after becoming such a fire emblem-obsessed freak, it’s no surprise that having exhausted all the english-released FE games i turned my attention to FE’s sibling series, advance wars, as it’s known in the US. the original entry to the series (called famicom wars, for the japanese NES, and only released in japan) was released less than two years before the first fire emblem, and both are developed by intelligent systems (along w/ the paper mario and warioware series).
it’s easy to see the similarities between the two series as both are turn-based strategy games, and no doubt there are many who are fans of both. but there are also significant, inherent differences that make it seem likely that there are many more who are fans of one but not the other. on the fire emblem side there’s an actual story with a huge cast of well-delineated characters, along w/ the fantasy setting and the strong RPG feel. in contrast advance wars is much more about the tactics, as your units never get upgraded and you have to manage their production by capturing cities and factories. all in all i def. prefer the fire emblem series, as story and characters add so much to games for me in general. nevertheless, this is still a top-notch game and there was still a lot i enjoyed in terms of the more undiluted tactics, even despite the somewhat formidable learning curve. w/ advance wars b/c there isn’t much of a story and the gameplay is so focused on the tactics i don’t feel particularly compelled to rush out and play through the sequels. so i’ll prob. replay the main story on the regular mode to unlock the other CO’s and at least A-rank every level before tackling the harder mode. if only the fire emblem DS game would come out sooner!
some advanced links:
– craig harris’s review for IGN is pretty spot on
– FAQ at IGN detailing the CO powers, info for all the units, etc.
– nice guide to all the units at strategyplanet
– damage chart at advancewarsnet.com: for AW2, but i think it pretty much still applies
– details on the calculations at gamefaqs
– guide at IGN: walkthrough for campaign and advance campaign modes