There was something of a drought with Wii games. With Battalion Wars 2, the rain is starting to fall. That is if exploding shells and machine gun fire quench your thirst for entertainment. In a surprising combination of tactics and twitch, BWii is a wonderful release for the holiday season.
I can’t help but look at this game and think about how lucky kids are today. Back in the day, army men were one color – GREEN. They were plastic and they didn’t do much. You had to imagine how the battle would turn out. Your foot soldiers in BWii are much more animated than that. Just because the action is vivid, that doesn’t mean you can turn off your brain. Instead of playing pretend, Battalion Wars 2 will have you thinking about optimizing your attacks.
The feeling BWii creates is instantaneous. It’s cute yet serious. The design is clearly deliberate. From the opening cinematic, the mood is an unusual hybrid. It’s war but it’s an adorable war. I mean really, war is not supposed to be cute! Yet, I often find myself smiling while issuing my Grunts orders. Maybe it’s the way they run, or maybe it’s the whistle sound that is heard with each command, but the troops are just fun to watch. That’s an important part of any game. You need to form an attachment to the characters. I feel terrible when I lose one of my men.
The music and sound effects enforce the game’s theme. The horns and drums are reminiscent of old war movies or military parades. It instills a feelings of importance. You have command. The fate of your forces depends on your ability to lead… and to shoot!
Not only is the theme of BWii a combination of polar opposites, the game is also a surprising combination of strategy and action. While you command your forces, you can switch to any one unit and manually command their actions. It creates for some intense playtime, as you could be shooting a flamethrower one moment and then driving a tank the next.
For the same reason I appreciate Battlefield 1942, I find BWii to be a worthy game. It’s the variety of enjoyment. I could be shelling the shoreline from a battleship or dropping bombs from the skies above. It depends on the scenario or even upon my mood. A particular map may dictate the strategy, but you can mix things up a bit. In that respect, the level design is superb. When I found the Solar Empire’s Recon Vehicle, I was mighty pleased. I was tearing up dirt, and my enemies, with this incredibly fast machine. Driving the Recon could be a game in of itself.