Advance Wars: Dual Strike [2005] ANALYSIS

5 thoughts on “Advance Wars: Dual Strike [2005] ANALYSIS”

  1. As someone who has extensively played every game in the series from its inception, I think I have some complaints about this post!

    Namely, you bring up the game’s balance and compare it unfavorably with previous iterations. I think it should be noted that the series has *always* been plagued with balance issues, with Dual Strike being little different from its predecessors in that regard.

    Recall that Advance Wars 1 held host to two of the *most broken COs in series history* in Max and Grit. Both COs rendered the *entire rest of the cast* irrelevant in both singleplayer and multiplayer. Meanwhile, COs such as Olaf and Sonja were so situational so as to be extremely limited (Olaf’s snow ability doesn’t really matter on maps with lots of roads), or completely useless (if you weren’t playing a Fog of War map, Sonja has almost zero benefit whatsoever).

    Meanwhile, Advance Wars 2 features the most dominant iteration of Kanbei ever (try to attack one of his units on a city. Go ahead, try), does nothing to solve the Grit problem, and then introduces four new “ohmygodbroken” COs in Hachi, Colin, Sensei and Sturm. Sure, Sturm is fully intended to be a broken boss CO, but we’ll notice in AWDS that that sort of design philosophy doesn’t need to exist (Von Bolt is very beatable).

    Unit balance was never terribly impressive either. Competitive balance has consistently been dominated by small units. That was the case in AW1 and 2, and remains the case in AWDS. In fact, AWDS does very little to solve any of the balance issues that plague previous iterations of the series, so in a sense your criticisms are entirely valid. I just think you’re looking at the series’ past with rose-tinted glasses in that regard.

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    1. We think your comment, Kristoph, is more informed feedback than complaint. You obviously have a thorough knowledge of the franchise. We appreciate the detail and passion you bring to this topic.

      As you can see, we analyze and play a lot of Turn-Based Strategy/SRPGs here at Play What You Like. Unit balance versus cost is crucial for this whole family of games. We are glad for your thoughtful agreement with the meat of our analysis in regards to the commander’s powers.

      You make a good point about our thoughts on the earlier entries. We will admit the commander’s special powers have always been the weak link in the series. However, we were willing to give the earlier entries a pass, as we think it did not reach the tipping point in an otherwise well-balanced-units game. (Two attacks in a row in Dual Strike was definitely a tipping point.) In fact, we largely avoided the commanders in Advance Wars and played many hours of versus CPU map battles.

      There is some difference between our opinions in regards to small versus large unit balance. We did not think it obviously broken series-wide (outside of commander powers). We also thought the strengths of units being a little more or less according to the commander you chose added personalization and player buy-in. Of course, those said strengths had to be reasonable. Some of the scenarios you highlight throw the balance off, and you are right, major balance issues have not been addressed.

      Why are the developers resting on their laurels and letting this franchise suffer? Your comment was a good one. We both agree that an otherwise fine franchise is being hampered with flashy, overpowered, sometimes unhelpful, and unnecessary gameplay mechanics.

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  2. This is very nice. I love this game, and I am still playing it up to this day. I also tried to cosplay Andy from Advance Wars. Dunno why I keep coming up in the search results (when my Andy is carrying a dumbbell)! 😛 Anyway, you have a really nice blog over here! I’m glad I dropped by!

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    1. We played the first Advance Wars many, many hours. We enjoyed going up against the AI on all the different maps. As you read above, the dual strike mechanics did not thrill us as much. But the core of this franchise is still solid, turn-based strategic fun.

      Andy Workin’ Out!
      Andy Workin Out!

      PS – Thanks for stopping by and the kind words. Keep droppin’ in. There is a lot to see and more coming.

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