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Author Topic: Advance Wars: Dual Strike - great reviews so far!  (Read 5466 times)
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« on: August 19, 2005, 11:24:17 PM »

9.2 from GameSpot!

4.5/5 from GamePro!

From the GameSpot review:
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It offers a tremendous value and is sure to provide you with hour after hour of fun-filled, surprisingly brisk turn-based gameplay. A terrific presentation and tons of different modes of play, in addition to some great Wi-Fi multiplayer support, put this one way over the top. It's arguably the first must-have game for the Nintendo DS, and it's a perfect excuse to get the system if you haven't already.

I can't wait!  It will be a couple weeks before I can buy it so I'll be eagerly awaiting impressions.  Post away you punks!
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2005, 11:47:20 PM »

EGM had a great review of it as well.  The only downside (in my mind) is that it looks like an incremental improvement over the previous two games.  Same graphics, a couple new units/powers, and a couple of new gameplay tweaks - I was hoping they would use the increased horsepower of the DS to do a major graphical overhaul at least, but I guess if it ain't broke...
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2005, 12:58:08 PM »

actually they technically did, the stages have a quasi 3d look to them that wasn't possible on the GBA, it's nothing super special, but it does look neat.
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2005, 01:46:29 PM »

Quote from: "Dimmona"
a couple new units/powers,

What're the new units?

I think this is finally going to be the game that breaks my willpower to resist buying the DS.
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2005, 02:16:05 PM »

Quote from: "wonderpug"
What're the new units?

I think this is finally going to be the game that breaks my willpower to resist buying the DS.

Here's GameSpot on the units (including the new ones):
Quote
Advance Wars: Dual Strike features every unit from the previous games and makes a number of key additions, such as stealth fighters, aircraft carriers, and the appropriately named megatank--the biggest and toughest Advance Wars unit yet, but one whose firepower is tempered by a steep cost, slow movement, and limited ammunition. Perfectly tuned balance is the key to this series, after all, so there isn't a single unstoppable unit in the lineup. Each has a valuable purpose, but none can help you outsmart your foe. Many of the units are elegantly simple and yet very interesting in their own rights, like chess pieces packing unique weapons and defensive properties. Since most units can automatically retaliate when hit, you're constantly having to consider the possible repercussions of your every move.

Megatanks and stealth fighters?  Oh yeah.
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2005, 03:20:06 PM »

Quote from: "wonderpug"
Quote from: "Dimmona"
a couple new units/powers,

What're the new units?

I think this is finally going to be the game that breaks my willpower to resist buying the DS.


I hear ya, Wonderpug....I'd been skipping the DS because I thought it looked downright ugly..and I happen to like my GBA SP.  But...ARGH!!!  More Advance Wars!!!
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2005, 07:56:20 PM »

I really want to like Advance Wars.  I've bought and tried both GBA games.  And I just can't get into RTS type of games at all.  Which is sad.

But I will most likely buy Dual Strike anyways.  Looks good!
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2005, 09:50:05 PM »

Quote from: "depward"
I really want to like Advance Wars.  I've bought and tried both GBA games. And I just can't get into RTS type of games at all. Which is sad.



??!?

BTW, Advance Wars is on sale this week for $25 at Fry's.
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2005, 10:12:28 PM »

Quote from: "depward"
I really want to like Advance Wars.  I've bought and tried both GBA games.  And I just can't get into RTS type of games at all.  Which is sad.

But I will most likely buy Dual Strike anyways.  Looks good!

If you didn't like the other Advance Wars, why do you think you'll like Dual Strike?  They're all pretty much the same exact game, just with small additions.
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2005, 10:20:33 PM »

I'm with the two above me...if you didn't like the other two there is no way you'll like Dual Strike.
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2005, 02:02:58 PM »

Advance Wars: Dual Strike is in stores today, fellow crackheads!

I'm rushing to get my copy right after work!
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2005, 02:06:28 PM »

IN!

I might finally use my DS!
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2005, 02:23:16 PM »

:evil:  :evil:  :evil: NEVERMIND THE STORES NEAR ME DON'T HAVE IT YET  :evil:  :evil:  :evil:

WHY AM I SHOUTING
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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2005, 02:53:43 PM »

I'm so torn on AW.  Normally I really enjoy TBS games, but for some reason the first one didn't really grab me.  However, it was one of 6 games I picked up when I bought my GBA, and I don't know if I really gave it a chance.  I tend to do 'game overload' when I get a new system and never really devote time to a single game.  I never tried AW2, but the DS version has me seriously tempted.  

