Advance Wars - GBA

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Viewed: 2D Top-down, Multi-way scrolling Genre:
Strategy: Combat
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Intelligent Systems Soft. Co.: Intelligent Systems
Publishers: Nintendo (GB/US)
Released: 11 Jan 2002 (GB)
10 Sept 2001 (US)
Ratings: 11+, ESRB Everyone
Connectivity: Link Cable


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Now, Nintendo might be notorious for its updates of old classics, but the company also has a good reputation for delivering new software franchises. Out of the blue comes Advance Wars, yes, for Game Boy Advance. Nintendo isn’t best known for its ‘strategy combat’ games, but Advance Wars has demonstrated its capability to produce a good game, no matter what the theme or genre.

Following an intriguing plot, Advance Wars follows the theme of military combat but, as usual, does it in a non-violent manner. It should keep the kids happy anyway. Nevertheless, it’s gameplay that counts, and Advance Wars has plenty of it. There are dozens of hours of portable gameplay in here.

The game itself is very similar to battle-focused role-playing games such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Konami’s Vandal Hearts series. Campaigns comprise of a series of turn-based battles that must be fought to proceed through the game. There is always a single enemy whose infantry must be obliterated to claim the battle trophy.

But there’s more to Advance Wars than simply shooting anything you come into contact with. The battle environments are very much grid-based, and each ally and enemy unit is granted the ability to move a specific number of spaces on the map before launching an attack. This feature greatly improves the tactical element of Advance Wars.

There are over 100 battles to participate in altogether, each of which can take around half an hour to complete. And if that’s not enough for you, you can challenge your friends via a link cable for an infinite amount of playing time. You can even create your own battle arenas.

Advance Wars offers great gameplay and a level of freedom unrivalled by anything that has gone before it.