best game ever made for the Gameboy Advance is Advance
Wars 2. This is a true example of the 'killer ap:' a wonderfully attractive,
easily accessaible, and richly complex game with a great sense
of depth. And it also happens to be a hell of a lot of fun.
strategy games were a staple of videogames a long time ago, before
the genre moved into realtime. Now most strategy games are overburdened
and too complicated, too pomous for their own good. Who wants
to play a game where armies battle one another all by themselves?
Since when is that entertainment? If that's what I wanted, I'd
get a television.
Systems has been steadily working on its series of strategy games
since the beginning of time. Versions of Wars have appeared on
the Famicom, Gameboy, and Super Nintendo. When the Gameboy Advance
launched, it appeared with Advance Wars, and Nintendo immediately
had a system-seller.
first Advance Wars worked so well because it mixed up turn-based
strategy with an entertaining, character-driven story, and then
throwing in dozens of playable maps and a map editor for good
measure. This was the rare game that deserved all its extras.
think the second title is the better of the two, although its
differences may not seem as apparant at first.
The visual design is much better; the color scheme is brighter
and with less contrast, and objects such as buildings and trees
are less obtrusive. The first game looks garish compared to this.
I also have to say I prefer the artwork of the characters, with
their romantic, yet slightly comic poses.
most notable difference is the tweaking in the game's balance.
The idea is that all units - infantry, transports, tanks, anti-aircraft,
and so on - should have a fighting chance. In the last game,
a squad of tanks could completely destroy a squad of infantry.
This tends to encourage building only the biggest and most powerful
units. This sequel levels things out, and there's more of a paper-rock-siccors
are you already know something about this game, so you don't
need me to recite the Campaign Mode for you. Everybody goes through
it at least once, if just to enjoy the playful banter between
all the cartoon characters (this is the only world where Macy
Gray would team up with Marilyn Manson). Most everyone enjoys
this mode, although most levels require you to overcome overwhelming
odds again and again.
also are you'll also know about the dozen upon dozens of extra
maps to buy and play through, including all the maps from
the first Advance Wars. Most of these you will only play
through once, and some are worth repeated visits. This doesn't
really matter to me, since I have the option to create my
the same question I've been asking for twenty years: why don't
more games have a level editor? These things are pure gold. Through
the AW2 map editor, I've created some terrific levels and shared
them with players around the world. Building that sense of community
is what make computer games like Quake and Unreal Tournament
so endlessly entertaining. You give us the tools to create, and
we'll be loyal fans forever.
don't like reading overhyped praises in game reviews, but Advance
Wars 2 really is the best game for the Advance, and just about
the best handheld game ever made. It has the ability to grab
even those who don't enjoy strategy games or military sims, that
same way that all classics hook you.
Systems is continuing the series on Nintendo's DS handheld, and
we're all eager to see if they can continue their successful
formula while adding enough new content to keep everything fresh.
Personally, I don't think any major changes should be made. I'd
try to empahsize naval units a little more (all those ships are
way too expensive), do away with the Neotanks (they're far
too powerful), and maybe even offer seasonal-based levels (instead
of merely raining or snowing for a turn). I'd also look into
the possibility of destroying or bombing cities, because I don't
think it's ever been done before.
This is what happens when I start to go on a game design streak
and create my own custom levels. I don't think a game like
this even has a shelf life. This may be a multiplayer classic
on par with MULE, Super Bomberman 2 and Herzog
Zwei. But don't
quote me on that just yet. Ask me again in two or three years.