Review by idiotman7

"Brain... hurts... to much... thinking"

What is the best way to describe Advanced Wars: Dual Strike? How about, chess. Yes that's it, Advanced Wars: DS is like a very large, and in depth, and mental hassle for your mind. But it is defiantly one of the best thought out and one of the most strategic games ever to greet handheld platforms. AW is one of the DS's first games to master usage of both screens, for actually game play reasons. And the cartoonish look of the game really makes it something of brilliance in an other wise serious and hard thinking game.

Simply put, brilliant. There is no other word to describe it. The game-play for Advanced Wars DS unlike other games actually makes use of both screens, in a way that not only helps you make your next move, but also helps you figure out your opponent and how to stop him or her. The touch screen is used a lot in the game to, which was great because they made the transfer from GBA to DS perfectly. The COs this time around are a lot smarter, and I mean a lot, and use their CO powers a lot more and a lot more strategically.

The game plays out in multiple ways, from a one on one match, to where you choose two COs, and your Opponent chooses two COs, and go at it. And COs, for those who don't know, is a person that you choose before every match to fight as in that particular match. Every CO has a special ability, and mastering them is essential to winning.

AW: DS matches are pretty simple, you go, then your opponent goes, then you, then opponent. Its pretty straight forward, and requires so much thinking ahead and preparing on what to do next, its simply one of the best games out there to give you a challenge. The controls are pretty simple to matter. You could use the touch screen to move units or select things, or you can use the D-Pad and A, B, X, Y buttons.

Story is pretty much the same as every game, the Black Hole army has stricken the land again. After their defeat they come back to reek havoc on the land, in record time. So the nations of Orange Star, Yellow Comet, Green Earth, and Blue Moon, all team up, to stop the threat they thought was gone. The game spans over twenty something missions, and provides a nice flow of battles. You will constantly be challenged though, after about mission five, your just taken back by how drastically the AI has changed, and how much tougher they are. The story was a little bland and boring and doesn't really grab you, but you do feel really good when you win.

Music and Sound is nothing special in this game. The music in Advanced Wars DS sounds okay, if not really repetitive and generic sounding. Characters never speak, but the music for the different enemies is cool. Nothing really to great to say, unfortunately it's the truth. Sounds are very detailed though. Attack are brilliantly played out, and sound very realistic.

Best pert of Advanced Wars DS, is the graphics though. They are truly spectacular. If the cartoon like atmosphere wasn't in AW, then the game would just ultimately fail. I loved how crazy some of the characters looked, especially the Black Hole COs, and how awesome the units on both sides. The backgrounds even look great. Tanks, and submarines, and even the little foot soldiers you send marching to their death all look very cool. The colors all flow great, and give off a really cool feel about the game. And the COs all have their own sense of style and colors, which was really cool also.

No other DS game yet gives off the same vibe that AW: DS does. Sure it does not star a jumping plumber, or an inhaling piece of… whatever Kirby is, but it does have its own badge of honor among DS games. A definite buy, even if you hated the first two. This game will have you happy and smiling, and angry at the world and crying. This is really the first game to make you think and plan and make you angry beyond belief for the DS. It's a classic in its own right, and deserves appreciation, even if it sounds kind of plain and the story is lame in parts. Jammed packed with stunning graphics, near perfection game-play, and very realistic unit sounds, Advanced Wars DS is one of the greater games to own right now.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/05/05, Updated 01/04/06

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