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Advance Wars

Reviewed by KasketDarkfyre Turn based strategy games are hard to come by on any handheld system and when you think of any Game Boy having something to do with that, you may be a little surprised. Advance Wars is a game that will put your skills, patience and time to the test through several different battles against computer controlled armies. If you like games that require plenty of thought as well as a sometimes challenging {if not cheap} game play that comes with bright visuals and easy to learn control, then you'll find everything that you're looking for in this title. The plot behind the game is little more than you undertaking the role of one commander in the Orange Star Army. As a general rule, you'll be controlling a friendly, if not sometimes silly looking character that goes up against infinitely more evil looking enemy army. Though the plot really doesn't make much of a difference, the game is centered more on action and thought than it is out and out action. For gamers who enjoy this style of game play, there is really nothing here that you can't sink your teeth into and get a feel for in just a few minutes at best! The game play section of this title is separated into a few different portions that will take you through the game in a tutorial to help learn just what the game has to offer. As with most strategy games, your main goal is to beat the opposing army and kill whatever gets in your way while overtaking the enemy army and holdings. Where the complexity of the game really shines through though, is when you have to use a system of hit and run while trying to keep the upper hand. For those of you who can't stand having to restart a game simply because you made a mistake, you might as well not even bother. Battling is easily done though, with your main goal being to select a unit and then simply click and move the units across the screen. Those of you who are familiar with strategy games will find that there is little here different from the norm, with most of the action taking place through menus and the like. However, when you get into the late stages of the game, there are portions that may just get on your nerves enough to make you scream, especially when you make a simple mistake. Control is easy though, with the tutorial mode showing you just what to do and when to do it at every turn! Visually, Advance Wars keeps with the traditional theme of Nintendo games giving you colorful characters and a cartoonish look to the game. While the battlegrounds may not be the most perfect designs that you'll see and some of the battles can be a little strange to look at, the action is constantly intense in the different cut scenes. For a handheld game, there is enough detail and design shining through the game to really keep anyone glued and it's something rather interesting to see. With some minor complaints in the overall design of the battlefields withstanding, it's a good visual effort. Audio is another place here in the game that could either turn you on to the theme or turn you off. With most of the characters having their own theme music, there are times that you have to hear the same tune played over and over again when you wait. While this isn't much of a problem if you're not worried about keeping to the game, there are points where it could possibly get on your nerves. Thankfully, the volume dial is just below and the game isn't sound intensive, so there really isn't much of a reason to have it up full blast if you have something better to listen to! Advance Wars is a game of turn based strategy that makes good on the Game Boy Advance simply because there is little more than replay value and strategy to mess with. Although the theme of the game really isn't all that serious, and the sound can grate on your nerves, there are times that the game shines with the addictive game play and bright visuals. However, this game is for strategy purists that have a soft side and don't really need realism in their genre to keep them interested. If you like games that keep you awake at all hours of the night and can get you in trouble with your significant other, then this title is for you.

Overall: 8 out of 10

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