|System: X360, PS3, PC, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Funatics||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 4, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The graphics follow the same trend set by the gameplay: decent, but not particularly stand-out. The game's visuals are fine, but I found myself missing the colorful, animated style of the original Advance Wars games. The fact that I felt I was playing Advance Wars rather than a new, different game highlights what's probably the biggest problem with EndWar: lack of originality. It's not bad, but it steals so many admittedly successful mechanics from Advance Wars, yet Advance Wars does everything so much better. Regardless, the visuals are muddied and bland, and generally boring to look at.
EndWar on the DS does contain some voice work, but it's about as trite as the game's script. The voice acting is not particularly good and does nothing to dispel the ridiculous stereotypes and clichés that essentially characterize the game. The music doesn't fare much better. Again, not because it's particularly bad, but just because there's no reason to remember it.
There are 30 campaign missions total, and each can be played by the three different factions for three slightly different gameplay experiences. Where the real replay value comes from EndWar is in the map editor and the scenario maps, of which there are many. The level-creator is a nice tool (though it's difficult to notice that it's a feature that Advance Wars had as well), but the lack of WiFi to share the maps with other people is a huge drawback. I suppose if you succeed in talking several of your friends into buying this game, then the map-maker might hold some value. But otherwise, it's just an interesting tool that you probably won't use much.
While there's nothing that really breaks EndWar, there's also nothing that ever makes it stand out. It's just a run-of-the-mill SRPG without much depth or strategy. The simple rock-paper-scissors system is uninteresting and overdone, and the game is easy enough that you'll never really need to use particularly clever tactics to win missions. It might be worth a rental if you're really into this type of game, but otherwise Advance Wars does everything that EndWar does, and does it a lot better. With that in mind, I see no real reason to buy this game.
CCC Freelance Writer