Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp Review
A classic strategy game returns to the battlefield offering upgraded visuals, new modes and multiplayer options, my full review.
A Nintendo classic has returned with Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp remastered collection and it's better than ever. The two beloved turn-based strategy games, Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, were originally released for the Game Boy Advance in the early 2000s. They are back with a slew of improvements to gameplay, graphics and audio adding a modern cartoony charm to the classic tactical experience. Developed by WayForward and published by Nintendo, the series returns on Nintendo Switch. Let's cut through the "fog of war" and take a look at what the remake has to offer in my full review.
Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Mode(s): Single, local and online multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
A story of two warring superpowers
The story in Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp is fairly straightforward, saving most of the action for its strategic gameplay. That's not to say it's completely devoid of story over its two games, but it's kept to a minimum. The original game takes place in the fictional continent of Wars World, which is divided into two superpowers; Orange Star Nation and Blue Moon. The first game in the Advance Wars saga is set in a world called Cosmo Land, where the nation of Orange Star is at war with the neighbouring Blue Moon. You will battle through all four countries: Orange Star, Blue Moon, Green Earth, and Gold Comet. In Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising a new, mysterious threat has emerged in Cosmo Land. You need to cooperate with former foes in order to emerge victorious.
Re-Boot Camp retains the core gameplay mechanics of the original games while adding modern enhancements. The overall package has seen updated graphics, new UI, improved sound, and online multiplayer added. The games both feature a campaign mode that follows the story of two opposing armies, as well as a skirmish mode where players can battle against AI, or other players locally or online. One of the best things about Re-Boot Camp is the accessibility it offers to newcomers to the series. The tutorial and campaign modes provide a comprehensive introduction to the game's mechanics, allowing players to learn at their own pace. There is also the ability to restart a turn to help new recruits, this is a big plus and removes some of the frustration with the game. At the same time, the game's challenging AI and deep strategy offer a great experience for veterans of the series.
Commanding Officers (COs) keep you on your toes
In Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp, players can call on their Commanding Officers (COs) for assistance, each with their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. For instance, Andy specializes in unit repair while Sami can quickly capture properties. Throughout the game, players can meet several COs, including Andy, the brilliant but impulsive boy wonder who excels at all-around skills. Max, the gung-ho strongman, has unmatched direct combat skills but falters over long distances. Lastly, there's Sami, who can work wonders with Infantry units but struggles with other ground units and is a proud graduate of special-forces training. At the same time, you'll run into CO foes who will keep you on your toes. In some instances, they might have air superiority or be able to control the weather. This keeps things fresh and the challenges interesting.
A score of modes adds to the replayability
Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp contains various game modes that cater to different playstyles and preferences. In Versus Mode, up to four players can battle it out on over a dozen maps, with each player choosing a commanding officer (CO) from either campaign and strategically using their powers to gain the upper hand. You can customize your game with a variety of play options, and build a battle experience to your liking.
Online Mode enables players to test out their tactical talent by challenging a friend to a 1v1 battle and proving their strategic skills in an online setting. War Room is another mode where players can challenge the CPU, attempting to achieve victory. The Design Room (and one of my personal favourites) gives you complete freedom to create and share your custom maps with the community. Finally, you can visit Hachi's Shop to acquire additional COs and maps to use in Versus Mode, as well as music and artwork related to the game. This wealth of modes offers a staggering amount of replayability which is perfect for those looking for a deep strategy experience.
Do your tactics make the grade?
The fun gameplay loop rewards speed, power and technique on the battlefield with a grading system at the end of each battle. Your letter grade offers up more (or fewer credits) allowing you to purchase new maps, missions, units and more. This allows you to unlock more maps, units and other perks to further customize your experience and establish your dominance on the battlefield.
Build your own battlefield in Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp Design Room
The Design Room offers scores of replayability, allowing you to build and share maps with the community. With a variety of terrains and unit combinations, you can create your own battlefield for endless hours of strategic fun. The one big downside is online features no matchmaking. This means that your friend list is the only access you have to find an online partner.
The remastered version does lack new content beyond updated graphics and online multiplayer. While the gameplay mechanics hold up well, the remastered collection does not offer anything truly new or innovative to the classic formula. Purists of the series might relish this fact, but it would have been great to see some kind of new content added to the collection.
Graphics, presentation and soundtrack in Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp
The visual overhaul from Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp really helps to modernize the experience. The graphics have been given a facelift, providing an updated and polished look that still retains the classic feel of the original game. The visuals are incredibly vibrant and sharp, the colours pop off the screen of my Nintendo OLED. Additionally, the game has a new animated style reminiscent of a Saturday morning cartoon, which is a welcome addition. This provides new cutscenes that look stunning and enhance the overall game experience. The animations are smooth and the new artwork design of each character is surprisingly good.
The game's soundtrack is another aspect that will undoubtedly please fans of the original game. It has a perfect blend of catchy and energizing tunes that create a compelling and thrilling atmosphere for each battle. Fans of the game will appreciate the addition of voice-overs added to each of the central characters. These add a level of depth to the characters, and the voice acting fits nicely with their personalities and characteristics. Overall, WayForward has done an excellent job updating and refreshing the visuals of Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp.
Final thoughts on Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp
All in all, Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp is a welcome remaster of two classic strategy games. With its wealth of modes and variety of options, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. Whether you're new to the series or a veteran strategist, this title offers up plenty of strategic fun. The only downside might be the lack of new content beyond updated graphics and online multiplayer, however, this does not detract from the game's overall charm and appeal. With its vibrant graphics and an excellent soundtrack, Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp is an entertaining strategy game that will stand the test of time. If you're looking for a deep and enjoyable strategic experience, enlist in Re-Boot Camp today!
Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp PROS
+Modern graphics and new cutscenes make the game look better than ever
+Variety of game modes offers plenty of replayability
+The ability to design and share custom maps
+Voice-overs for each of the central characters add depth and personality to the game's cast
Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp CONS
-Lack of online matchmaking
-Doesn't introduce anything new to the formula
Overall Rating: 34/40 (85%)
A copy of the game was provided by Nintendo to conduct this review.
About the Author - Matthew "Dapper Tux" Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Along with being the Managing Editor of dappertux.com, he has bylines with Best Buy, Cineplex Entertainment, Mobile Syrup and Walmart. Follow Matthew’s gaming + tech adventures on twitter, Instagram and join in on the fun!
Please note: dappertux.com uses affiliate links to provide a means for this website to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com. The blog may earn a referral commission on purchases made via these links.