Review by XxThunderxX

"Excellent, but Graphics could've been better."

Graphics: 5/10
Okay, I'm sorry for this score, but the DS and GBA aren't the same handheld, the DS should have better graphics than the GBA version, however Advance Wars DS's graphics do not differ at all from its GBA prequels. I wasn't expecting full 3-D battle scenes or anything, but it's very clear that no effort was put into making this game's graphics better. Perhaps Intelligent Systems relied on the gameplay for this game's success, that may work for some people, but I would have liked to seen some improvement, even fancier backgrounds would have been great, but the backgrounds are straight from the GBA versions too.

Sound: 9/10
Nothing fancy here, same music for all the returning COs, and decent themes for the new ones. The intro theme could've been a lot better, like the one for Advance Wars 2. Sound effects have improved a bit, MD. Tanks won't have the same cannon firing sound as regular tanks, for example. The stronger the weapon, the louder the explosion it makes.

Story: 9/10
*Spoilers* This continues right where AW2 left us, Hawke and his three COs join up with Von Bolt, an old handicapped guy planning to suck out the planet's life in order to feed himself with it, letting him avoid death. His plan is noticed by Omega Land COs, who realize that their land is being turned into deserts and wastelands. The four nations: Orange Star, Blue Moon, Yellow Comet, and Green Earth team up together to form the Allied Nations. The purpose, to defeat Von Bolt's diabolical plan. Now this is a typical plot for a video game, which would've deserved a lower score, but there are shocking moments in the story involving switching sides in the middle of war. But that's left for you to find out.

Gameplay: 10/10
This is how the Advance Wars series excels. Fans of AW1 were disappointed when AW2 came out with only one new unit, there's no reason to be disappointed with AW:DS, since it introduces a whopping six new units (and one new neutral structure), each with their own pros and drawbacks. The same goes with new COs, however I was a bit disappointed when i found out that some new COs were just buffed up versions of previous COs. For example, Koal being a buffed Adder, and Jugger being a buffed Flak. The introduction of Tag Battles is a very interesting mode to play with. This allows the player to use his mind to figure out which COs will go well with each other based on how well their Super CO Powers work out together, not just by how much of an Attack Bonus the COs will receive. Another new mode is Survival, which are basically set-up scenarios that you have to complete under certain circumstances, for example, you'd only get a set amount of gold, turns, or time. And lastly, if you ever get bored of playing turn by turn strategy, you can always switch to Combat Mode, where you use a set amount of money to buy from four different units, choose from 7 COs, and fight in a Real Time Strategy game.

Multiplayer: 10/10
This game, like almost all strategy games, was designed for Multiplayer, grab a good friend with this game (or not), and let battle be joined! Oh yeah, Combat Mode is always available in Multiplayer also, in case you and your friend get bored of Turn Based Strategy.

Replay Value: 9/10
With 27 COs to level up, a Hard Campaign, Hard Survival, and Hard Combat Mode, you'll be old before you truly finish this game. Did I mention that there's a History that records your achievements and losses in the game? You'll have to get all 300 medals there to feel like you've really beat the game. Good Luck. I gave this a 9 because it does get a bit tedious to do the same thing over and over again (such as purposely obtaining "C" ranks to get a medal in the History).

Overall: 10/10
A must-have game if you own a DS, if you don't then only buy this if you liked the GBA versions. For those that are new to the series, I suggest you play the GBA Advance Wars before tackling with this great game. I'll warn you right now: this game is very hard and requires a decent amount of skill and luck.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 09/14/05

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