Maybe I'll pick it up as a b-day present to myself today.
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2005, 05:07:00 PM »

Happy Birthday Gratch!
Hope you enjoy the game!
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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2005, 01:44:46 AM »

Happy Bday Gratch biggrin

Thinking about picking it up...maybe after I finish up Sacred Stones (lost 3 people in ONE BATTLE today, GAH!).

Post some impressions smile
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2005, 01:55:00 AM »

Happy Birthday Gratch!  More impressions!

I'm not going to purchase it.  I don't THINK.  I purchased the second after not really liking the first because I dig the style of the Advance War series.  I WANT to enjoy those type of games (strat games) and I'm hoping that one game I pick up will make me do so.

So yep.  I probably won't, but eh, we'll see.
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« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2005, 10:40:30 PM »

Well, I tried AW DS, and I still just can't get into this series.  I think my main problem is trying to keep straight which units are best against which, and trying to figure out exactly how the developers 'want' you to beat a mission.  Maybe I'm just short on patience, but I can't see myself investing the time it takes to have any success at this game.  

Teenybop characters also bug the everliving shit out of me.  When my CO says things like, 'Word.  You got served!', that's a pretty good indication that this game just isn't for me.  frown

I'm putting it up in the trading forum if anybody's interested.
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2005, 01:06:24 AM »

Quote from: "Gratch"
I think my main problem is trying to keep straight which units are best against which,

Huh, I always liked how Advance Wars was pretty straightforward (IMO) with its unit types.  Tanks beat up non tanks, bigger tanks beat both of those up, ranged units work well at range but not up close, counter air units with anti-air weapons.  And with the DS, you don't even have to go to an info screen to see what a unit is good at attacking, its up on the top screen.

Quote
and trying to figure out exactly how the developers 'want' you to beat a mission.

I don't think the game is as puzzle like as you're interpreting it as.  In just about every mission you have a lot of flexibility on how to proceed.  You only really need to do it a "right way" if you care about your score, or maybe on some of the pre-deployed maps.

Quote
Teenybop characters also bug the everliving shit out of me.  When my CO says things like, 'Word.  You got served!', that's a pretty good indication that this game just isn't for me.  :(

Yeah, Jake's pretty annoying.  Luckily, all the other characters are great.  You can just avoid picking Jake for all your missions, and you'll only occasionally hear him squawk.
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« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2005, 01:28:15 AM »

Quote from: "wonderpug"
I don't think the game is as puzzle like as you're interpreting it as. In just about every mission you have a lot of flexibility on how to proceed. You only really need to do it a "right way" if you care about your score, or maybe on some of the pre-deployed maps.


You're right but that part doesn't really kick into until after the tutorial phase which is rather long for all three games and something Gratch might not have made it beyond.  The early missions are much more puzzle oriented because the game is trying to demonstrate a particular tactic in each case.  But yeah, the later missions (and vast majority of the game) are much, much more open ended.
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« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2005, 02:27:13 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "wonderpug"
I don't think the game is as puzzle like as you're interpreting it as. In just about every mission you have a lot of flexibility on how to proceed. You only really need to do it a "right way" if you care about your score, or maybe on some of the pre-deployed maps.


You're right but that part doesn't really kick into until after the tutorial phase which is rather long for all three games and something Gratch might not have made it beyond.  The early missions are much more puzzle oriented because the game is trying to demonstrate a particular tactic in each case.  But yeah, the later missions (and vast majority of the game) are much, much more open ended.


You're right, I doubt I even got past the tutorial.  I put about 2-3 hours total into it.  But when I'm getting my butt kicked even on the simple tutorial missions, I'm guessing it's just not my type of game.   I'll just go back to playing FFTA again or maybe give Tactics Ogre another shot.
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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2005, 02:36:25 AM »

Quote from: "Gratch"


You're right, I doubt I even got past the tutorial.  I put about 2-3 hours total into it.  But when I'm getting my butt kicked even on the simple tutorial missions, I'm guessing it's just not my type of game.   I'll just go back to playing FFTA again or maybe give Tactics Ogre another shot.


Heh, funny you should say that because while I have Advance Wars in my DS , I have Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis in the GBA slot, am currently approx 30 hours into a replay of FFT for PS1, and just today picked up a used copy of Tactics Ogre PS1 from EB.
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« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2005, 02:03:51 PM »

I gotta start replaying FFT soon.  I guess I've been caught up with Guild Wars on the PC, and Riviera/Advance Wars DS on my NDS (that's the current combo in my system).

Ok, AW:DS impressions/opinions -

*Character art has changed for the worse.  Characters now look more 'realistic,' and their colors are less vibrant.  This is a component in Intelligent System's attempt to lose the "kiddie" image for AW, I think.

