Reviews: Nintendo Wars

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin

Days of Ruin was the last Nintendo Wars game before consumers and Intelligent System decided Fire Emblem was cooler. In many ways, I personally think the series went out with a bang.

Graphic: Absolutely lackluster. While map sprites have that cool 45 degree angle, battle animation is a hideous blob of colors on an extremely dull background.

Story: This game went for a post apocalyptic story and I love it! It reminds me of Power Rangers RPM, as both are set After the End and have a super serious conflict and yet still have a hopeful outlook and have a lot of sharper humor as well. Lin is my favorite character in the franchise.

Music: Pure epicness. Although the CO themes may overuse grunge a bit, the music overall nicely evokes a feel of determination in the face of adversity. Just listen to "Road to War," "Next Destination," and "The Shelter."

Gameplay: The revamped CO system is more balanced overall (except Isabella because her CO power is Will+Gage+Tasha combined plus more). The way CO fills their bar encourage a more aggressive fights and less focus on using infantry as a meat shield. You are no longer afraid to beat up the enemy! A typical match will have an extremely fierce fight between CO units and trying to kill each other while supporting their cronies.

I enjoy the new units as well, but the anti-tanks can be a bit frustrating because their counters are either very slow or very expensive. The rehaul on battleships, Carriers and Rig/Mobile Factory/APC make naval battles more fun this time.

In conclusion, this is my personal favorite Nintendo Wars game because of interesting story and characters, awesome soundtrack, and a less stalemate gameplay.

Days of Ruin: Better blance, YMMV on the tone shift

Days of Ruin tries very hard to be Darker and Edgier than its predecessors. Whether or not this is a good thing is up to you. I'm not really a fan of it, but that doesn't make it bad. It's definately not Shadow The Hedghog level "trying too hard". Both the story and character designs are very "Fire Emblem-esque", and it's a pretty decent plot. It just won't be everyone's thing.

Gameplay is where this installment shines though, with a few exceptions. After Dual Strike made everything a giant mess of brokenness (albiet an enjoyable one), this game is probably the most blanced Wars game yet. Nerfing the C Os in general may annoy some, but overall the new "CO Zone" mehanics are interesting and add more strategy to the game, especially the fact you can target the CO unit, which gives opponents a much-needed way to directly counter CO Powers. (Previously only Sasha's Normal Power could do this) As for the C Os in general, most of their abilities are Expies of those from earleir games, but there's a good mix of specialists here. Brenner in particular is a welcomed addition as the series first "true" defense specialist. (Javier sort-of was, but he needed Comm Towers) My main gripe here is Greyfield, who has a very weird set of specialties and a really unthreatening CO Power for being a major antagonist.

There's one pretty major flaw in the balance though, and it's one unit: the Anti-Tank. It's a little too good at too many things, and it has very few weaknesses. As its name implies, it's an indirect unit that does massive damage to tanks. But unlike other Indirects, it can attack directly as well. In fact it can counter attack against direct attacks, something no other indirect can do. It's also extremely resilliant against vehicle fire, again strange among indirects. Its only official weakness is Bombers, which doesn't mean much seeing as Bombers massacre any ground unit, but it's only "real" weakness is Infantry (and other Machine Gun users), something the game doesn't hint at much, and only serves to make Infantry spam even more effective. It can also fire on copters for some reason.

But one bad unit aside, the gameplay is overall solid. Navel combat is finally worthwhile, for one. Recommended if you're into the series for multiplayer.
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