Advance Wars: Dual Strike (DS) Reviews

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Advance Wars: Dual Strike (DS)

By: Rex Inego | Apr 14, 2007 12:53 AM

The advance war games have been a favourite of mine for a while. I really enjoyed the last 2 offerings and was looking forward to this a lot.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Advance War Games:

The advance war games are basically turn-based strategy, with a twist-the war part. You control a bunch of men, tanks, planes and other war parts. The idea is to reach the goal, without failing. To win for example you might have to kill all the enemies or you may have to destroy a particular item on the map. You fail for example if all of your men are killed-Or the main man is killed.

The gameplay:

Campaign Mode: This is the main bit of the story, where most of the action will happen. Unfortunately for experienced players of the game, it starts with the easy training missions. This can be very boring (for me anyway!) as I already know how to play. However for a new player, this is a valuable learning curve for newbies to the series. Once the first few mission are over, you will start to get into the real game!

The campaign mode has a sort of main character (Jake) but really follows a lot of different people. If you have played the games before, you will notice some new characters as well as a few old faces.

The graphics:

The graphics are basically the same as the other games on the GBA. Although they are small, cute and easy on the eye, I was really expecting better things from the DS.

Controls:

The controls are easy and simple to master. They have used the stylus to select menus. Although some people will say this is wasting the real power of it, I think its fits the job perfectly. The game mechanics have already been perfected in previous games, so there was no use adding the stylus to where it was not needed.

Difficulty:

Most of the missions can be completed in one or two attempts. But near the end the difficulty level increases and you may find it take 20+ attempts.

Music:

The music is good and there are a few nice songs. The battles have sound effects(bombs going off, explosions, ect.) and all are very realistic. The tunes can get a bit repetitive so you may turn the volume off after a battle has been going on for half an hour or so.

New Features:

There is now a feature called Tag-Team, where using two characters you cane switch them in out. This is useful and is a nice little feature as it ads variety to the usual. Also when both characters have built up there special meter, you can unleash a devastating attack on the foes. They have also added experience points, so if your character does well they can level up. This has many good points as you can learn a wide variety of new (and powerful) skills to aid you in battle. There are also Dual-Screen battles where you fight on both screens. Usually text is displayed on the bottom screen, but in this mode it is cleared so more fighting can happen there!

Artificial Intelligence:

Now this is vital for the game to be enjoyable. It would be no use if you were standing in front of a foe and he walked straight past you! Luckily the AI is very good and you find your self being beaten many, many times. It is very clever and is almost the same as fighting against a real player!

Anything to do apart from campaign mode?

Yes, lots in fact. There is also a War Room, Survival mode and versus mode. Just to top it off as you win single player battles you earn points (or credits) which can be used to unlock new maps and even new characters!

Versus mode (Wi-Fi):

The versus mode is very good you can fight up to 3 other players using it. You can also trade maps that you have created in the in the design room. And there is even a way for two people to play with one card and one DS. Where you simply keep swapping the DS between yourselves.

Longevity:

Great. There is plenty to do and see and all will take a long while too do it all. It could take say a month to complete everything, maybe longer.

Replay Value:

Once you have completed the game, there is still things to do. You can replay the battles and try to get a higher ranking. The VS battles against a friend never get old.

Design Room:

This is a great little editing tool where you can create your own battle maps. There are tons of tools available and you can shape the map to any size or picture you want. Once you have built it you can battle against a mate on it, or even swap it with them.

Price:

I think it still holds is price tag of about ң25.00 but can be bought much cheaper second hand. It is worth every penny, as there are loads of things to do. Even when you have completed everything (which will take ages) you can still battle with your friends.

Would you personally Recommend it?

Yes. It has loads of great features and hours of gameplay.

Pros: + Great Strategy + Good solid story + Highly addictive gameplay + Tons to see and do + Many hours replay value

cons: - Same old graphics, as the GBA games - Nothing new and bad use of the DS's features

conclusion: Wrap up and final verdict: Advance Wars is a game that everyone should try at least once. If you are a new player then this is a great way to get in to the action. Even if you have played both the previous games, you will find lots of new (and great) stuff to do. Along with all the classic action you have come to expect. Extra: If you enjoyed this you may wish to play the other 2 games: Advance Wars: The first game where it all started, still great fun to play even though it was released a long time ago. Game is for the Bacon be picked up on eBay, but can cost quite a bit as it is a very good game! Advance Wars 2:Black Hole Rising. The second game is the series. They kept the same idea but improved on it. Brilliant but just marginally better than the original. Can be picked up cheaply on eBay, or from second hand game shops. Game is for the GBA. Thanks for reading.

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