*The main character thinks he's black/urban/a wigger.  When you beat a level with him, he spouts such one liners as "Better bring the plates, because you just got served!" or "I dropped you like a phat beat!"  No, this isn't a joke.  Yes, I quoted accurately, down to his use of "ph" in "phat."  Fortunately other COs seem to have kept their old characters -- not everyone is a child of the MTV culture.  Again, I feel like this is part of Intelligent System's attempt to appeal to a more... erm... "mature" audience.

*The sound's changed for the worse.  The familiar metallic whirring of artillery taking aim has been replaced by some tinny grinding noise and an unsatisfying explosion on hit.  Rifles sound more like laser guns than projectile weapons.  New music (that I've heard so far) uniformly sucks, fortunately they kept the returning COs' original themes.

*The main menu looks amateurish and clumsy.  Minor complaint.

*"Combat" mode is lamer than FDR's legs.  It's dubbed as "Real Time Strategy," but that just means you loosely control a single unit at a time in some kind of six-level action/shooter campaign.  There are only four unit types -- Mechanized Infantry, Recon, Small Tank, and Artillery.  The objective is to kill all units or capture the enemy HQ, but all units can capture towns or HQs, albeit at different rates.  Mountains are destroyable by attacking them (?) and drop powerups (?).  You only have a certain number of each unit, if one dies, it's gone for good.  The AI is absolutely no-holds-barred atrocious:  it controls all its units at the same time, but all they do is drive around in patterns until you get in range -- when you get in range, they sort of randomly try and shoot at you, rarely breaking from their pattern.  

Basically, you can drive up to a choke point like a square between two pipes and shoot through the choke until your potshots kill everything moving in patterns behind it, because the AI doesn't understand to either charge you through the choke and kill you, or bring artillery up to shoot over the choke.  They'll randomly take shots at you, yes, but unless those shots happen to go through the choke point, you'll never take a hit.  It's seriously Atari 2600-level AI.  I have no idea why they let this crap in the final version as a feature -- an unlockable minigame, sure, whatever, it's stupid, alot of unlockable minigames are.  But a feature that you can actually unlock characters for and such?  For shame.

*Luckily, the Campaign/War Room TBS game is still excellent in terms of map design, unit balance, gameplay etc.  I've yet to get to a dual-screen battle, but I'll report when I do.

*Two insanely obnoxious graphical things:

1.)  In combat animations, the little CO portraits make stupid commentary, like "Nooo!" when your unit drops to 3 or 4 HP, or "Yeah!" when they drop the enemy to 3 or 4 HP.  Most combats have both opposing COs saying something, as if, you know, the player needed help understanding the ramifications of a combat.  There is no way to turn this off, AFAIK.

2.)  There's this "perspective" effect on the battlefield which gives it a very crude, ugly 3D look.  It's like the map itself is tilted -- like the lower edge is closer to the screen than the upper edge.  All the units are still sprites though, so all this accomplishes is making the units in the far north of maps look like squished midgets, or worse, pixel blobs.  This effect can also make it hard to discern whether a tank is a normal tank or an Md Tank without close inspection.  Not cool, and I've yet to find a way to turn it off.

*I've only seen one new unit so far, but it was cool -- the Black Hole Bomb.  It's a single-use missle-like weapon that explodes, destroying itself and doing 5HP of damage to everything (it hits ground and choppers, dunno about Fighters/Bombers) in a 3x3 square.

Overall, it's new Advanced Wars goodness, which is always great, but there are some dubious stylistic choices that certainly don't help make the game better than the sum of its parts.
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« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2005, 08:38:14 PM »

Good stuff LE.  Your "lamer than FDR's legs" sentence had me laughing for about a minute.

I'm still debating whether or not to pick it up.  I know I know, my prior comments are still up there.  I'm a weird person!
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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2005, 08:44:13 PM »

Quote from: "depward"

I'm still debating whether or not to pick it up.  I know I know, my prior comments are still up there.  I'm a weird person!


Do you like Fire Emblem?
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« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2005, 10:29:43 PM »

(he's never felt inclined to play my copy of it...but I will *force* him to play it today to see if he digs that sort of thing or not.)


I've got $45 credit at a gamestore that I *think* I'm gonna use to get it.  Maybe today.

However, LE's writeup makes me a bit wary.  Some parts sound annoying as hell.  But hey, tanks instead of dragons should be a nice change of pace for awhile.  Fire Emblem is too serious and I can't nuke people in that game.
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« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2005, 11:12:40 PM »

Quote from: "TheMissingLink"


However, LE's writeup makes me a bit wary.  Some parts sound annoying as hell.  



