GBA remakes featuring voiced COs, fast-forwarding, and a reset-turn option
Just a few short years ago, we were wondering “where the hell is Advance Wars?” Well, the tactical series is finally coming back soon after a delay pushed it out of Nintendo and WayForward’s planned December 2021 launch. Per today’s Nintendo Direct news drop, Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp is releasing for Nintendo Switch on April 8, 2022.
The kind of clunky name gives it away, but Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp is a bundled-up remake of Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, which originally released for the GBA in 2001 and 2003, respectively. If you’re my age, you might’ve linked up! The new game has local and online multiplayer, the story campaigns, the War Room, the Design Room for custom map creations, and features like fast-forwarding (to speed up attack animations) and a reset-turn option (in case you botch things hard).
Intelligent Systems’ vibrant, approachable, straightforward-but-deep strategy series was a big deal in the Game Boy Advance days — and truth be told, that’s still my preferred way to play, even though tons of fans embraced the outings on Nintendo DS. That original vibe holds up well. Advance Wars 1 and 2 are classics, to the point where I have a Wii U hooked up to revisit them (and others, like Metroid Fusion) despite how jarring it can be to go back and forth between a chunky Wii U GamePad and the way-different-feeling Switch.
Maybe you were more of a Fire Emblem person? I liked both series a lot at the time, but something about the way the different military units interacted in Advance Wars spoke to me. There’s this constant urge to figure out the best balance of capturing cities, building the right units at the right moment, and knowing when to be reserved or go all-in. Also, it’s really fun to bait the AI with transport vehicles, opening them up to counterattacks.
While it’s hard to say if Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp will be the resurgence that this series needs and deserves, the Nintendo Switch has worked wonders before with other beloved lapsed franchises. I’m hoping for a worthy remake out of WayForward that feels justified, and brings in enough sales to give Advance Wars in general a new lease on life.