NTOFVG's Advance Wars Dual Strike Review
Units "flicker", an average plot line, eats battery life.
The third installment of the Advance Wars series makes a decent debut on the Nintendo DS.
Graphics: I noticed very little improvement over the previous two games. Certainly the cut scenes and characters look sharper, but unfortunately the layout on the overview map where you issue commands does not impress. Most of the buildings look flat and the resolution on the units is not great. In addition, I have noticed that when a CO achieve his or her power, the units on the touch screen will "flicker". Not a very good effort at all. (2.5/5.0)
Gameplay: This is the area where the Advance Wars games shine, and this game is no exception. Once you start playing, it is very hard to stop. You have several modes of play to choose from including the all new Combat and Survival modes. Combat mode is an arcade style game in real time where you purchase a set number of units that you can only use one unit at a time to defeat a horde of enemy units. This mode is very fun although the music becomes tiresome after awhile. Survival mode has three parts: Money, Time, and Turn. Money involves you having to manage 500,000 worth of funds to clear 11 maps. This mode challenges your spending habits and use of your weaker units. In Time Survival, you have 25 minutes to clear 11 maps. This is very challenging, as you must make strategic decisions quickly as you will not have time to look at the map to consider the best move. Turn modes has you having to complete 11 maps in 99 turns. This is the easiest of the three. All three present very good challenges and are fun to take on. Of course, returning are the War Room, Campaign Mode, and Versus Mode. I still enjoy having the ability to play with multiple players on one system. My two complaints with the normal campaign mode are that it is often too easy to clear a map, and I thought there were too many maps where victory was achieved by rout or capital capture. I love the new COs. They provide more tactical options for you to use. I like the new units of aircraft carriers and stealth bombers. Its about time they includes these units especially aircraft carrier since they have been around longer than stealth bombers. Finally, I love tag team powers. They allow you to cause some serious destruction on your opponent, but beware! You opponents can also use tag powers on you! Also, as a side note, this game eats battery life so you will need to recharge that battery often.
Plot: Once again the allied nations of Orange Star, Blue Moon, Yellow Comet, and Green Earth have come together to defeat the latest threat from the Black Hole Army. This time the conflict takes place in Omega Land. The plot provides very little information on where the Black Hole Army originally came from. Their only motive it seems is world domination by any means. So, it's up to the allies to stop their schemes. There aren't very many twist and turns to the story. The few that are there aren't compelling. I won't go into detail to prevent plot spoils. Otherwise, it's not a bad premise of another game (3.0/5.0)
Sound/Music: Both of these have been done very well. The sound is not distorted, and is not annoying either. The music has CD quality sound, and it is very enjoyable to listen to. It is especially better with a headset on. A job well done. (5.0/5.0)
Replay Ability: Where do I start? There are several things to do in this game. There are two campaign modes, versus mode, combat and survival modes, the war room, and wireless link room. You have a number of things to unlock and a number of things to try to keep you busy for hours. (5.0/5.0)