Intelligent Systems' latest Advance Wars
game makes war
look like war
and not like playing with toys for the first time, breaking a tradition of jovial-looking war games stretching back to the Famicom. Did the risky effort pay off? Is it still an awesome strategy game despite, or because of, the change in tone? To get an idea, we've turned to ... people who have played it!
Cheat Code Central -- 92%: It would be hard to imagine Cheat Code Central's Jonathan Marx being any happier about this game, as he finally discovers that Advance Wars
games can have narrative: "As you can see, this new world is far more engaging than any of the previous titles. The base story is really interesting, although some of the conversations are still a bit hokey. However, I actually read every bit of dialogue before, during, and after battles. The same cannot be said for its predecessors. Even though the old games were all about great gameplay, it was a pure button mash to get through the mindless interactions. The vast improvement in storytelling has the effect of making the game and battles not only more interesting, but also much more satisfying and meaningful."
IGN -- 86%: IGN's review found that the missing content
, but that the new additions are still compelling, especially in multiplayer: "Of course, for every feature that has been removed for Days of Ruin
, Nintendo seems to have added something new. Units can now be leveled-up as they destroy enemy combatants. Three levels can be achieved, and each tier provides offensive and defensive upgrades."
1UP -- 85%: 1UP's Dan Hsu also lamented the trimmed content, but found that online play (of course) compensated, and that the cuts at least showed thought: "Days of Ruin
's new units and gameplay change, however, show that the developers are looking for a more sophisticated audience this time around. Both aspects emphasize strategy over firepower; for example, the new Bike unit is basically infantry on wheels, allowing you to capture far-off cities and bases more quickly. The Flare is a good anti-infantry tank, but more valuable are its bright-light rockets that reveal hidden units in the Fog of War. And the Rig (formerly the APC) can still carry infantry, but now can also build temporary airports or naval ports. These new units will force players to use more tactics in their matches."