Review - Advance Wars: Dual Strike (NDS)

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Volsfan91, Sep 17, 2006.

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Sep 17, 2006
  1. Volsfan91

    Member Volsfan91 GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 3, 2006
    United States


    In a day in age when war is such a big part of our daily society, it's incredibly hard to believe that a game in which you engage in virtual war could provide so much fun. However, every aspect of Advance Wars: Dual Strike delivers with perfection, offering players of the Nintendo DS a great experience that will keep them coming back for dozens of hours.

    The Advance Wars series offers some of the strongest gameplay I have ever experienced. Tremendous artificial intelligence, multiple strategic approaches left up to the player, and fresh twists on the third game in the series makes for one of the best gaming sessions on the dual screened handheld.

    First of all, the artificial intelligence in this game is absolutely unreal. The funny thing about this game was this: I was glad to be frustrated with my opponent. Always guessing my next move or planning ahead to thwart my strategy, the computer controlled enemy seemed to always be one step ahead of me. I always had this half smile on my face because even though I was getting beat, I knew that I was in for a real challenge. Also, this made for some very enjoyable gaming sessions, as I knew that I was in for a tough battle every time that I was sitting down to play the game. Overall, this game would not, no, could not have been the same with the kind of computer controlled intelligence that this game provided.

    I think another great thing about the gameplay is the basic driving concept that this game was setup to use. Basically, the best way to explain it is as follows. You start out on a big grid, usually with one army fighting a second army. Each of these militias has various units at their disposal. A battle can be won in one of two ways: an army wipes out all of the other army's units, or the opponent's headquarters are captured. Also, there are neutral buildings on the map. Once a city is captured, it adds revenue to your army, while if you capture a base, you can deploy units from that base. Ground, air, and water units are all available to aid you in your battle, although not all of these elements are used in every map. The third title in the series has even added some great new units for you to use. I love using the bombers, stealth fighters, neotanks, and aircraft carriers to rally my army to a win. All in all, the different complexities in gameplay make for lots of different strategies for you to use, and makes every battle a little different.


    What else is there? A map editor. You'll be able to draw up your own maps, play on them, and even trade with other maps with your friends. There will be more on the incredibly deep multiplayer mode coming up in the replay value section.

    Various commanding officers can be used to aide you in your battle. Each of these CO's has different powers that, once accumulating enough stars, (stars are added up as you defeat opposing units) can be used to give you an advantage. Some of these powers are things like adding funds to your bank the more damage that you do, or adding range on to your attacks.

    All in all, the gameplay of Advance Wars is downright flawless. It hits on every aspect, and is definitely the high point of the game.

    Rating: 10/10

    The graphics are stylized in a manner that I don't think fits the game. Although this is war, the graphics are very cartoony. It's sad that these graphics will turn some gamers off of one of the best games on the DS. I can understand, however, why someone who views the back of this box might think it's an average outing from a company like Disney fronting some new kids show.

    However, I understand that this is a war game, and the developers walk a fine line between drawing good graphics, and graphics that are overtly violent. Ultimately, I will agree that the graphic style that was chosen is the best fit for the game, all things considered. This is a war game that I don't feel bad when playing.


    The graphics are sharp, as are the maps. The bright colors and animations were all obviously well thought out and well planned. There are few graphical elements that I don't enjoy. However, when considering everything, you won't remember the game for its visual effects. Still, the graphics are essential, and the developers delivered enough to keep the game in good contention.

    Rating: 8/10


    I am no sound expert and do not claim to be such. However, I do like the sound of this game quite a bit. Each of the different continents have a “style” of music, with some continents having a slower paced, laid back type of music, while other continents are upbeat and inspiring.

    The sound effects are quite good, although the music of the game was not written by Beethoven, by any means. Overall, it's some nice music, but nothing inspiring.

    Rating: 8/10


    Wow, the replay value of this game. I'll start off with the bad, and then tell you all of the great things that the developers have in this game.

    The bad? No online. But is it really a bad thing? Make no mistake, the battles in this game are lengthy. I have spent multiplayer battle afternoons with friends in which a single battle has consumed an hour or more. Does this work online? I don't think so. Going on my experience with Mario Kart, the average person can't make it through a 15 minute session without reaching for the power button. Disconnects would be an issue for this game. Still, though, I can understand why a few die-hards would have a heck of a time living it up online. I'm not going to penalize the game for having no online, as the infrastructure wasn't even in place at the time of the game's release.

    Now, on to the good. Multiplayer matches are there. Single card? There. Map trading? There. All of these things make the game better for two or more people, and the game even supports up to 4 person skirmishes. You had better find someone to play this game with that really loves this game, because the battles are long, and not for the weak of heart.

    Besides the multiplayer, this game will keep one person playing for a long time. A long campaign mode, instant match modes, and the ability to setup your own matches with CPU commanding officers, this game will keep you playing even if you don't have friends to play this game with. All in all, this game will never drift far from the upper slot of your Nintendo DS.

    Rating: 10/10



    Advance Wars: Dual Strike is one of a handful of must-owns for anyone that has a Nintendo DS. Strong replay value, incredible gameplay, and unbelievable artificial intelligence will make this game a worthwhile pickup even if you are on a tight budget.

    Final Mathematical Score: 92/100

    Mathematical explanation:
    Each category is given a mathematical weight, so that each category matters more than others. Obviously, gameplay is more important than sound. Also, I plan on eventually revising the weights, but here goes the current scale:

    Gameplay: Weight of 4 (times score)
    Graphics: Weight of 2 (times score)
    Sound: Weight of 2 (times score)
    Replay Value: Weight of 2 (times score)

    So, the score for this game is like this:
    Gameplay: 4x(10)
    Graphics: 2x(8)
    Sound: 2x(8)
    Replay Value: 2x(10)

    Add them all up, and you get... 92/100

    This has been a Volsfan91 review of Share your thoughts, comments, or opinions through private message if you so choose!
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