So today I beat another game in one of my favorite series, Advance Wars Days of Ruin. The first thing I noticed while playing this game is that is looks completely different from its three predecessors. The unit battle animations aren’t as crisp as they used to be, and there is a lot less movement. The style of the art is a lot more… mature in a way; it’s a lot less cartoonish, and grittier. It almost looks like it’s made by a different company.
The is also an entirely new storyline, set in a new universe. All of the COs from the last three games are gone, and a bunch of new ones are introduced. I do miss the old COs, but the new characters, and their storyline, are both extremely compelling. The story, matched with the new art style, is a lot darker than I was used to. It seems the whole game has grown up. There was a lot more blatant death, suffering, and real-world-mirroring moral issues. I was actually very impressed with how emotional the story got, and how well thought out the character’s arguments and philosophies were.
The character artwork is very nice; it has a sort of… anime style to it. My favorite character is Lin, because not only is she awesome looking, her personality reminds me of my own. She is a master tactician, and full of knowledge and cunning, which I exemplify as well. She is also so badass, that she takes it upon herself to spare the more… “mushy” characters from having to make emotionally compromising decisions; She doesn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
Now about the unit and game play changes… They scrapped the neo tank, which is something I thought would be a good idea after finishing the last game. The new anti-tank unit puts the artillery to shame, in my opinion. It has the same max range as the artillery, but can also counter attack, and fire at one space. If I’m not mistaken, it also does a bit more damage against tanks. The only things the artillery has over the over the anti-tank is an extra movement space, vision space, and a cheaper price, which isn’t very enticing. I noticed that they increased the price of the infantry and decreased the price of the mech, which took some getting used to. They got rid of the stealth, and I think used the seaplane as a sort of replacement. I did really like the stealth, but I’m glad the carrier now has something that really sets it apart, because otherwise, I don’t think it was really going to be used as a carrier very often. The battleship’s moving indirect fire was pretty nice to have, but in all honesty I do think it is a little unfair for the other indirect fire units. The APC (rig) construction ability is a welcomed addition. Now it can actually do something to heal units instead of just resupplying them.
I had some ideas for units of my own that they could put into the next game too if they made one:
The agent: An infantry unit that deals and receives more damage than normal infantry and can hide in cities and like a sub does in water.
The renegade: An infantry unit that cannot capture cities or bases, but stops them from producing income when placed on top of them. Has incendiary bombs as a primary weapon which damage enemy vehicles and burn some units of fuel.
The field mechanic: Can repair a vehicle for 2 hp per turn, or lay down mines on a space which damage and halt the movement of any enemy vehicle that drives over them, but are disabled by any enemy infantry that crosses over them. Has only 1 set of mines.
The mortar team: An infantry unit that functions similar to an anti-tank. 1-2 range.
The medic: Can heal any infantry unit for four points once per turn.
The satellite: An air unit that can EMP enemy vehicles 3-6 spaces away, reducing this vision to 0 and causing them to miss their next turn; Can also scan a section of the map like a flare to reveal locations in fog of war.
The nuclear sub: A sub that can launch nukes, similar to the ones fired from silos, 6-9 spaces away. Can only fire while surfaced. Holds 1 nuke at a time.
The walker: A land vehicle with legs. Can tread on mountains and though rivers similar to infantry units, as opposed to being unable to cross like a normal vehicle. Direct attacks with flamethrowers on ground units, and missiles for air units.
Things like these would make matches a lot more dynamic in my opinion. Regardless, if they make another game at all, I’m definitely trying it out first chance I get.