Despite some heavy handed moments in the story, the dialogue didn't actually veer too far from the optimistic, often comedic tone of the original Advance Wars and other Intelligent System produced games. Which immediately clashed with the art style of the game. Though well drawn, the style was much less cartoonish, darker, drabber, and, well, brown and gray as fuck. Intelligent Systems couldn't help themselves in the art department either though, wedging in a few blue haired characters and unkempt protagonists to tinge the whole game with anime vibes. Nothing wrong with anime vibes, just tone it down a little.
Intelligent Systems and Nintendo bet everything on a rebooted IP aimed solely at Western audiences, even at the expense of Japanese gamers, who, frankly don't even deserve Advance Wars at this point. Why don't YOU import an obscure game, Japan? Even when the series had a colorful, cartoonish, Japan inspired aesthetic, Nintendo's home country couldn't be bothered. Unfortunately the game failed to truly catch fire in the west either (which Ironically Fire Emblem would accomplish in the present day, even while reverse pandering to the western market).
Though the series saw a significant growth in sales, from just below half a million sold worldwide, to just over half a million sold worldwide! Staggering, it seems the reboot really did pay off!
Another fun way to be disappointed is to contrast the fact that 2005's AWDS sold about 440 thousand copies. That isn't bad, considering that only about nine million DS's were in gamer's hands at the time. Days of Ruin on the other hand, sold just over 600 thousand units in 2008, when sales of the DS were fast approaching 80 million. So once you consider the possible sales, well, well, I need to sit down.
Luckily for the small niche of Japanese citizens who love Advance Wars, the game eventually came out, in 2014, for the 3DS, as a downloadable Platinum reward for the new defunct Club Nintendo. Which also makes it the only DS game to be available as a download for the Nintendo 3DS. Even when Japan loses they win.
Also, perhaps ironically, I really don't understand the definition of irony, is that instead of bringing in more international fans of Advance Wars, the new reboot pretty much split the fanbase in two. Thus guaranteeing that a follow up to Days of Ruin, or a throwback to the original Advance Wars trilogy would immediately piss off half the fanbase. Great work everybody. Now let's get back to the bunker and never discuss Advance Wars again.
The music is very marching band, war song, drum and horn driven affair, which makes it boring as hell. The music would be fine in small doses, but one stage can take several hours, so the lack of variety becomes evident very quickly. The simple vibe of the tracks is not a good thing when they repeat endlessly as you try to decide whether to move your infantry three steps forward, or two steps forward and one step upward. not to mention that listening to it on the tin cans that the GBA calls speakers makes it an even harsher listen. At this point I very rarely listen to the in game music. I've heard it quite enough.
I love these graphics. Absolutely timeless for me. The little troops, and CO artwork are well ingrained in my mind after hundreds of hours of Advance Wars. The graphics are nothing to write home about, This series is strictly handheld, so ergonomics took precedent over getting all artsy on a tiny handheld screen. The sprites and backgrounds are crisp and easy to identify with a glance. The battle animations are nice, and give a good visual for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different units. I turned the battle cut scenes off ages ago though, Advance Wars is slow enough as it is.
There are essentially two stories in Advance Wars. The ever escalating war of the original three Advance Wars titles, and the completely separate story line of 2008's Advance Wars Days of Ruin. I'll get more into that gritty reboot soon, I'll start with the original story line.
There is a land called War World, no wait. There is a world called War World, and a land in War World called Cosmo Land.
The main protagonists of the GBA titles are Andy, Max, and Sami. (as an aside, I always hoped that one of them would get the go ahead as a Smash Bros character, but instead we got an entire Fire Emblem inside Smash Bros. instead)