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Advance Wars: Dual Strike Review

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Compelling action and strong story elements

★★★★★

With its crisp visuals, brisk pace and strategic action more addictive than any narcotic, Advance Wars remains one of the best Game Boy Advance titles ever published. But while it must have been tempting for the developers to use the DS’ touch screen and microphone to radically change the experience, Nintendo has sensibly opted not to fix what ain’t broke.

Dual Strike ups the ante with a handful of new military units that can be deployed in combat, tag-team battles where you can use the special powers of two commanding officers in the same skirmish, and special events where the action is spread across the DS’ two screens and players only have limited control over the action. Wireless multiplayer combat also makes this edition tower above its already-classic predecessors, and the DS’ touch screen makes creating your own battle maps a cinch.

But aside from these minor tweaks, the core game remains exactly the same; the turn-based battles are still beautifully designed and offer tremendous depth for hard core strategy nuts and newbies alike, the stylish presentation never gets in the way of the compelling action, and strong story elements effortlessly draw you into Advance Wars’ colourful world and scintillating sci-fi story. If you haven’t already got a Nintendo DS, Dual Strike is reason enough to take the plunge.