Jesh's Advance Wars: Days of Ruin Review
The only thing I didn't like about the game was the battle scenes. It made the game seem like the soldiers were little pieces of paper blowing away in the wind.
The gameplay in this game was great, very exciting for me, with it being my first Advance Wars game and my first Strategy RPG in general. The story is very nice, the idea that the world is ending leads into chaos and the army having to control rebellions and such is a nice, refreshing twist on the usual kids stuff I find on the DS. The plot also feels fresh, with no repeating what other companies had done, so this feels like a story all on its own. The controls are amazing. People complain when games use the touch screen too much and people complain when developers don't use the touch screen enough, but Advance Wars: Day of Ruin/Dark Conflict has gotten it right, giving the players an option. You can use either your buttons or the touch screen to control your units based on preference. I personally like to use the buttons, but that's just me. The online of the game is very nice, being able to fight other armies, making use of the Nintendo WiFi Connection very well. Also, you can upload your created maps, or download them from the server. It is a very nice feature that compliments the game well.
The different game modes in this game are Campaign Mode, Multi-Card Play, Nintendo WFC and Design Room. The Campaign mode is fun and has a good story and is pretty fun, allowing you to redo missions to get a higher rank, with S being the highest, and giving you many rewards for doing so, called medals. There are many ways to get medals, by getting certain ranks on certain missions and things like that. The Multi-Card play and the Nintendo WFC are generally the same thing, only the Nintendo WFC being over WiFi, while Multi-Card play being through local wireless connection, playing with someone nearby. Either way, it's a fun multi-player battle to test your strategy against the opponents rather then the AI of the computer. It's generally more challenging, and occasionally more fun compared to campaign mode to play against friends, because it gives you a chance to compare yourself to real people and not just the set AI limits. Plus it takes more of a strategy too. The Design Room is an interesting feature that allows you to create your own maps to play with friends, or upload for other people to use on the server, which can be fun looking for one you like. It allows you to use all of the terrain to place throughout your map, as well as blockades like meteors, and the electric wall. Plus it gives you a few to start out with and you can add things to it.
The game has a nice style to it. It's turn based, which means you attack, then your opponents attack. Turn based combat is nice since you get to use strategy to try and out think your opponent's next move. The units in this game are also pretty cool. There are different types just like in a real army. There are ground units, like tanks, artillery, and others, which are good to capture bases. There are flying units, such as bombers who attack ground opponents with bombs and there's fighters, who attack opponent's in the air, and then there's dusters, who can do both. Also included are water units, like fighter ships and warships. Warships are able to take on nearly anything in its range. Plus there are transportation units, which can carry grounds units with them, and move farther/over things that ground units normally can't. Also, the terrain has a big effect on matches now, as does a feature called Fog of War. Fog of War limits what you can see onscreen, depending on where you and your opponents are. Say they are in high grass, you won't be able to see them. But if you are high in a mountain, you'll be able to see much farther then you usually are able to do. But only ground units are able to hide like that in Fog of War.
Now, for the audio, I really liked it. Explosions that sounded realistic, but still fit in to being on a video game were nice. The characters didn't speak as it was text based, so that was a little boring, but it still seemed to fit in with a game like this. The music in this game fits the way the games is going. The suspense music is used often going into missions and the music during cutscenes executes wonderfully to show the mood of the time that they are in. And if you lose, the music has the sound we all associate with losing, the sound I'd like to note as the wah wah waaaaaah. Overall, I think the music fits what's going on in the game well.
The graphics in this game aren't anything special, but they don't need to be for the game to still have great execution. Although I don't like the battle scene lay out of the soldiers blowing away in the wind, I like the way the graphics look on them. Up until you actually go into fighting another unit, everything is 2D and not very exciting, but the moment you fight another unit there's a cutscene and it fits in nicely with the way the game feels. The graphics during cutscenes/nonbattle scenes are very nice, pretty good, although still 2D there's a good distinction in there. The lines appear sharp and they actually are very good for the DS. You can tell the game designer didn't spend a great deal of time on the graphics, but they didn't need to. The graphics aren't flashy, just nice, and that fits in with the style of the game.