Advance Wars: Dual Strike

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Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Release: August, 2005
Rating:
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<big><big><big>Intro</big></big></big><big><big>
I've heard a lot about Advance Wars: Dual Strike since it came out.It's gotten a lot of good reviews and has been praised by all who have played it.The game has gotten either a 9 or higher from every review I have seen so far.How could I miss a game this good?I had to try it for myself.

<big><big><big>Story</big></big></big><big><big>
7/10
I don't really follow the story that much...but here's what I managed to scrap together:
Each country has a very "creative" name, such as Omega Land, Macro Land, etc.This story takes place after the four nations: Orange Star, Blue Moon, Green Earth, and Yellow Comet have formed the Allied Nations and are fighting the Black Hole army, who are trying to take over every country or something evil like that.I think the game takes place in Omega Land...
Rachel, a CO for Orange Star, (Commanding Officers) is basically your guide in AW: DS.You play as Jake, who is a rookie CO, learning the ropes from Rachel and trying to help defeat the Black Hole army.
The story's okay, but the only thing I really didn't like was that some of the characters try to act cool by saying all these "cool" comments.Like after you win a battle, sometimes Jake says
"Better get the plates 'cuz you just got served."
But still, the story isn't that bad.Could be better, but it's okay by me.

<big><big><big>Graphics</big></big></big><big><big>
8.5/10
The graphics definately aren't pushing the DS to its limits with 2D sprites, but the graphics are fun and cartoony looking.They fit perfectly with the game, giving it a less war-like and more cartoony feel to it.There's lots of detail put into the game, like expressions on the CO's faces; you can tell when they're determained, happy angry, etc.The character designs are very creative and interesting, especially the Black Hole Army's CO's; they scare me.But you can tell that a lot of time and thought was put into these awesome character designs.Smoke and fire coming from the guns and canons is also a cool touch.The explosion effects also look very cool.Each unit is very detailed and looks exactly how it should, but of course with a cartoony twist to it.The environment is also very detailed, with patches of dirt and grass, trees, hills, and cities-- it all looks fantastic.The overviews of the countries look great too; covered with clouds, water and oceans filled with crystal blue water.Just proves that a game doesn't have to be in 3D to look good.

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<big><big><big>Music/Sound</big></big></big><big><big>
9/10
There's lots of great music in this game.Each army and CO has their own theme.The majority of them are very good and enjoyable.There's an assortment of different instruments and sounds used in all of the peices.There's drums, flutes, electric guitars, pianos, symbols, and much more.There's a huge variety of the type of songs in the game also; there's slow and calm songs played with flutes and violins, and there's also loud rock songs played with electric guitars and drums.You'll find yourself humming some of the songs and even just playing the game to hear them.The music fits in very well with the game also.It's cool to hear Jake's intense rock song while fighting against the Black Hole Army.I just really thought that Intelligent Systems did a wonderful job with the music.
The sound effects are also great.Lots of explosions, gun shots, cannons blasting-- just any destructive sound you could imagine is right here in this game.The sound effects sound somewhat realistic, but they're also kept mildly cartoony, like the rest of the game.I'm impressed by how well this game sounds.

<big><big><big>GamePlay</big></big></big><big><big>
9.75/10
Advance Wars' name might trick you into thinking this is a war game.Well, technically it is, but this ain't no Medal of Honor.Advance Wars is a strategy game, and a very good one too.The gameplay is very similar to that of other strategy games like Fire Emblem.You move your units around a grid-like map and attack other enemies.Sounds easy enough, right?Actually, Advance Wars: DS is a very complex game, and a hard one to master.
You have your basic military unit things like tanks, mechs, artillery, battle ships, battle copters, etc.In this game there's also a lot of new units added to the series, like Mega Tanks (really powerful tanks), Air Carriers (A ship that can carrey two air units), Piperunners, and more.Each weapon can move a certain distance, has it's own power, fuel, etc.For instance, Mega Tanks are very powerful but can't move very far, while Tanks aren't quite as powerful but can move a lot farther.It's all about balancing out the units you use during battle.
In the beginning of the game you have a set number of units, but later on you get to pick out what units you want and how many you want of them.This is where money comes in.You get money by capturing buildings.The more money you have, the more advanced and more powerful units you can obtain.
Specail CO powers can power up your units, give damage to all units on-screen, etc.These are obtainable only after a certain ammount of time though.If you wait longer though, you can use super powers, which are even more effective.And if you wait even longer, you can do a dual strike.A dual strike is when you get two turns to move your units and fire at enemies and anything else you need to do.
Like I said, AW: DS is a strategy game.It's very important to create a strategy to defeate the enemy; which is done by either defeating all units on-screen or capturing their HQ.The game gets a lot harder as you progress, so strategy is key to winning.

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<big><big><big>Replay Value</big></big></big><big><big>
9/10
Besides story mode, you can play your own set battles, which is a lot of fun.With tons of settings to choose from, over 10 COs, different weather conditions and lots of different units and strategies, no two battles are the same.It's fun to experiment and create your own strategies for defeating the enemy.
You can also create your own battle maps by placing different units of land, sea and buildings where you want.This is a lot of fun to experiment with and just to have fun with.
You can also have wireless battles with a friend, which is a lot of fun, because unlike CPU characters, people are unpredictable, and it's a ton of fun bashing your friend in a strategy war game.
There's many different modes in the game like Combat Mode, Versus, and much more, which will keep you entertained for hours.The story mode is also long and very challenging, so you're definately going to spend a lot of time playing AW:DS.This game has some excellent replay value.

<big><big><big>Overall</big></big></big><big><big>
9.5/10
Advance Wars: Dual Strike is the best DS game your money can buy right now.If you love Fire Emblem, you're going to have an absolute blast with this game.Hey, I guess AW: DS deserves another 9 anyways, right?</big></big></big></big></big></big></big></big></big></big></big></big></big>
 
Very good review, Yesman! You outlined all of the aspects, although you needed to get deeper into the story to review it properly, since there are minor plot twists which should rate, imo, higher than a 6. Also, a tad more detail would be great. Other than that, it's really good!
 
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