Advance Wars: Dual Strike (DS) Reviews

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Advance Wars: Dual Strike (DS)

By: Rex Inego | Oct 21, 2006 12:10 PM

Advance Wars dual strike is the first turn based strategy game to appear on DS, having already had large amounts of success on the GBA intelligent systems have decided to bring the popular series to the dual screened wonder.

For those not familiar with this type of game, the player takes turns moving his army into strategic positions while at the same time capturing enemy buildings and choosing what units to build in the current situation. Each of the units deployed has a strength and a weakness for example a helicopter may have an edge on a tank, but an anti aircraft gun will have the edge on a helicopter. The character the player selects at the start of the battle can also have a baring on the outcome as each character has strengths and weaknesses.

The first thing you will notice when playing this game is the graphics, if you have played previous titles you might not be impressed as they are basically the same as the GBA version with minor improvements. Then again as any advance wars or fire emblem fan will tell you this game isn't about making an ultra realistic game with pixel perfect graphics, so lets just leave that alone and move onto what is different.

Every single character from the previous two games has been included(with the exception of Sturm) in this iteration of the advance wars series with a lot more added to the mix(9 to be exact). There is also a new level up system for characters which helps reduce weaknesses and maximises strengths. New units have also been included which adds to the number of strategies that can be used. These units include the stealth bomber and mega tank, plus a whole lot more. There is also no shortage of maps both in campaign mode and multiplayer. Some old favourites return from previous games as well. There are other changes that have been made to the gameplay which are detailed below.

The dual screens now allow for two commanding officers versus two commanding officers battles. This means the player now has to fight battles on two fronts which leads to more strategy being needed as if one front loses the enemy will gain a huge advantage in the form of tag moves. Which basically means that if two characters of the same army fill there power gauge up they get to take two turns which is devastating to the opposing army. This can all be prevented by winning the battle on the secondary front but the only way to do that is sacrifice units on the main front which leads to difficult decision making. The other big improvement thanks to the ds stylus control, is thar its a lot easier to move units now and the map editor is a lot easier to navigate.

For those who have played the previous advance wars games, the story mode is a continuation of AW2 black hole rising. Where the black hole army was defeated by a coalition of four continents orange star, blue moon, yellow comet and green earth. The black hole army has now re-emerged on a new continent under a new leader with a new plan. The story is quite interesting and includes everyones old favourites. There is also a hard mode to be unlocked which will give even advance wars veterans a real challenge.

Now to get to the multiplayer aspect of the game. Intelligent systems have improved the multiplayer experience but haven't gone far enough to challenge the likes of Mario Kart. In multiplayer mode you can play a couple of ways, the first is DS download play which includes a fun little minigame where you select a unit and use the stylus to fire at enemy units in real time. The second option is to share a ds and play a multiplayer version of the main game, In this mode you can play up to four player(this way of playing isn't practical as people can cheat, so it isn't great). The third way is multicard play which is the best of the multiplayer modes but the hardest to organise. This game was crying out for online play and its a pity it wasn't included.

Pros: Lengthy campaign mode and war room missions. Enjoyable story. Lots of replayability. Best Advance wars so far. More of everything from previous titles. Great soundtrack.

cons: No online Multiplayer. Looks like a GBA game.

conclusion: Apart from the lack of online multiplayer this is a great game and one of the best for DS. Its also one of the few turn based strategy games out there. It will probably still be the best in a couple of years unless a sequel or fire emblem is released. If you bought previous advance wars titles, you really should get this as its an almost perfect version.

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