I'll contrast LE's writeup a bit on a few points:

I think the menu design is pretty fantastic and in keeping with the excellent standards of the previous titles.

I like the new character art a lot but do agree Jake is annoying as hell.  Luckily there are plenty of other COs and Jake isn't a concern once you get past the tutorial and start picking your COs.  

LE's two "insanely obnoxious" graphical things aren't obnoxious at all to me and I barely noted them.  On the bright side there are  some subtle additions and effects to the graphics that make AW DS the best looking of all three games.  

Can't comment on Combat mode because I haven't played it and have no plans to.  He's probably right but its really just an extra and not a focus of the game at all.  

We'll have to see how it plays out long term but at this point I feel comfortable calling it an improvement over its predecessors in almost every area.  

Quote
But hey, tanks instead of dragons should be a nice change of pace for awhile.  Fire Emblem is too serious and I can't nuke people in that game.


Comparing FE to AW is a pretty fascinating study in game design.  Despite most of the core aspects being pretty identical the seemingly minor changes make for major gameplay deviations  such that strategy that works in one won't necessarilly translate well to the other.  Also, the AI in AW is much, much more aggressive than FE's.  FE AI is largely reactive and outside of a few scripted events can feel comfortable that an enemy won't attack unless you enter there "reaction zone."  Definitely not the case for Advance Wars.  

I tend to play FE pretty defensively- small advances designed to only lure out enemies I'm confident that I can handle without getting my character killed.  The maps might take me a while but I can pretty much ensure victory.  That strategy usually won't be successful in AW since both sides have access to resources that won't run dry and if you aren't aggressive enough then the enemy can produce enough hardware to roll right over you.  I've never had an almost complete rout of my forces in Fire Emblem but it's certainly happened more than I care to mention in the Advance Wars series.
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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2005, 05:41:59 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
LE's two "insanely obnoxious" graphical things aren't obnoxious at all to me and I barely noted them.
I suppose it's a matter of preference.  The perspective effect really gets to me for some reason.  I've gotten over the comments thing, though.

One thing I want to change due to a hardware error on my part -- while the sound effects sound less impressive than previous titles, the music is actually much, much better.  I usually keep my DS's volume one tick above mute because I play before going to sleep, and at this volume, the music kind of runs together and sound staticy.  After cranking it up a little more and actually being able to distinguish the various instruments, the music sounds alot better.
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« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2005, 03:40:14 PM »

The place by me won't get Advance Wars DS in till Tuesday so I dedicated the weekend to finishing Fire Emblem.

And after putting 12 hours in, I was SCREWED by the endboss and have to do the last chapter again.

Fire Emblem:The Sacred Stones endboss spoiler below.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I made sure to check what spells the demon king's body had, and I DON'T REMEMBER SEEING A FUCKING SLEEP SPELL THAT WOULD PUT MY WHOLE PARTY, with the exception of my DANCER to sleep!  I complained to my brother and he said "End bosses are hard", but I disagree.  It's a tactics game.  If I knew he had a crazy sleep spell that could span like, 4 squares all around, I wouldn't have grouped my units together!  Argh!  Zap!!  *WHIIIIIRL*
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« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2005, 02:54:34 AM »

I picked up Advance Wars tonight, and so far I'm enjoying it.  Yeah, it's just a slightly improved verison of the original but that's not necessarily a bad thing - now if I can just far enough into it to not have to deal with Jake anymore...
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« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2005, 06:16:13 AM »

Places around me are all sold out.  One store is getting a shipment of 2 either today or tomorrow, so I'll be hanging out around 2:00 there both days if necessary biggrin
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« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2005, 03:40:44 PM »

After putting in another hour or so, I have to say the only really frustrating thing for me is the control - it's so easy to give the wrong units the wrong orders, often screwing yourself in the process.  While there was so much more they could have done with the game, I have to admit it's just as addictive and satisfying as ever...
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« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2005, 03:57:48 PM »

Quote from: "Dimmona"
After putting in another hour or so, I have to say the only really frustrating thing for me is the control - it's so easy to give the wrong units the wrong orders, often screwing yourself in the process.  While there was so much more they could have done with the game, I have to admit it's just as addictive and satisfying as ever...


Just go back to the "old" way using the D-Pad and buttons.  Much more efficient IMO.
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« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2005, 11:33:57 PM »

Got this awhile ago and I am really really digging it.  This is my FIRST Advance Wars experience and do so far, truthfully, it's been kind of tough.  I think I'm on mission 10 now...I've seriously died twice.  But I'm starting to get the hang of it!

