Beyond a few Spirits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the Advance Wars series hasn't seen a skirmish in thirteen years. At this point, we'd assumed this tactical, army-based RPG had been long forgotten, considering the developers Intelligent Systems have their flagship series, Fire Emblem, to fill that tactical gap. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Nintendo announced during their E3 Direct that the two entries from the Game Boy Advance would be receiving remakes in the form of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp on Switch.
Since Intelligent Systems has had a lot on their plate lately, with Paper Mario: The Origami King and now WarioWare: Get It Together! on Switch, development duties have been passed on to WayForward (the team behind the Shantae series) and even though the graphical stylings have changed considerably, they seem to be paying a faithful tribute to this beloved classic.
So to help paint a better picture of just how close these remakes are getting to the original, we figured let's boot up the original and compare the first few battles with the Orange Star army to the skirmishes in this brand new toybox-like version on Switch.
Oh hey.. first!
Thanks for the comparison. Lots of nostalgia with the old graphics. Still trying to decide if I like this game or if it just stresses me out 😅
Edit: That depth of field blur from Link's Awakening would have been perfect here, actually.
While I probably would have preferred a 2D hand-drawn style instead, I don’t mind the graphics as much as others. I’m just happy to see Advance Wars back.
Pixel art/hand drawn tends to age better than 3D, but AW is not the kind of game that relies heavily on frame rates and what not, so as long as the loading time is not excessive, the switch to 3D isn't a big deal to me. I'm going to be all over it just because it's Advance Wars.
While I have no doubt that the remake will provide quality of life enhancements, and will likely feel the best to play, I do feel like a lot has been lost in the visuals department. The remake art style feels inferior to the originals, and the colours in the game are a lot less bright and saturated. I do hope the game sells well though, we can do with a new original Advance Wars title.
It'd be nice if they could add an option to toggle between the new and old style but I know that's unrealistic. The new one looks fine and it's nice to just have the series back at all but the original style has a lot more charm.
I just with they would include the original as well on all these remake releases. Like they did back then with the Monkey Island SE. With one button you could change between the original and the new graphics and sounds.
I never played these games, so I’m looking forward to this. I liked the two DS entries.
The new art direction looks just a touch generic, but perhaps they will hone their craft come the next instalment. Maybe we'll have another Fire Emblem Awakening situation on our hands as the prosperity of the Advance Wars franchise will likely hinge on this entry (especially considering that it's been a whole 13 years since the last entry, and then there were two entries released within a year, the other being Battalion Wars 2 on Wii).
I wish more games would opt for a hand-drawn (and coloured) aesthetic, at least where cut-scenes and character animations are concerned. Sadly, digitally produced animation looks sterile more often than not, and this is especially noticeable in remakes like these and long running animated TV/film franchises.
I also hope they will include more newcomer-friendly options for filthy casuals like me who will likely get stuck only a few maps in. The only Advance Wars game I have owned/played is Dark Conflict/Days of Ruin and I only made it past the first few stages before I hit a roadblock, and the strategising required is far too intricate for one who wants to enjoy the game rather than spending hours on a map only to become infuriated when I still fail (and shock, horror, I play games to unwind).
Something akin to the difficulty options in the Fire Emblem games that render it accessible to newcomers without sacrificing the brutal difficulty for masochistic players would be much appreciated.
Either way, this is perhaps ironically my most anticipated announcement from the Direct as WarioWare was not what I had been dreaming of for the last 10 years. (though the Treehouse footage has improved my perception of it a bit)
If they could make it less childish, it would be perfect.
I know most people on here prefer the pixelated look but realistically if Nintendo wants to attract new people to the franchise (and there's A LOT of people who will have been too young to have played the originals) I can understand why they wanted to give it a more modern look.
Not only are the 3d models really generic and cheap looking straight out of some mobile game. They also managed to ruin the art style too. Considering it's just the same games but worse looking, they might as well have just ported the games as is and called it a day
I have never played the GBA AW games so I am looking forward to picking this up but as others have said I would have liked an option if they added the retro visuals also but hey if the sales end up being good then it might lead to a new AW game.
@Dualmask "AW is not the kind of game that relies heavily on frame rates and what not, so as long as the loading time is not excessive"
Yep I agree. I am a huge fps snob but when it comes to games that are turn based then I am not too bother with low frame rate or a hiccup here and there (aslong as it isn't stuttering like crazy).
