Posted by: peanutmaster | March 21, 2008

Advance Wars: Days Of Ruin – Intelligent Systems – Ds


 I love Advance Wars

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, though not the first Advance Wars title on the DS, manages to advance the tried and tested turn-based strategy formula that has made the franchise so popular. Days of Ruin is still very true to the series, despite having a number of improvements over its predecessors. Whether it’s worth the purchase will depend on how much you fancy multiplayer.

A hearty campaign ripe with character-driven conflict is at the core of the game; this time around there’s a markedly darker overtone to the tale. Most of the world’s population has died as the result of a meteor shower that leaves the Earth in ruins. The surviving superpowers rally the troops and begin to salvage land and resources in the hopes of rebuilding their empires. Naturally, scarce resources and tough times lead to hostility, which ultimately results in a global war.

The narrative is a compelling part of the game, but the battles will be what keep players rolling along. Thanks to some great improvements, Days of Ruin manages to enrich the Advanced Wars experience. Though the series may have gained notoriety for simplifying the strategy-RPG genre down to its core without making it easy, Days of Ruin has a welcome amount of additional complexity. The introduction of individual unit levels promotes more micromanagement, which does reduce the amount of rebuilding that you’ll want to do. Other changes include the downplaying of the “Commanding Officer Powers,” as well as the introduction of various new kinds of terrain.

The most significant improvement—and one of the biggest selling points—is the new multiplayer side of the game. In addition to voice chat-enabled online multiplayer, players can create, upload, and share custom maps, allowing for quite a bit more variety. For fans of the series, this alone will likely be worth the price of admission. Unfortunately, the time spent on the multiplayer does take its toll on the rest of the game in certain ways: aside from the campaign, there’s very little single player action. Notably, the “War Room” mode, which offered a variety of preset single-player missions that were customizable, has been gutted. Thankfully, the skirmish “Free Battle” mode is intact.

The new graphical style is attractive, but there is a slight disconnect between the cut-scene sequences and the map-level presentation. Map-level play maintains the original titles’ colorful, cartoon-inspired design, while the cutscenes and character art are styled with a harsher, more adult-oriented manga direction. This is especially noticeable due to the use of the patented “next-gen” color scheme: grays, browns, and other dark and drab colors dominate the color palette. 

Ultimately, it’s the game play that will keep players interested, and Days of Ruin certainly does not disappoint. The game’s mechanics have been improved with newly added layers of complexity that make combat a bit more interesting without sacrificing the game’s simplicity. The new multiplayer options significantly increase the game’s replayability: online multiplayer with voice chat is a big addition, as is the improved map editor that now allows you to share your maps online.

Unlockable: Characters
To unlock the following characters for use in the game, complete the corresponding missions during your campaign.
  • Caulder – Mission 26
  • Forthsythe – Mission 14
  • Gage – Mission 13
  • Greyfield – Mission 21
  • Penny – Mission 24
  • Tabitha – Mission 25
  • Tasha – Mission 12
  • Waylon – Mission 20

This title may be a little harder to get into than other Advance Wars titles, but if you want to expand the experience and enjoy some well-designed multiplayer, this is a solid title. Fans of the first game who simply wanted more of the same may want to give this a try before buying.

GUIDE: Mission 14:

Due to a large request, I have created a short guide for possibly the hardest mission; Number 14. Here it is!

 A Hero’s Farewell

This map will see you facing off against the combined sea, air, and ground forces of the Lazurian army. You have plenty to worry about, and the map will take somewhere around 15-17 days to complete at best, so be prepared for a long haul.

One of the new map features here are the meteor fragments that litter the landscape. Meteors prevent any units from passing by them, including air units. Two meteors to your north also emit a plasma ray between them, making for a long barrier across the map. It’ll slow your enemy’s ground forces down a bit at the outset, which is good for you, but you’ll eventually need to snap the plasma string by destroying one of the meteors. That’ll let you make a run for the enemy HQ, but that won’t be happening for quite a while. This barrier is why this level is soo hard!

Elsewhere on the map, you’ll note that your enemy begins the round with a battleship, a carrier, and a cruiser, which match up with your submarine and a cruiser of your own. The enemy obviously has the advantage here, especially since you will be restrained by lack of funds from building a carrier or battleship of your own until day three at the very earliest. It’s best to torpedo their carrier (which takes a bit of luck), then simply cede the seas to them. Their battleship won’t be a very large factor in the fight unless you’re not careful.