The music is freakin' awesome, btw.

http://awds.ytmnd.com/

I hate all the switching I have to do between this and Nintendogs - it makes me wish I had two gameslots for the DS biggrin

The percentages kind of confuse me, though.  Let's say an army has the full 10 of their guys and I go to attack and a 46% comes up.  Now, I'll most likely kill 4-5 of their guys, right?  And if I have two CO's matched up that have stars, I have a little better percentage?

And what if the enemy has 6 people instead of the 10 and a 46% comes up.  Is that 46% of 6?  Or still 4-5?  I'm CONFUZZLED!
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« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2005, 12:00:38 AM »

Quote from: "TheMissingLink"
Got this awhile ago and I am really really digging it.  This is my FIRST Advance Wars experience and do so far, truthfully, it's been kind of tough.  I think I'm on mission 10 now...I've seriously died twice.  But I'm starting to get the hang of it!

The music is freakin' awesome, btw.

http://awds.ytmnd.com/

I hate all the switching I have to do between this and Nintendogs - it makes me wish I had two gameslots for the DS biggrin

The percentages kind of confuse me, though.  Let's say an army has the full 10 of their guys and I go to attack and a 46% comes up.  Now, I'll most likely kill 4-5 of their guys, right?  And if I have two CO's matched up that have stars, I have a little better percentage?

And what if the enemy has 6 people instead of the 10 and a 46% comes up.  Is that 46% of 6?  Or still 4-5?  I'm CONFUZZLED!


The stars indicate the bonus to defence that the terrain gives you.  Ideally, you want more stars than the other player when this appears.  46% still assumes a full unit.  Think of it this way...46% indicates that four points of damage will be done, and a fifth is possible out of ten. smile
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2005, 12:19:58 AM »

Ahha, okay, that's easy to understand biggrin
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Tebunker
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« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2005, 01:25:51 AM »

Just wanted to jump on the wagon and thow in that I am loving this game. I had really gotten into the first one and enjoyed that but never finished, and I can't say that I'll finish this one, but I am enjoying the heck out of it. I played the first 10 or so missions, maybe more. Played some combat, which I liked, and I made some maps.

I would've killed for Nintendo to have launched their wireless service with this  game. Or atleast a small bit or a kind of test that atleast allowed PBEM. I would probably sit in my house for hours waiting for the message that my turn is up!
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« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2005, 01:13:55 PM »

Man am I pissed! :evil:

Last night I'm playing Mission #12.  Normally, I save my game every few turns or I wait to save before I make a "big" move in the game that could have huge consequences.

However, last night I was totally engrossed in this amazingly fun game and I'm about 25 turns into one incredible battle and then I realize that my left leg is numb and completely asleep.  I have it tucked under me sitting on the couch while playing the game.  So, in the process of shifting my body to get into a more comfortable position that will bring my leg back to life my left thumb hits the power button and OFF goes the DS! :evil:   It was then that I realized I didn't save. :cry:

So, I proceeded to watch Episode 3 of Emergency! again and all is better in the world! biggrin
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Torfish
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« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2005, 01:31:07 PM »

Quote from: "Starshifter"
Man am I pissed! :evil:

Last night I'm playing Mission #12.  Normally, I save my game every few turns or I wait to save before I make a "big" move in the game that could have huge consequences.

However, last night I was totally engrossed in this amazingly fun game and I'm about 25 turns into one incredible battle and then I realize that my left leg is numb and completely asleep.  I have it tucked under me sitting on the couch while playing the game.  So, in the process of shifting my body to get into a more comfortable position that will bring my leg back to life my left thumb hits the power button and OFF goes the DS! :evil:   It was then that I realized I didn't save. :cry:

So, I proceeded to watch Episode 3 of Emergency! again and all is better in the world! biggrin


That's horrible.  It should have an automatic save on each turn.

I love the game.  More than the first two in the series.  This game is pure addicting... just one more turn.  You can hardly put it down when you in the middle of battles.  I just finished mission #10 last night.  The last few missions have taken me 2+ hours each.  There is so many strategy options, that is the best part.  So, replaying missions is still very fun.  High replay value here.

I loved the duel screen mission.  Nice twist.
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2005, 01:31:09 AM »

Just finished the 13th mission - I'm finding myself liking this one more and more.

And I FINALLY beat a war room map!!  Spann Island with Colin.  And let me tell you, I almost felt like I was cheating with Colin.  I had a few megatanks rolling around because of his power.

Does anyone have any good war room maps to recommend playing?  I want to beat another map - but I want it to be a good one!  

OH, and question: how do I get more wallpapers?
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