is a real time action game similar to the classic game "Cannon Fodder." You control one unit at a time and move around shooting at your enemies. There is a set of single player missions for this game that offer a challenge to any shooter fan. The multiplayer mode of Combat mode is the best part of this new addition to the series. Up to 8 players can play on only one DS cartridge, as long as everyone has their own DS. There are 4 teams, and players can pick whichever team they want (4 v 4, 2 v 2 v 2 v 2, and so on). Teams work together to capture the enemy base or destroy all of the enemies units. The game is simple, easy to learn, and yet can be played for hours.

Many people wonder if AW:DS is a true sequel to the game or just a slight upgrade. This game definitely feels like an improved sequel. Even if you found yourself disappointed with AW1 or AW2, you may end up enjoying this game like I did.

So, to recap:
Sound 7/10 (Amazing in most parts of the game, but the small part that isn't good is noticed easily)
Gameplay 10/10 (With lots of variety of gameplay, you are sure to find something about this game that you enjoy)
Difficulty 8/10 (A nice challenge to RTS fans, but may be a bit difficult for the casual gamer)
Time Requirement: 7/10 (Requires a decent amount of time to master, and some of the later missions will take a while. You can save in the middle of the mission, however.)
Replay Value: 10/10 (Lots of things to unlock, and higher difficulties will keep you playing for a while)
Multiplayer: 10/10 (Single card Combat mode and multi cart play make AW:DS one of the best multiplayer games for the DS)

Final Score: 8/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/02/05

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