The basic plan here is to move troops up to the enemy HQ and capture it; attempting to destroy all the enemy forces is probably impossible unless you want to take a very long time with this mission. To capture the enemy HQ, you’ll need a large army of mid-tanks to smash through the enemy lines and a couple of transport copters with infantry units (which will head to the northeastern corner of the map and approach the HQ from there when it’s relatively clear). To support this army, you’ll want to eventually have a couple of fighters hanging around (this will be especially important if the enemy carrier stays active, as it’ll begin pumping out seaplanes) to dissuade enemy air units from attacking your forces, as well as some b-copters to help in the fighting and to act as sacrificial lambs.

As a note, you shouldn’t need to begin building anything until day four, when your war machine can start ramping up production. You won’t likely ever need to build any sea units.

 

Day One

 

Move your submarine as far north as it can go and submerge it, while your cruiser moves against the southern edge of the screen in an attempt to lure the enemy battleship downward. Elsewhere, start moving towards the various factories and properties you can capture. The most important one is the airport in the southeast. No need to destroy the meteor in front of it, though; just move the infantry near it to the north of the mountains, and you’ll be able to begin capturing it on Day 2. The other two infantry units should capture areas, as well; you can load one of them onto the rig and have it drop them off on the nearby factory to begin capturing it on day two, as well. Apart from that, move all of your army to the east a bit (don’t worry about destroying the meteors near your start position; just leave them be) and attempt to block the enemy tank from coming your way. On the enemy turn, it may attack one of your units, so try to ensure that your mid-tank is farther north than everything else.

 

Day Two

 

Begin capturing the airport and the factory. Move your submarine north past the enemy cruiser. Take a note of the enemy army strengths and start judging the forces that they can bring to bear on you; chances are that they have at least a couple of mid-tanks coming your way.

The goal now is to create a bit of a roadblock for the enemy forces. In the middle of the map there’s an unclaimed port with a city to the northeast of it. Enemy rockets just to the north of the plasma field have this city locked in, so you can’t really claim it, but that doesn’t mean that you have to let the enemy have it, either, although if they do manage to claim it it won’t be a big deal. You want to set up your roadblock near the city to the east of the unclaimed port. Capture that and park a mid-tank next to the river with your artillery unit behind it. That should prevent any enemy units from passing by, and will likely dissuade them from even approaching. (Keep in mind that when you start building fighters that they can hold these gaps quite well, since tanks can’t attack them.)

The rest of your army is going to start moving over the bridge across the river towards the string of three properties along the eastern side of the map. This is where you want to start building up your armies for what eventually will become the final strike. Move your rockets here, making sure that they can fire on the enemy meteor when the time comes. Since it’ll take two rocket blasts to destroy the meteor, hit it once, then wait for the second strike until you’ve built your army up and are ready to proceed.

 

Day Three

 

What happens with your sub on this day will mostly depend on the positioning of the enemy carrier and battleship. If they block the passageway leading to the north, you likely won’t be able to reach the enemy carrier; attacking the enemy battleship is a decently acceptable tradeoff, since you will likely be able to kill it next turn, even after the enemy cruiser attacks your sub. Still, the carrier is the better target here. If you do get a clear movement path up the western side of the map, park your submarine on the narrowest part of the water, where the unclaimed property lies on a cliff. If you’re lucky, that will let you prevent the enemy carrier from passing you by, which it likely will if the carrier discovers you on its movement turn.

Keep moving your units across the bridge to the small string of properties, and continue to capture anything you can; you’ll need plenty of cash to pull off this upset victory. Again, though, don’t bother with the city that the enemy rockets can hit, and don’t bother with the port, either; you’ll get pounded by the battleship before you can capture it.

 

Day Four

 

With any luck, your sub will hit the enemy carrier here, sinking it. If that happens, the sea fight is basically over for you. The smart play is to move your sub near, but not on top of the enemy docks. Since you don’t really care about enemy sea power, you can let them build whatever they want at the docks; it won’t affect you too much. They’ll probably build another cruiser in the hopes of sinking your sub, which is fine; it’ll sink from lack of fuel anyway.

You can move your soldier off of the airport at this point and build a fighter. It can be used to block the gap up north and prevent enemy units from approaching you, if you wish. Continue moving your units across the river and into the properties to capture them. Note the enemy rockets, though; it has a decent firing range. The farthest north your units can go will be the bridge leading to the eastern edge of the plasma field, so park them there, and don’t forget to get your rockets in position to hit the meteor.

