#640 Advance Wars: Dual Strike

Posted: 17th February 2016 by Jeroen in Games
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489th played so far


Genre: Strategy
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 2005
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo

One of the nice things of DS games is that we can put them on while watching some TV in the background, not needing full attention. It feels like a blessing here – with Japanese strategy/RPGish games, it gives you something to enjoy during interminable cut scenes.

I don’t whether that’s the case here, but it just seems like good prep for an Advance Wars game. I’ll see how it bears out.

Our Thoughts

That was pretty fun. The game is still based in its mechanics on the original, but everything felt a bit more solid. Game difficulty ramps up a bit more slowly, giving you more time to get used to the mechanics, and the general powers feel like they’re introduced at a more reasonable page. A bunch of early levels still feel like puzzles – figure out what actions to take, rather than allowing different strategies, but this changes soon after. Five levels in, I felt like I had cheated the system at least once and finished faster than needed, while another started less well but was won through a war of attrition.

Part of the fun in this is that while the mechanics can get complex, it starts simple and never really strays too far from the core gameplay, adding on in a way that keeps it manageable.

The look of the game stays pretty functional – they haven’t upgraded it that much between the games. It works for what it does, that’s for sure, and gives more of a commander’s view, so perhaps it’s fine that they kept things that way.

Final Thoughts

Advance Wars: Dual Strike felt better structured than its sequel, introducing concepts at a better speed and feeling more playable – the touch controls helping as well. While it doesn’t look like an upgrade, and still runs from similar mechanics, it’s a game I’m probably more likely to get back to in the future.