GBA REVIEW: SUPER ARMY WAR

Don't let the title turn you off. Super Army Wars is not nearly as generic as it sounds.

Super Army Wars is a side scrolling, 2D, strategy game with a good blend of action. There are some micromanagement elements to take care of but not to any annoying depth. You have a lot of decisions to make and lots of shooting to do. The way you organize your troops and outline your battle plans will determine your success in these 16 challenging missions.

One of the biggest disappointments with Super Army Wars is that there is no two-player mode. The replay value would be incredible. As it is, the game is budget priced so you really can't complain - but I will try my best. The password save is a pain in the arse and the 2D graphics are somewhat limiting. Other than that, Super Army Wars is a great addition to the GBA library.

I would really like to play this game against another player. I'm so good at it that I just want to show off and make some people cry. The CPU does a reasonable job of replicating a human opponent. It takes advantage of your poor decisions but not in an unfair way. It teaches you to cover yourself in virtually all directions which in this case include up, down, in front and behind.

Your objective is to take the fortress of the other army by moving your troops into their territory. You will have choppers, jets, jeeps and tanks at your disposal in addition to foot soldiers outfitted with weapons. The opposing army is equally matched so it all boils down to strategy and shooting skill.

Along the way you will encounter neutral forts. Taking these over will result in acquiring money which can be used to purchase more troops, weapons or vehicles. You will want to take out as much of your enemy's airforce as possible. Jets can do considerable damage when they release bombs and choppers can drop enemies far into your territory. You have to be careful when shooting these aircraft down because they can land on your army and wipe out a great deal of them. At the same time, you may want to sacrifice a jet and a pilot to take out a large section of the enemy's army when you have nothing left to loose.

Some of the more interesting weapons include heat seeking missiles and the V2 rocket. Ammo is not unlimited so you have to make every shot count. This is where a great deal of strategy comes in to play as you balance your budget in relation to your skills and your enemy's progress. You will need to protect your ground troops with tanks so that they can be used to reclaim territories and capture new ground. This can make them vulnerable to attack from air so you have to make sure you're covering all angles. You can even dogfight with the enemy's jets but once you're up in the air you become a target for both sides because it's just as easy to hit one of your own aircraft due to the 2D layering effect which keeps you in the same dimension as the enemy even if you're further away.

Utilizing a variety of environments such as the sand, surf and frozen wasteland, the graphics deliver a relatively realistic portrayal of such terrain. There's not a whole lot of detail to the graphics or animation but what is included here is good. The sounds of vehicles, guns and explosions are crisp and loud, perfectly suited for a game of this caliber (pun intended).

I could think of a lot worse ways to spend twenty bucks. Super Army Wars is the kind of game that we need to see more of on the GBA.

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System: GBA
Dev: Neko Entertainment
Pub: Atlus
Release: Feb 2005
Players: 1
Review by Fenix
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.5
GRAPHICS
3.5
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
3.0
VALUE
2.0