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Advance Wars Dual Strike

 

 

SCORE: 76

 

 

 

This is the third Advance Wars game from Nintendo, and the first one on the Nintendo DS. How does it stack up? Pretty decent, with a few concerns. For those not aware of the Advance Wars series, it is a military turn based strategy game. Each of the units has a set amount of health point. Certain units are more powerful against certain other units. For example an anti-tank unit does extremely well against a tank unit. The land also plays a key role in this game; for example forest gives more cover than the plains. In some ways the turn based strategy games are like a more advanced chess game. Rushing in against superior odds will only bring about defeat. Different circumstances require different tactics in order to win.

The graphics are very bright and colorful in this game. In fact all of the major colors are represented with each different army. The details are nicely done on almost all the screens. The artwork style is a decent one that this reviewer appreciates. The one drawback to the graphics is one of the main female characters wears gear that exposes her mid riff. There really was no point in having something like that in a video game. Soldier units are blown off the screen, while vehicle units show an explosion, and vanish.

The sounds are nicely done in Advance Wars Dual Strike, especially considering the game's source material. It is a military game, however there are no sounds of human pain involved. The attacking unit has its sounds used, and the attacked unit has no sounds of loss. The music is cheerful, and works well with this video game.

There is a boat-load of material to unlock. The main mission is average length, however there are a lot of different maps to purchase. Commanding officers can also be purchased for play, and each of them has multiple uniforms that can also be purchased. There is also a really neat option of being able to create your own map, which alone is a reason to replay. This reviewer feels one gets their money's worth since this game can be found for $30.00 or less. The only replay issues we can see is it may become addictive to some people.

The gameplay in this game is nicely done. The controls work well, and the level designs are pure genius. The ability for the player to create their own levels also works really well. The addition of some new units, and playing on two screens at once are really nice additions to this series. Certain levels are difficult and will require multiple attempts in order to complete them in the time restraints (which some levels have).

There are a few issues this reviewer has with the family friendliness of this game. The bad guys (The Black Hole Army) is using crystals to sap the life force from the land (turning it into a desert). Certain characters want to get revenge, and we at FFG can not condone that. There is also the previously mentioned attire questions of one of the main females. Aside from those issues this game was a joy to play and review. If Nintendo would clean up those issues, a sequel would be great.

At its core this is a pretty decent game. The few mentioned issues are ones that keep this game from true greatness. It is this reviewers hope and prayer that Nintendo will make this game 100% family friendly in the future. If those issues do not bother you, and you are into turn based strategy games, then this is a game to look at.
- Sam

Graphics: 74%
Sound: 81%
Replay/Extras: 80%
Gameplay: 81%
Family Friendly Factor: 65%
System: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Nintendo
ESRB Rating: 'E' for Everyone
{Cartoon Violence}


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