Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp review

We’d understand if Nintendo Switch owners are getting brain fatigue from all the strategy games that have been released over the past few months, but given advance war The granddaddy of them all, we’re happy to make an exception for Re-Boot Camp.

Earlier fire Emblem Nintendo’s strategy became beloved, with developer Intelligent Systems dominating the Game Boy Advance with its turn-based, kid-friendly alternative Command & Conquer, As you build an army, the anime Commanding Officers (COs) each bring their own personality quirks, then ‘solve’ each mission like a violent puzzle.

re-boot camp essentially bundles the GBA original and its sequel, Black Hole Rising, into one package, with new visuals handled by WayForward – a developer known for its toon styles and Shante Platforming Series. More importantly, the strategic gameplay that feels as precise as chess remains intact. Is it mindless picking this strategic package?

marching orders

battles in re-boot camp Battles are fought on a top-down grid with land, sea, and air units, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Naturally tanks can destroy infantry, but infantry are the only units that can capture cities and bases needed to generate money and deploy more units. Tanks are vulnerable to air units, or any land or sea-based unit with long range capabilities, whereas these are sitting ducks once a unit is right next to them. These skirmishes play out with each side deploying their units in a single turn (here measured as a day) while you try to lure the enemy – or rush to gain control of the ground.

The varied terrain enhances your units’ protection, while the fog of war obscures unexplored parts of the map until you deploy a reconstituted unit or move a soldier to higher ground. The flip side is that the enemy also can’t see you, making this a great opportunity to hide your units in nearby woods to set up an ambush. Unless you accidentally find one of their units already hidden there.

There’s a huge difference in how it works here compared to turn-based gameplay fire Emblem, Each unit represents a squadron, so their points account for both health and firepower. Up to a point an artillery unit would be able to barely dent an enemy tank, whereas a hero on his last legs could still land the fatal blow in other strategy games.

Different fire Emblem, you won’t feel the heartbreak of losing a unit for good, as most missions have bases to deploy other units in its place. It is a war after all, and even if you win, there will be many casualties. Sometimes you are only sending units in as a sacrificial turn to stem the tide moving forward.

This also means you don’t have to worry about grinding missions to level up any units. Instead, the incentive to run again is more about trying to get a better rank because you are judged on speed, power, and technique. The points earned can then be spent in a shop to unlock more content.

to attract attention

Your soldiers are somewhat disposable, so all personality comes from your CO. You have three at the start of the campaign: all-rounder Andy, tank specialist Max and speedy Sami. Who you play as is usually decided by mission, although there are moments where you can choose. You units get certain bonuses and disadvantages with each one, and once you charge up a special meter you can trigger a unique ability.

As a mechanic, Andy can repair all of his units with 2 points each. Max’s non-infantry units gain more power, and Sami’s infantry can cover even more ground. The other side is having to contend with rival COs who also have tricks up their sleeves, such as Olaf who slows your troops down with a snow storm. Eagle is perhaps the most devastating, letting your non-infantry units rework the same turn.

A separate mode called War Room lets you ignore the story and play tons of maps (once you’ve unlocked them) with any CO, including rivals. With huge rosters of personalities in both games, there’s a lot of variety in the different battles to play through.

The CO is given a bit more character in this reboot, with voice acting lines and brief animated cutscenes. These additions are welcome, even if we have a fondness for the original’s, arguably more expressive, pixel art illustrations. Battlefield presentation is largely identical to the original in terms of color and interface, though now in high-def and widescreen, but we’re a little less enamored with the 3D models of the units themselves. They still receive the same information during each fight animation, which maintains the comic-style splitscreen format, but takes on a more generic look next to the hand-drawn art.

double time

While Re-Boot Camp is technically two games in one, and everything from the original is still there – from the mission layout to the ever-split paths you can take – you can’t jump straight into it. black hole rising until you finish advance war, Once you’ve unlocked the second campaign, you’re also free to switch between the other game modes with slightly different rules for each game. We’d argue that the first game is better anyway, even if the sequel offers more objective variety and introduces more CO.

fire Emblem Fans should be aware of a few differences. There’s less information available to know where your enemy might be moving and who is in range of their attack, since you can only examine the movements of individual units one by one. While you have the option of undoing mistakes, it is also not as detailed as in the recent past. fire Emblem The game, as you can only reset the current day (and with it all decisions made on the turn) has no opportunity to go back to previous days.

It’s also strictly a strategy game, not including any of the other series’ role-playing or social elements, so you’ll just be playing battle after battle. And some of these may be drawn out, especially with both sides being able to deploy more units. You may find some missions where you are at an impasse, slowly creeping towards victory, or staring at an inevitable loss unless you choose to buckle down and start over.

However, strategy purists will be pleased. There are really tons of maps to unlock to challenge yourself, as well as the option to custom design and share your own. Online and local multiplayer are both on board, and it’s especially great that up to four players can fight on a single map in your living room, all while toting around just one Joy-Con.

Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp Verdict

re-boot campThe timing is a bit odd. Yes, its release was postponed for a whole year due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine (even if the cartoon armies of the Orange Star and Blue Moon nations couldn’t feel more removed from the realities of war), but maybe That you fill your tactics game so far. The GBA games that landed on the expansion pack for Nintendo Switch Online earlier this year also made us wish we could just play the original instead.

Either way, it’s a beautiful collection of turn-based strategy classics. While opinions may differ on some of its art choices, there are enough changes and additions to make it worthwhile. We’ve come to expect more gameplay elements from our Tactics games these days, so it may not be as much to win your heart, but your mind will be greatly rewarded.

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