Advance Wars Dual Strike

Review: Advanced Wars: Dual Strike

DS Review

War, huh! Yeah, what is it good for? Turn based strategy apparently. The award winning series returns for its third incarnation...

Story-wise the plot is reasonably straightforward "A few months after the war on Macro land (Cosmo land before that) Orange Star along with assistance from other nations managed to successfully drive back and defeat Sturms forces. War from the evil Black Hole army has now arisen in a new land. (Omega land) The combined forces of Orange Star, Green Earth, Yellow Comet and Blue Moon have formed the "Allied Nations" and have vowed to defeat the opposing evil in its new more sinister form."

However initially simplistic the plot may seem, it doesn't merely set the scene and then rest on its laurels taking a back seat for the rest of the game, on the contrary it deepens with each mission, filling in blanks while creating more in the process only to be explained later on. CO's (Counter-Operatives) grow with experience and their story lines intertwine all the while keeping you hooked and drawing you in.

It's the gameplay where the game brings out the big guns; this dual screened incarnation thankfully remains faithful to the flawless formula created by its predecessors. In fact, it's this faithfulness to the roots of the series which makes AW: DS more of a spiritual successor sequel rather than merely a carbon copy clone. Although the underlining principles have remained unchanged however, there have been a few subtle but noteworthy changes including some tweaks to the gameplay.

The main noticeable addition (as denoted by the prefix) is the "Dual Strike" feature. This new feature allows you to choose from a plethora of CO's (including some long serving commanders as well as some raw recruits) and swap between two different CO's mid battle in order to build up two meters simultaneously leading to a dual strike. For example; Use Grit's mastery of long range units to rain death from a distance, before switching to Max and taking an army of tanks in to finish the job next turn.

In the way of new units AW: DS doesn't disappoint, far from it in fact. New additions to the ever expanding armory include Pipe Runners which although being rather limited in movement makes up for it in firepower and range. Other units include Stealth Bombers which unlike regular bombers have the option of hiding like a Submarine; Last but by no means least by any stretch of the imagination is the formidable Mega tank, the name speaks for itself really, it's a tank and it's mega... oh and it can destroy virtually any existing ground based unit; but you knew that already.


These gameplay enhancements (the dual strike feature in particular) allow for much greater scope than was previously available in past installments of this groundbreaking franchise. New content doesn't end with just mere enhancements either, just as the game doesn't end with it's campaign mode, a whole arsenal of modes are now at your disposal. Most welcome (and almost controversial) is battle mode which takes the AW rulebook and obliterates it by way of taking the turn-based system away and replacing it with real-time strategy.

Because AW:DS has such a wealth of modes, you may be forgiven for thinking that each one is relatively short. Fortunately this isn't the case, campaign mode alone proves this effortlessly as it easily has 20 hours plus of gameplay for veteran and rookie players alike, amicably setting the standard. Also making a welcome return is the map editor. As the name suggests this mode allows you to design and edit your own maps from scratch as well as providing a substantial number of basic maps preloaded for you to play/edit/remake should you so desire.

Needless to say the possibilities of the map editor alone are potentially limitless, as for the game as a whole there's just so much to do (almost too much) that it'll take weeks just to max out one CO, let alone the entire cast. Then there's all those other modes in which to while away months; to see and do everything within this game could actually take a lifetime, which is great from the point of view of longevity but it does make the game feel a little overwhelming at times.

Basically if you're a fan of Advance Wars, buy it! And if your not, buy it! The game is THAT good; it is of such unsurpassed quality. Everything that is so enjoyable about the previous GBA prequels has been built upon, enhanced and taken to the next level; even if you like strategy games or even if you don't, this truly is one of the most absorbing, rewarding and epically constructed games on not just the DS but any system.

One main thing though, it is only on one system, the DS. And if you don't own one and you are aware of this games existence and you STILL don't own one and if you're STILL reading this, you would be well advised to go and buy one and a copy of this game, now. Then lock yourself away in a bunker and prepare to lose a considerable part of your life.

War, such a terrible thing... Now if you'll excuse me i'm off to Omega land to go and nuke the hell out of the Black Hole army.

N-Europe Final Verdict

Advance Wars: Dual Strike is without a doubt the finest DS game in existence to date. Buy it, play it, lose days, weeks, even months of your life to it; and the best bit? You won't want them back...

  • Gameplay5
  • Playability4
  • Visuals5
  • Audio5
  • Lifespan5
Final Score



Genuinely brilliant gameplay
Fantastic yet functional graphics
Classic BGM and satisfying SFX
Potentially lasts a lifetime


Some may find too challenging
There aren't enough hours in the day

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