Latest Game Reviews

Battalion Wars 2 Review - Wii

7
Gameplay: 7 stars 7
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 6 stars 6
Multiplayer: 7 stars 7
Innovation: 6 stars 6
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Introduction

Battalion Wars II, snidely nicknamed BWii, is the follow-up to the redheaded real time action strategy GameCube game Battalion Wars. While not directly related to the Advance Wars series, the allusions are clear. BWii is all about war. War is hell. It is also, apparently, kinda cute and with heavy doses of tongue in cheek stereotyping or, if you are humour deficient, racist.

The story begins with the Poms (Anglo Isles, hardly different) invading the Asians (Solar Empire, hardly different), who they mistakenly believe have a super weapon. Hardly relevant at all in today's political climate. The story continues, moving between time periods as flashbacks and present day situations converge, one involving a fort in the desert numbered “51”.

Again, I'm sure it's a coincidence.

A few obvious plot twists and hefty doses of Nordic, Texan and Vampiric stereotypes later, you've got yourself a plot that does a good job of giving you reason enough to wage global war. It's not Tom Clancy by any stretch. Maybe if Tom Clancy fell into an alternate universe and joined the Monty Python crew, but since he didn't, it isn't.

Gameplay

As amusingly racist as the game's writing and presentation is, a game is not really decent unless it controls well. The cutest pretend war in the world is wasted if it's not fun to play, and BWii fills a very small niche as far as genres go. It is a real time strategy third person shooter. The problem is, the shooting isn't. You select a target by pointing at them, and hit the Z button on the nunchuck to lock on. At this point, you press the B button on the Wii remote to shoot at them. Aiming, once locked on, is automatic.

As far as controls go, Battalion Wars II falls into the “I tried, but kinda gave up” category. BWii isn't big on shooting action, but more on strategy and prioritising targets. Controls are pretty simple. Using the analog stick on the nunchuk moves your avatar about. You use the Wii remote to point at targets, and press the Z button to lock on to them. At this point, you ca fire at them yourself, with the B button, or order your troops to attack with the A button.

Ordering troops is the most important part of BWii, and also one of the most finicky. The d-pad is used to select troops. Right and left cycle through unit types, while up and down are used to select individual units, but you only have three orders you can give at one time: Follow, Wait or Attack. Most of the game is spent ordering the right troops to attack the right target, leaving behind the vulnerable units and then, once the battle is over, regrouping. The ability to select troops by pointing at their little icon on the screen with the Wii remote and then selecting a target would have been nice, as using the d-pad can be a pain in the ass, and the "point and pick" ...

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