Why I Can’t Wait to Wage War in ‘Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp’

Locked and loaded with nostalgia

  • After 10 years of silence, Nintendo finally is taking Advance Wars off the ice.
  • Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp will deliver a remastered version of the original two games, complete with online play and revamped graphics.
  • The release could lead to additional Advance Wars games in the future, as new and old fans alike flock to try out the iconic strategy gameplay.
Face-off screen from 'Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp'

Nintendo

Nintendo finally is bringing Advance Wars back, and I can’t wait to lose hours of my time planning my war strategy.

E3 has come and gone, bringing with it a ton of new game announcements. One of the most exciting revelations from the Nintendo E3 Direct, though, was the reveal for Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, a complete remaster of one of Nintendo’s most iconic strategy games. It’s been over 20 years since the release of the first Advance Wars, which means there are plenty of strategy lovers who haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

The remaster (for Nintendo’s Switch) pulls both the first and second game together and includes a refresh of the graphics, giving it more of a toy-like, cartoony look that fits the overall tone of the series. But the graphics aren’t the most exciting thing here. With over 10 years having passed with the last entry of Advance Wars, now feels like a perfect time to let everyone dive into the turn-based warfare that made these games stand out so much in the early 2000s.

Give Me War

One of my fondest memories of getting my Gameboy Advance SP back in fifth grade was playing through Fire Emblem and Advance Wars games. That’s where my love for strategy games began. I recall spending hours trying to navigate the fog of war that covered those fantasy lands, hiding my foes. I’m not sure how many times I replayed the first and second Advance Wars games, or how much time I spent building maps and taking on custom scenarios in the second one.

Everything about the Advance Wars games feels great. Not only does it build off the turn-based combat that made me fall in love with the Fire Emblem series (another franchise made popular by the same developers at Intelligent Systems), but it also gives you more control of your army. Being able to customize what kind of troops you’re using allows you more creative freedom in battle, something I’ve always craved from the Fire Emblem series.

Unfortunately, Nintendo hasn’t confirmed whether or not the reboot will bring back one of my favorite aspects of Advance Wars—making your own custom maps. I spent far too many hours building my own maps in Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, and I’d love to be able to get lost in that again. Furthermore, being able to properly challenge my friends in online play within the first two games is going to be a massive upgrade, as the originals didn’t offer any kind of online component on the Gameboy Advance.

Hope For the Future

If we really break it down, though, the most exciting thing about seeing Nintendo revisiting Advance Wars in any way is a hope that this could lead to more games in the future. Despite it being over 10 years since the last game in the series, Advance Wars was always really well received. The first and second games were highly praised, and even later entries on the Nintendo DS were beloved, though they never added much to the formula from past games.

Battle screen from 'Advanced Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp'

Nintendo

As such, it’s always been a bit confusing that Nintendo would allow so much time to pass between the titles. Now that a new developer is taking the reins, could Re-Boot Camp be the first step towards a completely new entry in the series? This old fan really hopes so. There’s so much to love about Advance Wars, even without the rose-tinted glasses that come with years of nostalgia and childhood memories.

If Nintendo can recapture the parts that made Advance Wars such an iconic series on its handhelds, the Nintendo Switch—and future consoles—could be the perfect place for it to set up shop and call home. And, if the odds aren’t in the favor of old fans like myself, at least we’ll get one more big hurrah before the series fades into obscurity in the Nintendo classic vault.

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