10

Advance Wars Dual Strike review
They got it right on DS

The good:

Almost everything. The music is good, the new CO's are well done, the stylus allows for a new depth within the game. The realtime combat mode very fun. I love the wireless multiplayer, and the Tag Battles are amazing!

The bad:

The stylus does tend to miss from time to time, making characters do things you really didn't want them to do.

Summary:

The real sequel to Advance Wars has finally come out. When AW2 came out, I couldn't believe how disappointed I was. The storyline was bad, the selection of levels was bad. They added about a thousand and one new things, pipes, black cannons, lasers, minicannons, some giant laser thing, among others, and they were all poorly implemented. They littered the battlefield, making it all but impossible to move your units. The final battle against Sturm was so skewed by Sturm's amazing units that it was nearly impossible to win, besides, winning involved sneaking a bomber up the side of the level and hitting his laser cannon. In the first AW, the battle against Sturm had this epic feel to it, hopelessly outnumbered against an enemy that had managed to manipulate and defeat them before, the CO's finally tag up to fight him. It was without a doubt one of the most difficult tactical levels, but it was also one of the most fun things I have ever done on a handheld. I looked foreward to fighing him every time. In AW2, I played through once, and then stopped.

Now Advance Wars: Dual Strike has hit the scene, and all I can say is, they finally got it right. The Tag Battle system had the potential to have many things go wrong with it if implemented incorrectly. The creators of this game managed to create it beautifully. It flows seamlessly within the battle, adding a new dynamic to every level, creating more tactical choices for the battles. The Dual Screen battles are just as good, making it a supreme advantage if you could win the upper front, but making the levels winable without it. The added ability to control the battle on both screens adds a whole new kind of frantic tactical battles this series has become known for. The new CO's are awesome, some are just copies of older ones, Koal is virtually the same as Adder, and Jugger is virtually the same as Flak, and some are new, Sasha, Colin's sister, gets extended funds from cities, and Javier has increased defense vs indirect firing units. In the last game, the only new unit that was introduced was the Neotank, and I was not a fan of it, as it was incredibly strong, and no other units could barely touch it. Now there are a plethora of new units. The Megatank is the most powerful of the additions, but it is not as strong as the name implies. It can pretty much destroy any unit with one attack, however, it only has three shots with its cannon, it can only move four spaces, and has only 45 units of fuel, which severely limits its capabilities. The developers also realized how poor the sea battle system was on the older games, and revamped it, making the cruiser able to hit all ships, and adding Black Boats, which can carry units and heal units, and Aircraft Carriers, providing mobile support for fighters. Black Bombs, suicide attackers that do five damage to all units within the blast radius, and Piperunners, long distance units that can only be deployed on pipes, were also introduced to this game. The arial front has also been upgraded, with the addition of Stealth Fighters, which can attack ground and air units, and can hide with their stealth abilities, just like submarines. All of the levels that were introduced were difficult tactically, but not unbeatable. One of the things that irritated me in the last game was the incredible amount of black cannons and other things like it. In this game, they are severely limited. They exist, but they don't overwhelm you, and they are placed in with enough rarity that it makes the game more enjoyable. The storyline in this one is also superior. The Black Hole Army has recovered in an impossibly fast time from the last beating they took, and are now attacking Omega Land, another contenent on the world. No one knows who is leading this attack, but it is up to Rachel, Nell's younger sister, and Jake, a young and untested CO in the Orange Star army to lead the Allied Nations, Orange Star, Blue Moon, Green Earth and Yellow Comet, to victory over the new Black Hole Army, and their mysterious leader. Along the way there are plot twists as ususal, and at the end, you want to keep on playing, because it is a truely amazing game. If you have a DS, get this game immediately, if you don't have a DS, I would buy this one just to play this game.

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