 

Day Five

 

At this point, the enemy ground forces will act somewhat erratically, refusing to press the attack, especially if your b-copters protect the main force of your army. That’s fine, you can let them alone for a while. Continue to build up your forces, and attempt to make one more fighter, then a couple of t-copters in the turns ahead, which you’ll need to load infantry onto. B-copters will eventually also be helpful to have. Your eastern factory should build mid-tanks whenever possible, and your rig might want to build a temporary airfield in the middle of the northern properties.

From here on in, you have a rough equilibrium between yourself and your enemy’s forces. This is where you want to make your quicksave, because a lot of things can go wrong here. At any rate, you want to build up a force of four or five mid-tanks in addition to the two b-copters and two tanks you started the game with. When you have your mid-tanks assembled near the bridge leading to the plasma beam, fire a rocket at the meteor to drop the beam. You’ll probably want to do this on day nine or ten. If you have a mid-tank on the bridge itself, it should be able to move far enough to hit the enemy rockets and deal it a serious blow. At this point, your strategy will depend on what units your enemy has built; chances are good that it has at least one fighter on its side, which you will probably want to lure into range of your missiles and take down before it disrupts your transport choppers.

The basic thrust here will be to move your mid-tanks, tanks, and all other applicable units as quickly as possible towards the enemy base as you can. The t-copters will escort the infantry up to the northeastern corner of the map, hopefully out of harm’s way, and when the enemy HQ is cleared, drop them onto it and begin capturing it. It’s important to cover the enemy factories and airport with units; feel free to drop a t-copter on top of them if possible. The specifics of the thrust will, again, depend on the specific makeup of the enemy army. With any luck they’ve wasted money on naval units, leaving a ragtag group of infantry and anti-air units to defend their base, which your mid-tanks should be able to sweep through.

RATING: 79%

Advance Wars is perfect for the Ds.

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Responses

  1. I have been playing this game for the last few days – it’s great but, gee, I am really bad at playing. More practice I guess.
    my Good Free RPG Games blog

  2. The missions in Days Of Ruin are tough, but after a while, you can crack them. Good Luck!

  3. H E L P ! ! ! ! ! ! Someone post a guide for mission 14. I don’t care what the ending score is, so please help me!!

  4. yep, Its there! Hope you can get on with the game now.

  5. Thx, I thought nobody would answer my desperate plea for help. I beat the mission, so thx a ton. GO PEANUTMASTER!! YOU RULE!!

  6. all in a days work. Your welcome! If anyone has anymore questions, please send them in. Do the same if you have a cheat, guide or review you want me to publish, too!

  7. Peanutmaster, I have decided to take you up on your offer. Try mission 17, the creeper. BTW i hate the Talon Gun.

  8. kk. I have completed a guide for mission 17. This time I’ve put the guide on a seperate post. Hope it helps!

  9. yo peanut i got a tip for ur site if n e one want major help go to wal-mart buy a action replay and add the game to it it helps alot its only 20 $ so i hope it help it did me but when uceing action replay put it in when u start u go to its main menu then take it out and put game in if u play with it in all time will burn the thing up so thats it bye

  10. it gives u invident funds / moves and stuff i think

  11. Hey Peanutmaster, its me, Desperate. I tried, I really did, but mission 21:Lin’s Gambit is too hard!! Good Luck

  12. I have created a guide or mission 21! I hope it helps. To get to it, go to the main page (by clicking on the title of the website) or click on the heading on the sidebar saying guides. If you need any more help, feel free to come again! 😀

  13. Thanks again Peanutmaster, ur guides are an amazing help. I haven’t checked this URL in a while, so i thought i might, and there it is, My answer.

    PS…I love the part “don’t copy, or we’ll find u….”

  14. I cant seem to beat mission 23. Its just to hard for me to beat. Good luck making the guide

    • yeah, I’ll try my best to help you out – a guide is coming soon!

  15. you must be havin a hard time eh peanut? i still cant beat it still …

    • Sorry it took a while, I had a bloody hard time doing it, and I can see why you are stuck on it. The guide’s finished now and I hope it helps!

  16. been awhile since i checked in to see. Ty peanut this really helped alot. I have a feeling i might need more help later

    • Great, glad I helped and good luck with the game! 🙂

  17. gasp i need help again … mission 25 lab rats. Man i was so close cause i got the factory in the central part and i almost beat them till they bombed me and used a couple of tanks

    • Sure, No probs. Another guide on it’s way 😛

  18. Well peanut i beat the game already but u can still go ahead to making the guide

  19. Oh, well done!

    Ive made the guide.


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