I never played the originals, but they look like toy tanks in those games, so it makes sense that they look like toys in 3D. I don't know if people are mad because they didn't use pixel graphics, or because it doesn't look like Call of Duty Tactics, or both, but either way I think Re-Boot Camp looks great. I'm hoping this is Nintendo testing the waters for remaking old GBA games, and that this opens doors for a Golden Sun 1+2 remake, that Metroid Fusion remake Mercury Steam wanted to make, and Mothe—wait, no. Let's not get too carried away.
Does Nintendo release new games anymore or is everything just a dusted off rehash?
@Silly_G I'm a really weak player when it comes to strategy games. As soon as they start getting too intricate, I fail and usually give up. I somehow managed to complete Advance Wars on Wii U VC though. From what I remember, only 3 or 4 maps gave me any real problems. I haven't played the sequel.
I’m going to play it either way but I can’t help but notice the art style is a bit….uninspiring
My most anticipated game this year.
I love the new Commander models/ animations. Also, the way the whole environment looks like a board game is awesome. It reminds me of the Links Awakening remake, everything is very toy-like (which I loved). However, I can take or leave the new unit models. I don't dislike them. They are just a bit bland.
I, for one, really like this new look.
I like that it looks like a strategy map/war board with figures. Gives the vibes that the generals are at HQ planning how the war will go before actually rolling out. Splendid idea.
Edit: this artstyle is also lifted from the DS cover art in Japan, so while western fans are confused, it actually isn’t left field at all.
This dual pack also makes more sense as this was how the games were released in Japan. Gameboy Wars Advance 1+2, so this is less odd/different than western fans think.
The game will be great, but the original graphics look so much better 😕
The real problem is the first two games were pretty much perfect at doing what they set out to do. All they really needed to do was release them with an improved online implementation.
@nkarafo In the classic Nintendo spirit, it's definitely a cartoony franchise. At least looking at old Japanese commercials.
(Although wasn't Days of Ruin supposed to be a more "serious" interpretation?)
The Super Famicom intro had two armies showing bigger tanks at each other. Until one side shows off its HUGE tank, later revealing it to be made of cardboard.
@OorWullie I can relate to some degree. I'm fine with the likes of Fire Emblem, but once unit building is thrown into the fray, I tap out. It was why I never could advance beyond a certain point in games like Starcraft or Red Alert and other RTS games.
The biggest comparison will come in the form of Switch vs GBA.
Advance Wars is the perfect game for the GBA. You can play the campaign, it has a pass-the-console multiplayer mode (perfect for train journeys) and the skirmish mode which has an infinite amount of depth. This coupled with the map creator gave you a game you can play for 5 minutes on the bus or 5 days lying in bed on a console that fits into any pocket. I would call it the perfect portable game.
The Switch on the other hand isn’t nearly as portable as the GBA so will the game lose some of its charm?
Wasn't a fan of the new look, at first, but it's grown on me.
Don't the originals look better? They could have added the original graphics as an option or even include the original GBA games.
@nessisonett They're actually growing on me, as they probably had to capture the idea of playing with toy soldiers more so than of tactical warfare or nostalgia towards the GBA games. The first sounds much more "Nintendo" than the other two, and the Switch can capture that much more than the GBA could.
Also, I can't be the only one who thinks the AW cast is, together with the Warioware crew, some of the best casts of characters in any video game... Top ten material at least. And Sami looks like Meryl from MGS.
@Shambo Interesting that they’re Red Star in Japan but Orange Star in the West. Probably to avoid the links to Communism.
Growing up with the GBA, I have to say Pixels > Polygons
With that said, the art style was growing on me quickly as I watched the Treehouse footage! I think it looks better in motion as it continues to play, rather than in screenshots or a quick GIF
It's faithful enough but heres a couple of things that 'trigger' (I believe the kids say these days) me.
Apart from those, I think this looks like a welcome return of a classic.
i really don't understand the complaints about the art style; it literally just looks like the original game in 3d. if you liked it then but don't like it now then the only thing you liked about the art style is that you could see the pixels
It looks fine, but it would be better if Intelligent Systems were doing it.
This didn't look like a game i would even remotely be interested in, but i can see many are and it seems a fair few are annoyed by the graphical change as it diminishes the charm of the original.
So i hope for their sake, they at least could include the original games with this as well.
i like the new look would be even better if you could switch between. or like others said have straight ports of the originals
@nessisonett I hadn't even noticed that myself, what an oversight on my part
can't have the communists be the "good guys", right, capitalist colonialist comrades? I'm not saying they ARE good, just saying that "we", of which I'm no voluntary part, are probably about equally bad, perhaps worse. Of course that depends on one's perspective.
I'm pretty happy about the announcement, but instantly disappointed by the price tag and overall graphics quality. It's very, very hard to justify paying $60 for this.
