Advance Wars: Under Fire - GameCube
As I strolled around the Nintendo booths, one game caught my attention, Advance Wars: Under Fire. It is a third-person cross-genre game that blends BF1942-like action and real-time-strategy, and the end result is a fun and intuitive title. The visual style of the game is rather cartoony and whimsical (why, when soldiers get shot, it is shown via stars icons), which I think would alienate players that don’t like the ‘kiddish’ looks of a lot of the GameCube games.
The E3 playable demo starts you out with a set number of troops and three tanks. The troops have different classes, such as bazooka carrier, heavy gunner, flame thrower and regular soldier. The great thing about the gameplay is the freedom you have when waging your battle. You can issue commands to other units to follow you (and fight with you), or tell them to attack a certain target or go to a checkpoint.
There are air, sea and land units to control. In the demo, you can control a gunship chopper, a tank and a transport helo. While in the tank, you can press ‘down’ to command a nearby grunt to hop into the machine gun turret, and he will do his best to shoot up the baddies. The beauty of this game is that it allows you to instantly transfer yourself to a unit you are targeting. This gives you a lot of flexibility at any time during gameplay. Bored of being a tanker, just point to an attack chopper nearby, and you’re instantly in the pilot’s seat, raining down explosive missiles on semi-cute enemy grunts.
The command interface is also simple, just target a friendly unit, and press a button to have it follow you or go to a certain checkpoint. You can freely jump in and out of vehicles easily and the controls are responsive, except we felt sluggish when trying to aim the cursor up and down. A simple hold on the left trigger will allow you to target enemies and shoot at them. But if they move, you will not hit them if you use the ‘lock-on’ firing method, since the bullets travel quite slowly.
We feel this will be a solid game, as the gameplay right now is quite polished. The potential is there, and we can’t wait to see the final version ( yes, we know it’s a GameCube game).
Gundam on GameBoy Advance SP
We briefly tried out this robotic one-on-one fighting game on the GBA SP. The graphics were smooth and clean. It’s incredible how many moves they incorporated into each robot with the L and R buttons, along with A and B. It was easy to pull off the moves, if you know Street Fighter moves and combos, especially Ryu’s and Ken’s. SP games are getting more and more advanced, and this one looks like it’s a full-fledged fighter for every Gundam fan out there.
Mega Man X RPG
Check out these screenshots of Mega Man X RPG. The combat is done in a turn-based mode, a la Final Fantasy. The cel-shaded graphics look great, just see for yourself: