Advance Wars
Game Info
GameBoy Advance
Intelligent Systems
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Mild Violence
The Good

• Easy combat system to pick up
• Graphics are clean and work great for the gameplay
• Tons of modes
• Great multiplayer

The Bad

• Some battles are easy because of hints dropped in story


Advance Wars has a fairly simple premise: The player is an advisor to a group of Commanding Officers for the Orange Star army, one of four competing nations in conflict with each other. After a series of missions in which the player learns the battle system while forcing the Blue Moon army out of Orange Star territory, you are allowed access to the Campaign mode, multiplayer battles and the War Room, where you can fight on a variety of battlefields. Winning battles gains the player coins by which the player can unlock other battlefields for mutliplayer and War Room.

Without going into much detail, the story for Advanced Wars is just deep enough to give players a reason to move from one battle to another. It's like watching an anime aimed at young teens. This in no way is a detriment. In fact, I think if the game relied on the story more, it would have been at the detriment to the gameplay.

Combat is fairly easy to pick up and reminiscent of Panzer General in many aspects. You have a variety of land, sea and air units, all of which are strong versus certain types of units and weak against others. Your strategy involves making the best of you units while defending your capital and trying to capture the opposing force's capital. Each side's Commanding Office has a special ability that affects combat and the environment in one way or another for a limited period of time. In some battles, the story sequences tell you what to do to defeat the enemy, taking some of the challenge out of the fight, while others feel like wars of attrition. One of the nicer aspects is that you don't have to slug it out to win. Loading up a soldier in a transport and getting him to capture to the capitol while your other forces distract the opposing army is a great way to win battles fast and efficiently.

One of the best aspects of Advance Wars is the sheer amount of things you can do. If you choose not to play the Campaign mode, you can still fight and earn battlefields in the War Room, or can get friends together and play multiplayer on either one GBA or link up to four GBAs at one time. Also, if you gte bored with the over 100 battlefields in the game, you can make your own.

Graphically, the sprites ae done with more than enough detail as to be able to discern what's going on on the battlefield. Character art and unit design is well done and fits the overall anime-style feel of the game. Even if the player has trouble discerning what unit is what, then can always move the cursor and hit the R button to get info on the unit or area. Battle sequences are fun to watch, but once you realize that they have no effect on how much damage is dealt (which seems to be a preset factor), you'll most likely turn off the animation to speed up battle.

Advanced Wars is a deep and fun game that's easy to pick up while still challenging for the most part. Fans of the strategy genre should put their hands on their one. It has a lot of good things going for it. Even when you're through with the Campaign, you'll want to play multiplayer and War Room modes over and over again.

- - Kinderfeld

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