It may feel like this game has been a long time coming but in fact that's simply not the case. Sure, it's arrived a good few months after it was intended to, but the delay was simply there to ensure that Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection was in place. And that was a very important factor because it's the online multiplayer modes that transform Battalion Wars 2 into such a fantastic Wii experience.
BWii is the direct sequel to 2005's GameCube original, which was itself a home-console take on the critically acclaimed handheld Advance Wars series. The main difference was that Battalion Wars allowed you to lead your troops through
A sumptuous 3D world as opposed to commanding them with turn-based strategies. It looked and played really well but was screaming out for online gameplay, so as soon as work on the sequel began (which kicked off as soon as BW was finished), online multiplayer was the obvious priority. BWii is three years in the making then but has it been worth the wait?
On The Front Line
First things first, we should tell you what this game is all about. As the name suggests, you control a battalion of troops. These troops are divided into a vast array of different units that are divided into three main categories: land, air and naval. These range from various types of infantry, to tanks, bombers, choppers and submarines. In most situations you're able to directly control every unit's movements and behaviour. Your mission is to use your battalion in order to defeat the enemy.
As the story unwinds you'll make pacts with different armies and even travel back in time to take part in flashback missions, so you'll get to play out various different sides of the story. This in turn allows you to control a vast array of different units throughout the game.
Each one of your units has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, a Bazooka Veteran is extremely effective against a Light Tank but is vulnerable to regular Grunts. Long-Range Artillery Tanks are devastating against Frigate Ships but they're sitting ducks in close-range combat. Defeating the enemy is all about mastering each unit and using them correctly.
Relationship Of Command
In order to do that, the game needs an accurate means of control. The original command system has been refined and now comes complete with pinpoint Wii Remote aiming. Your unit types are displayed along the bottom of the screen. You can cycle through them by tapping left and right on the D-pad. Tapping the A button will make that unit type 'wait' or 'follow' you, whoever you happen to be.
As well as aiming your sights and allowing you to look around, the Wii Remote is also your command cursor. Aiming at an enemy and tapping A will make your chosen unit type attack. If you want to go all-out simply select the 'All' icon before attacking and your entire battalion will let rip. The other extreme is also available. Pressing up on the D-pad will allow you to give commands to individual units within a unit type. This is particularly useful when some lowly grunts are low on energy and you want them to stay behind and man a gun placement.
If you're a sucker for planning out battles then the '-' button takes you to a bird's eye view of the battlefield where you can scope out the land and plan out exactly which troops you'll need and where you should be aiming for. The great thing about BWii is that you can be as all-out offensive or as strategic as you like. The winning formula, though, is somewhere in the middle.