@Adamario That's exactly the point here. Pixel art is more than just "being able to see the pixels".
i think that i prefer the old version
The new graphics look good but lack a lot of personality. The new cartoon animations are fantastic!
But let's face it: Nintendo only chose to use 3D graphics because they wanted to slap a $60 price tag on the game. If they had chosen to do the remake with upgraded higher resolution pixel art then the "value perception" wouldn't have allowed the high price. But even the current 3D graphics don't look like anything special, so it shouldn't have been higher than $30 anyway.
Been waiting for a new Advance Wars game for years. A remake will do as although I can still picture the DS games, I've completely forgotten the GBA games. Tried Tiny Metal and Wargroove to scratch that itch but it just wasn't the same. With Advance Wars (new or old graphics) the units just look so much clearer.
Maybe some more contrast, and a harder light source. The colors from the units are blending too much with the environment because everything is the same value.
@Dethmunk Agreed, a black outline would definitely do wonders.
@Shambo Nintendo have a history with this sort of stuff. I play quite a bit of OOT randomiser which uses the 1.0 version. In that version, the crescent moon and star is everywhere and the Fire Temple has Islamic chanting!
@Ambassador_Kong seems like a lot of ports, reimaginings and remakes indeed. Quite out of balance..
Strongly dislike it 🤷♂️ If they go 3D the least they could have done is take advantage of that. Dial up the details, give the units some personality, give us weather effects or time of day effects. I dunno ... just something.
To anyone feeling like pixelart can't be gorgeous in 2021 watch "Replaced": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOvOY4eI_mk
Well it certainly don't look like a 20 year jump in the future!
Should have included an option to use the GBA style. This style fits more for Shantae then AW.
@Shambo I have Sami tattooed on my forearm and most people think she's from Metal Slug. I've only had one person recognize her in the decade ice had the tattoo.
I also hope they will include more newcomer-friendly options for filthy casuals like me who will likely get stuck only a few maps in.
@Silly_G Why are you describing yourself in these terms, my multi-lobed monster friend? I'll hear no such talk. You should not doubt your own éliteness; you've clearly been around long enough to qualify. This site is not reserved for filthy casuals.
Sadly, digitally produced animation looks sterile more often than not, and this is especially noticeable in remakes like these
I was prepared to make this precise comment, but then I watched Zion's video. Now, I can not only agree unreservedly with you, I can also say that the originals had a style worth emulating much more closely. The battlefield solider sprites in the originals are incredibly charming! (I had never viewed Advance Wars gameplay before.) I would love to know what governed WayForward's art direction here.
They look fine either way, but the remake hasn't shown anything so far to justify the huge leap in price.
Wayforward is known for animated style games. Have they ever made a game with this polygonal art style before?
As some people have said, this was a monkey's paw type of announcement. Like OMG ADVANCE WARS IS BACK!
The first Advance Wars was probably my most played GBA game ever.
I like the old style a bit more that the new one.
i don't know if anyone is aware, but the original games were designed for a small screen, so they could have simplistic models cus over-detailed models & maps make the game look cluttered on tiny screens, but now that's it being made for both a television, & a much larger handheld, maybe having 3d models that directly correlate to those sprites, doesn't work cus it looks cheap, & plasticly in HD, & underdetailed. Btw 16 bucks could get u both these games on the wii u, & another 10 for duel strike, which probably looks really good; this look cheap & barren, especially the map screens. Look at the game, not the brand.
@koekiemonster there assembly line is whack
It seems like this is the kind of game where toggling back and forth between remaster and upgraded graphics should be possible. It'd be cool.
Map editor and online play=bye bye free time!
I really hope this leads to a new game in the series as well.
I don't think the new artstyle is all that great, but it certainly isn't bad or repulsive.
As someone who hasn't played an Advance Wars game, I look forward to trying this out in December.
Pixels for this type of game is always better. I'm glad we're getting a remake for some new fans to join in but I'd be lying if I didn't say I'd miss the original look. It's definitely a classic.
I am not a fan of these visuals. The characters look amazing but I feel that 16bit pixel art or cel shaded 3d would have been better options. This style lacks charm.
Game looks great, but I’m a bit disappointed it’s just a remake. And a pretty straight forward remake from what I have seen. I probably won’t be buying it as I’ve got the original games, I can just play those if I want some Advance Wars action. I would highly encourage anyone who hasn’t played the series to get this though. Two of the best strategy games ever made IMO.
@Gamer_Griff the most recent Shantae games still have 2D sprites for characters and enemies, but use 3D graphics for the environments.
