Previews

Cartoon generals reinforce DS

Nintendo’s Advance Wars boasts plenty of firepower

Cartoon generals reinforce DS

War - we all know it’s good for absolutely nothing but for some reason we’re also pretty keen to get to grips with enemy troops when it comes to computer games. And despite only being previously available on Game Boy Advance, one of the best war series to date has been Nintendo’s Advance Wars. Now it’s stepping up to another level with double action on DS and that’s not just thanks to the addition of new units such as hulking aircraft carriers, slippery stealth fighters and chunkingly mean megatanks.

No, the main thrust of the game for wouldbe livingroom generals in Advance Wars: Dual Strike will be the different play modes. The first is Campaign, where you’ll have to fight against the invasion of the Black Hole Army (by the way - what a great name for a band!), under their generals Koal, Jugger, Kindle and Von Bolt.

In keeping with the colourful cartoon style of the game, you’ll be commanding the forces of Orange Star, Blue Moon, Yellow Comet and Green Earth with the DS’ top screen providing info about the action including special conditions such as unit details and terrain advantages. The battle map appears on the touch screen and you’ll be able to take control of the battle using your stylus to move units and order them into attack. Each side get a turn to make their move and then the action switches.

As you beat back the Black Hole Army, so your in-game characters, the commanding officers of the different forces, will gain experience and new battle skills such as increasing their strength or boosting their troops’ abilities. Each CO also has a super power, which could be freezing the battlefield or raining down bombs, and you can chain combos and create dual strikes to press home your advantage.

But in addition to the turn-based campaign mode comes the DS Battle mode where you get to fight across both screens, so for example you can have a ground assault happening on one and air-to-air combat on another. Equally, you’ll be able to provide support by sending units from one battle to the other.

And finally there’s also a fast moving combat mode, where you just get to control one unit instead the whole battlefield. All these options will be available in multiplayer too; with up to four players duking it out in campaign or battle modes and up to eight going all out in the combat mode which only requires one of you to have a copy of the game.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike is due for release on 30 September and frankly we can’t wait!