The quality real time strategy military game improves on the first installment with the addition of naval forces, the new Anglo nation, and online multiplayer modes. A definite improvement of the previous GameCube title, which was a sleeper hit — with a solid base like the Advance Wars series, how can you go wrong?
Naval units include battleships, frigates, transports and submarines. These units’ impact on the game is strengthened by outstanding water graphics – some of the best on the Wii so far. The six nations and their respective storylines mix well into all the game modes. The antagonist Iron Legion and heroic Solar Empire provides the initial base for several event and characters. I don’t know about you, but it’s nice to play a game where you know the names and places mean something… or at least resemble something. For example, Kaiser Vlad meaning Vlad Tepes perhaps? Maybe Old Xylvania gave that one away.
The single player campaign missions complete very quickly, so make sure you have an online connection for the expanded multiplayer modes (three total) if you don’t strive for the high S rank in each of the 20 missions. The objective based assault mode involves capturing then defending HQ while the skirmish mode requires more strategy with points being awarded for specific targets. Co-op mode pits two players against one enemy.
Not many lag problems here as various statistics are there to spur you on to win. The win-loss ratio stat can seem daunting at first (memories of turning off my GameBoy Advance on Advance Wars 2 instead of yielding come flooding back), but you’re not likely to have a perfect season, so you might as well get down and dirty with your troops.
Yes, you can actually break command and take control of individual soldiers, reeking havoc as a cartoonish version of Rambo. Roll and dodge options help as you target, destroy and issue orders to supporting troops. You can also take control of field vehicles. A great addition to the overall content would be a special advantage bonus system where players could boost up a special individual solider (or vehicle) that’s easily accessed where you could go Rambo on everyone else. When you lose a lot of field support, it’s good to have facilities with high respawn rates, which you can achieve through high ratings (S, A, B, C)
The two major issues in this game can be solved with common sense and practice. The text commands at the beginning are helpful, but the voiceovers repeat the command in very short succession. Turn down the voice volume in the options to avoid frustration while you’re trying to learn the game. The camera/individual troop movement can also be an issue – just remember to coordinate the Wii remote and Nunchuk movements together, which can be challenging because players get used to total control with analog sticks. Otherwise, the smooth movement and controls make good use of the innovative Wii controls.
Battalion Wars 2 has a good story with various options at your disposal. Veterans of the previous installment and the Advance Wars game series have a definite advantage here, but most players should be able to pick up the mechanics and controls pretty easily. It’s a misperception to claim this title as a “warm up” for younger players in the military game genre. This sequel has high replay plus several God/tycoon elements that give players a lot of control and fighting fun.
Battalions Wars 2 is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Violence.