Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot CampSwitch ¦ strategy
When you think about it, mankind’s progression has been pretty impressive. The wheel was invented so we could do less walking; Flight was invented to travel to both visit faraway places and, more importantly, created a greater distance between ourselves and our families. And arguably the most impressive achievement, the internet, that gives every person on the planet 24 hour access to free pornography.
But regardless of all the advancements, there are still times when grown up countries can only settle an argument with a fight. But instead of getting these government officials in a ring to sort it out, they cowardly drop bombs, where invariably innocent lives suffer the often deadly consequences.
Even the fact that we do have free porn hasn’t deterred the Russian leader Putin from declaring war, for no valid reason, on the defiant and brave people of the Ukraine.
And it was due to this on-going engagement of war, that Nintendo decided not to release their remake of both their 2001 and 2003 titles for the Nintendo DS handheld system, as a sign of respect for the Ukrainian people. Let’s face it, it’s probably not the best PR for a family operation such as Ninty to release a strategic war game during an actual war.
But despite the war looking like it’s not going to end any time soon, Nintendo is still a business right, and those copies of the game were just gathering dust on shelves. So here it is, ladies, gents and war mongerers alike, let’s go to war!
We’ve all been down this familiar road of Ninty’s before, especially with the Switch getting so many ports/remakes etc from past consoles, including the recent Metroid Prime. These then are both Advance War games that were released for their successful handheld, and if you played it then, you know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for. And if you didn’t it’s pretty easy to get your head around.
You take part as a member of the Orange star nation, who are going head to head with the Blue Moon army. It’s a turn-based strategy game where you have a certain number of troops, tanks and weaponry to ether defeat your enemy, or take out there HQ, whichever happens first.
It all takes part on a colourful map, moving your troops and enemies during your turn, within their allotted spaces to move. In short, it’s a bit like a cartoony game of chess, but instead of just moving one piece at a time, you can move however many of yours as you like.
And that’s kind of it. We remember playing the original games of these on the DS, and not being terribly enamoured by them. And the feeling is exactly the same for this remake.
Perhaps we’ve been too spoilt by turn-based RPG’s with a deeper story behind them, with the ability to use special powers or abilities, on some magical quest. Here, it’s a very linear progression system with stages, pass one and move onto the next. And although it is strategic in terms of moving your army around, their moves are painfully limited; you either move, or not, or shoot at an enemy, or take over a ‘city’ represented by a building, and that’s it.
We played an early level, and admittedly showed poor commanding skills ‘til we only had only one tank and trooper left, with the enemy with only one tank remaining. That one trooper managed to ‘storm’ their HQ however. The problem was, there was only two in his party, and it was going to take 16 painful turns until it took their HQ. This was enough time for the tank to move and screw up our plans. But it didn’t. It just sat there, and did nothing. As we all had to sit there and wait out 16 long turns play out. We took it, but it really was the shallowest of victories.
But what it also wasn’t was, well, fun. It was at that point, admittedly early on in the campaign, that we conceded war wasn’t for us. Well, at least this war, at any rate.
If you’re a fan of these games, then chances are you’ve already played them before. And although their graphical make-over is pleasing enough, it’s hardly a radical change, and certainly not worth shelling out for. But if you are a fan of games such as chess, and have never played this franchise in the past, this may well be the battle for you. It does seem a bit of a niche market however, and it’s unlikely to do big numbers for Ninty.
That said, as well as both games remade, there’s a Versus mode that can be played locally and online, and a map maker if you’re feeling terribly creative. So there’s plenty there, if you like this sort of thing.
As wars go, this one is attractive with not one but two solid campaigns, but there’s still not quite enough there to make us sign up for it.