Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising", Game Boy Advance, 2003.

Advance Wars was a strategy series I have heard only raves about, regrettably tied to a handheld console I never owned. This brilliant and subdued ad emphasizes this platform-exclusive coupling, selling the Game Boy Advance as much as the game. When Nintendo makes mistakes, it makes big mistakes, but it consistently gets a lot right -- especially in the wake of the Nintendo 64, now that having defeated their rival Sega they can't afford to share its fate and get thrown to the sharks at Sony and Microsoft. No matter -- Nintendo has been in the games business since the 1800s, originally a playing card manufacturer for yakuza. They're not going anywhere. On some level I see them doing what America did during the World Wars -- waiting for the current superpowers to bludgeon themselves into dust, so it can come back in full force and sweep up.

Ah, I digress. But what I digress from is extemporizing on the subject of a game I've never played, so you're not missing much. Military strategy on a handheld? Sure, if Nintendo wants to resurrect commercially defunct gaming genres for a niche market, they're welcome to. And if they profit obscenely in the process, that's their business.

Roll out the heavy artillery.

Mobilize your ground force over all-new terrain, mount a massive aerial assault against new enemies and coordinate a campaign designed to shock your enemy. You are the commanding officer. Let the relentless bombardment begin.