Battalion Wars 2
Also known as BWii, which is very clever.
Battalion Wars 2 is also known as BWii, which is very clever. This should not cloud ones judgement into thinking that the rest of the game possesses such Wilde-esque witty repartee throughout, however. In fact, some of the dialogue on show in BWii borders on outright offensive - though most of it merely walks the line of stereotypical nonsense - with some awful typecasts on show for each nation. It may be part of the cartoony joy on offer, but to be honest it's just lazy and ineffective.
But that's not the game, it's just something that annoyed me. So I'll stop whining now, as I'm starting to sound as self righteous as an art student who has just read their first book on feminism.
BWii is pretty much the same as BWGC (this acronym doesn't work as well...) - it's the offshoot of the Advance Wars series whereby players take direct control of troops and run around blowing crap up in real time engagements, as opposed to the indirect, turn-based battles of AW. The trademark cartoony style of the handheld series is on display, even if it is stylistically different, and though it is a markedly different game in almost every respect, you can still feel something of the AW series shining through.
As you play through the campaign, players get to take control of some different teams, fight in some different wars and listen to some godawful voice acting on show that pushes forward the substandard storyline, along with all its hamfisted attempts to satirise good old real life (a superweapon that doesn't exist being the cause of invasion... CLEVER). It's enough to annoy me to the point of complaining all the time, so it's a good thing that the game itself is some cop.
Taking control of a number of air, sea and land units, players take part in a series of straight forward missions involving some incredibly simple rock-paper-scissors logic. Tank kills this, but not that, assault troops kill these, but not those, helichoppers kill thems, but not thems. Simple. What could easily become repetitive and dull is saved by an upbeat pace, with the game constantly pushing you forward and throwing in new units and the like at every turn - it is a bit broken up whenever an objective is completed or a new one is revealed by the insistence on telling this shite story, but things soon get back to being fun again. Booming and blasting through a number of locales is always going to be fun when it's this simple, even if it isn't going to last forever.
And my word does it not last forever. The main campaign can easily be finished in a matter of a few hours, with the only real difficulty coming from either the latter levels or the fact that the controls aren't as tight as they should be. Ah, the controls - me? Whine about controls on a Wii game? Never.
Except that while they do work pretty well in the most part - nunchuck stick moves unit, d-pad selects other units, B fires and A tells your squad to attack/defend/capture/wait/follow - there are a few issues. Pointing the cursor at a unit and commanding the squad to do whatever is a damn fine way of doing things and works perfectly well a lot of the time, but when there is a legion of enemy units in your path and you need to use the bazooka troops to take out a tank (for example), it can be hard to single out the one tank in the mishmash of other troops.
This problem isn't helped by the fact that friendly AI is awful, forcing you to have to individually tell each of your troop and vehicle units which enemy to attack, seeing as they have no idea that they are far more effective at attacking the flame troops that are killing the entire squad, rather than the lone grunt in the corner. I don't want the game to do it all for me, but when it's that little bit too loose and causes problems, I'm going to whine. The lock on system is another point of annoyance, working perfectly fine a lot of the time, but causing undue, pointless problems when the action picks up. I DO NOT WANT TO TARGET MY OWN TROOP YOU IDIOT GAME - HE IS NOT THE PROBLEM. THAT TANK IN THE WAY IS. Ahem.
Online... Wait a second - online?! Jesus. It has some online features! Praise the whoever you want to praise! Shame it's a bit poopy then, really. It's a nice example of what we can look forward to, but the online modes aren't substantial enough to warrant a purchase in their own right and I'm sure BWii isn't a game that will be dominating the playtime of most online players. A few simple game modes are offered, including a funny-but-lacking co-op mode, but even with a selection of a number of different levels and even a few unlockables, it isn't worth much effort. I also experienced a fair few disconnections and some slow connection speeds - but that's just probably this stupid house.
So it's a case - just like with BWGC - of so close, yet not so close as to be highly recommended. There's certainly more than enough fun to be had over a few days with this one, but it all feels like it needed that bit more work to make things better. We can ignore the awful storyline and borderline-offensive voice acting, the fact that it looks like a GameCube game and the shortness of the main campaign, but when the controls begin to let you down consistently, things get annoying. And we all know how destructive Wiimotes can be to TVs. You have to decide for yourself if it's worth it...