Not loving the new graphics. The 3d looks like free to play mobile. The characters bounce animations during combat remind me of Scribblenauts and look cheap. And I swear intentionally or not the characters are whiter and more bubblegum.
@nilcam Metal Slug Meryl, that does sound like a description for Sami. Reminds me, wasn't there a Metal Slug Tactics game announced as well? Not (yet?) on Switch maybe, but I remember seeing something like that.
Also, your avatar is of a character of another of the great casts in video games that I would LOVE to see return, on Switch this time.
It's a full priced game, and that could be an issue. It doesn't look like it should be full priced.
It's a game that may well have a chunk of a discount within six months. Two games in one is fine if you know you already like Advanced Wars and don't mind the graphics or if they release a demo first.
But if Nintendo want to charge that sort of money for what looks like a game that would be at home on a mobile device, they should have made sure is look better.
This is really a 3ds game at a 3ds price £30.
I never played Advance Wars on GBA so this will be my first time playing it
While there is nostalgia is there for the pixel graphics, I am loving the new style. Wayforward was a solid choice to develop the remake. Actually, I'm stoked that Wayforward are finally developing a Nintendo IP, hopefully this'll lead to more Wayforward developed Nintendo games and the revival of Advanced Wars leads to more AW games! And maybe even Battalion Wars revival!
@Shambo Metal Slug Tactics was announced but they didn't name platforms. You apparently have very good taste in games!
Really loved the original until I discovered the AI prioritizes transports. I just spammed empty ones and watched as the AI attacked those while I dominated the rest of the map
$60, what? I love the first two AW games (more than the DS ones) but no thanks.
@nilcam That's probably the only reason why I haven't looked much further into it, because there were no platforms announced yet. But I'd say it'd be weird to not release it on Switch, it's the best selling platform right now, and it can easily run whatever pixel art game people throw at (or preferably carefully put on) it.
Haha, well, thanks, I suppose that means you too have a great taste in games from my perspective, at least as far as I know
I have no game related tattoos (only ideology related ones, as my avatar may have already given away, vegan, anarchist, straight edge, among others), but were I to get one, the "press start" screen background image of AW1 has always been one of the coolest images in gaming
But chances are it'd have been Majora's Mask, or some of it's Skull Kid art, which I probably wouldn't have gotten in the end anyway, thinking I'd one day run into a person with the exact same tattoo...
edit: after thinking about if some more, it would probably be Solar Boy Django charging his gun, and / or Master Otenko from the Boktai series (also a Kojima game, so it's quite fitting with the Meryl / Sami theme actually). I love that one so much, and I'm currently charging in the sunlight myself, one of my favourite pass-times. Alternately, Link and Marin, sitting on a tree by the beach. My introduction into video games, and into the Legend of Zelda. Or Amaterasu from Okami, with a trail of flowers. I already have a running fox as a tattoo (from the hunt saboteur association), which has already been mistaken for Amaterasu.
Looks fine to me. Not great, but as long as the game is the same underneath it’s worth every penny.
As for price, I paid £30 for the original Advance Wars, that’s £51 now. Just for the first one. I can preorder this Switch remake of the first two games, with Online Play, for £42. No issues there.
Excited for this.
Remember playing this on GBA back in the day.
I was excited about this, until I realised it's the same content as the first games ... Which I played more than enough of, and still own.
I prefer the "no random" rolls gameplay to that of fire emblem ... Which is almost the same, except for hit and critical chances. This is more like chess.
Really happy that there is some new advance wars.. Getting used to the graphics as well, only don't like the capturing anim. As said, this style is not 'new', but more according to the box art.. And the old ones weren't meant as pixel art, but as readable icons on a tiny screen.although they are lovely. (i love AW on my GBA micro)..
When I read toy style, i was afraid it would look like toy soldiers (xb360, tower defence) which looks more like the toysoldiers from Toy Story..
Do hope that the addition of online means a bit more addtions as well.. a map library to share the maps made in the map editor for instance..(And since they say the have 're-imagined' it i can dream, can''t I)
Where can I vote for pixels?
So sad: price tag is completely nuts!
@Longondo Right back at ya!
They have to start somewhere with bringing the series back and a lot of gamers unfortunately associate fully 2D games with low budget and indie. I feel like they almost have to go 3D sometimes to draw in new audience members and that's definitely what Advance Wars needs if the series is going to thrive. Also, I actually like the visuals a decent bit anyway. Are they the same? No, but I can still play the originals if I want that. Nothing wrong with mixing it up some!
Here's hoping we get a sequel in the next couple of years and the series becomes a regular staple again moving forward.
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