Review by PerfectTrumpet5

Reviewed: 09/06/05

The 1st Truly Amazing Game on the DS

Okay so after having the DS for about 7 months, I've been waiting for the game that put it over the top in my mind. Kirby: Canvas Curse and Meteos were both great, but not able to hold my interest forever. Then out of nowhere, the newest edition in the Advance Wars series came to end the wait.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike reinvents a game people have been playing for years. The new rules, CO's, units, inventions, and modes keep old fans interested and bring new ones into the series. Although overshadowed by the release of Nintendogs, AW:DS is a going to look better in the long run.

After nearly 50 hours of play, I haven't unlocked or finished half of the game. War Room has been changed to keep track of every way you play the game. All 4 types of War Room play present a different way to play the map. The new maps, are not the most amazing ideas, but they do make you look at the new units and buildings and how they should be used (Megalopolis).

Survival, one of the new modes, is a welcome addition. Although the maps end quickly, the collection of 11 maps make you consider which combination can advance the quickest through the set. The three different types will help refine player's skills and eventually make them better. Turn and Time both increase speed and tactics, while Money shows people the importance of saving their money and that there are more than one way to take out a person with a powerful or large army.

Combat, although short, isn't bad. The game can perfected and eventually be boring, but the idea kept me busy for almost 5 hours. Although lefties aren't able to control the units with the same ease, the game will still be fun for all players.

The new CO's are overly specific, but not bad. The idea of a CO having an advantage on Roads or Plains isn't bad but it is getting ridiculous. The balance has been restored with some CO's as many have been modified in a positive fashion. For example, Sonja used to be a specialist only used for FOW missions. Now, she is able to be a worthwhile choice in any match. Although a lot of people complain about the loss of Sturm, this change will force to people to learn how to play the game and not rely on the power of a broken CO.

Force Ranks are a controversial move in the series, but it is not a bad idea. They add an even greater strategy piece to the game, and they are not required to play with. For people who prefer the old style, all you have to do is not use the force ranks. Also as people get better, they can take off the training wheels or force ranks and really see how well they play. Force Ranks make the game easier in Campaign, War Room, and Survival, but will make Versus Mode matches even better.

The Story and Gameplay of Campaign is very similar to AW2:BHR, and therefore isn't better or worse than previous editions. The Campaign is easier at times, but there are missions that test strategy. Overall it does not hurt the game in the overall picture.

The History section is mainly for hardcore players of the game that want to keep track of their ventures and brag to other players. Although it would be nice for something to happen when a player collects all 300 medals, it doesn't appear that anything is going to happen. I'm still far off from this point.

The Graphics have been questioned by many fans and is a letdown for many. I don't feel it was a bad idea to make the world more 3-D although it felt different when I first picked up the game. As of now, I can't see myself going back to the old style presented in AW2:BHR because I like the new Graphics.

The stylus is not used to it's full advantage in this game like Kirby: Canvas Curse, but the use of the Dual Screen is much better than most of the games currently out on the DS.

Overall, Advance Wars: Dual Strike is the best game on the DS currently worth buying for any owner of a Nintendo DS.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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