|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Intelligent Sys.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 21, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The only problem with the extensive online tools is the fact that there is no sense of community. It would have been great to be able to share maps, enable voice chat, and form up teams with gamers previously unknown to me. If you want this kind of capability, you'll have to join a forum and exchange Friend Codes with other players outside of your immediate circle. That means it's still possible to get full enjoyment out of the online experience, it's just going to take some effort and forethought on your behalf. On a brighter note, parents won't have to worry as much about who's on the other end of the voice chat. Nintendo certainly does its best to keep things wholesome.
On the visual front, the game is very appealing. In fact, it's the best it has ever been. The little battle sprites are as cute as ever, but the new artwork and dark, edgy world are outstanding. The sounds do leave something to be desired, but they're not too bad. Honestly, it's pretty standard stuff for the Advance Wars series and the Nintedo DS as a whole. There are a lot of beeps and bleeps throughout, but the battle animations have fairly realistic sound FX.
The control scheme in this title is perfect. The stylus is the best thing to ever happen to both the series and handheld, turn-based, strategy games as a whole. The speed and ease with which selections are made is phenomenal. It's also very easy to slide the stylus around the maps, access menus, and get both friendly and enemy unit info with just a simple tap. Great control also extends to the options menu. I like the fact that you can manipulate the way in which battles are animated. The ability to switch your preferences back and forth gives you the full breadth of the experience when you have time while enabling you to speed up play by minimizing lengthy animations.
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin is sure to be one of the very best titles to come out this year. The series has been revitalized and the online features make gameplay even more fun. This really is a very complete title that nearly everyone will enjoy immensely. This is a game I will continue to play for months to come, and is a must-buy title for DS owners everywhere.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director