note this page contains 2 reviews of Advance Wars:
Dual Strike. Scroll down to read the second review.
if I didn't feel like a big enough dork playing my
GBA in public, now I'm forced to dab my fingers all
over the dual screen of the DS like some hideous vampire
cleric. I guess I should lose the black cape.
problem with portable gaming systems is that they're
portable. At least that's a problem for me. No excuses
not to review a game. Instead of sneaking a peek at
a 1968 Playboy in the local barbershop, I've got to
review some lame GBA game. I can't even check out
a National Geographic in the dentist office for crying
out loud before Von's text messaging me and asking
me where my review of Bambi Meets Barbi is.
my age, it can get a little embarrassing having people
watch me play a damn videogame. It probably doesn't
help that I let a few choice words blast out now and
then and throw the odd temper tantrum when I lose
a life and have to start over again - especially when
it's not even my fault. Like when the bud driver turns
down a sun-drenched street that causes my screen to
wash out. Or when some nosy old lady has her head
hovering over my neck straining to see what incredible
technology the future has wrought. She probably things
I'm Dick Tracy - when in fact I'm really just a Dick.
be trading in your GBA for a DS just yet. Advance
Wars: Dual Strike is not so much different than the
two GBA games. Nothing can compare to the original
simply because there's nothing like the first time.
The sequel showed a few minor improvements and that's
fine for a series although you have to be mindful
of developers that continuously milk a series by offering
only a trace amount of upgrades, such as sports titles
that offer new rosters or that damn Yu-Gi-Oh! Dual
Strike does show some promise with some new features
but it's still the same classic, turn-based, strategy
game that's it's always been.
your army against an enemy's army. The enemy can be
AI controlled or assigned to another human via the
wireless system. The ability to play against another
human using the wireless system is certainly more
convenient than using the Link cable but that feature
alone is not worth the expense of two DS systems and
a couple of copies of the games. There really isn't
anything in this game that would warrant such an expense
since the control system doesn't even make exclusive
use of the dual screens or the touch sensitivity.
There's nothing in this version that couldn't be incorporated
into the GBA. It's even to your advantage to use the
D-pad instead of the stylus since it's very easy to
peck out the wrong command.
object of the game is to overwhelm your opponent by
whatever means necessary to win the war. Troops, planes
and ships will all be at your control. Through a series
of moves you want to position yourself so that you
can overtake your enemy. It's like an animated version
of checkers but with more depth. It's not a very complex
game to learn but the strategy can get complex depending
on your opponent and your ability to adapt and counter.
I don't want to sound rude, (not that that would stop
me), but if you find that you always get your ass
kicked in this game then you're just not smart enough
to play it. Try Pokemon or Twiddly Winks. You have
to have a certain amount of intelligence to think
through the strategies. If there's one thing I hate
more than losing, it's winning against an idiot.
new addition is the inclusion of two commanding officers.
You can switch them in between turns to access different
special abilities. It gives you more flexibility and
is more reactive than proactive since you'll probably
use it to counter one of your opponent's brilliant
moves. You may have heard about the inclusion of a
real-time battle mode and while it does exist, it's
not nearly as much fun as you might be led to believe.
It's slow and cumbersome. The controls are sluggish
and the distances are too far apart to generate any
sense of immediacy. It's a novelty that you won't
get much replay value from.
actual turn-based strategy gameplay is fast enough
to satisfy action junkies. Commands are streamlined
and easy to access regardless of whether you use the
stylus or the D-pad. The top of the dual screen displays
the various stats while the bottom half lets you issue
the commands. Sometimes the animation and maps will
spill into both screens. Using the stylus to create
maps is perhaps the single most useful function provided
by the DS. It's as simple as using Photoshop
mean Paint Shop Pro.
some graphical upgrades and the above-mentioned additions,
Advance Wars: Dual Strike is recommended for those
that already have the DS and want to experience a
game that tests their gray matter instead of their
trigger fingers. If you're a fan of the GBA series
and you're looking for something new and different
- keep looking - and let me know when you find it.