Any fans of Advance Wars by Nintendo reading this? We are about to take a trip down memory lane with this one then. Super Famicom Wars is the direct successor to Famicom Wars and maintains some unique changes that franchise fans will either love or hate. Nearly 20 years after Super Famicom Wars hit the Nintendo Satellaview service (demos) and their Nintendo Power release (full game), it makes its English debut thanks to fans. Advance Wars fans, prepare for a trip down nostalgia lane.
Originally released on May 1st, 1998, Super Famicom Wars represents one of the most difficult to acquire titles on the platform. Doubled by the fact that Super Famicom Wars was not released outside of Japan.
One thing that is going to make longtime fans of the franchise upset is that there is no story mode here and no campaign available. That hurts. What is left? Well, a skirmish mode of sorts with various maps and your choice of army to command.
There are a few animations such as when taking a city that are cute the first 10 times you see them in a battle. These animations quickly grow old as you realize you just saw that animation for the 20th time in a heated battle.
There is a fog of war option available, for the first time in the history of the series.
The basiscs of the classic franchise are here and that is what matters. If you are one of the gamers that felt all the Commanding Officer chit chat was annoying in later releases, then you will like this version. There is literally none of that. The most you see of your CO or that of your enemy is in the box during battles and a little cartoon version pops up on the tactical screen from time to time.
Playing Super Famicom Wars was a real nostalgia trip for me. I enjoyed my time with it but seriously, it was limited in many ways that were annoying to me.
For one, there is no depth to speak of here. It is simply pick a map based on some basic intelligence and dispatch your troops. Capture cities and defeat your enemy as best you can. Often you will take a beating till you get the knack down for sending out waves of troops.
As you move the cursor around the map you will be given basic information on the square. Clicking on each square can give you more detailed information on it, such as what units are able to traverse it. As you play, you will need to capture cities so that you can get more money each turn to replenish your troops. This requires keeping infantrymen in the field as you clear out enemy troops and clear a path for yours to capture that much needed city.
As troops are wiped out on the battlefield you will also need to replenish them by way of your base and the surrounding area. This takes money, the more powerful units cost more money but are much more durable in the heat of battle. This means weighing the costs of that Heavy Tank versus a light tank compared to your available funds and what the enemy has already deployed. Planning is also required if you want to survive long because your enemy will wipe the floor with you if you are not careful.
Sending out waves seems to work for me in games like Super Famicom Wars. I like to rush out a few light soldiers and take as many resources as I can early on. Then send out a wave of decently armored, but slower, troops to help defend those resources. If I still hold the resources after a few turns then I will up my troop deployment with heavier troops, if not, I will whittle away at the enemy and get my light troops back in control of the resources on the map. This tactic works extremely well with Super Famicom Wars.
The lack of story and the smaller maps make for quick play throughs with little hassle. Just don’t expect a lot of “stuff” here other than what you see. There are no major betrayals, there are no characters to get mad at, there are no real connections made with the little guys on the battlefield. That hurts Super Famicom Wars quite a bit in my opinion, at least as far as keeping this one in my regular rotation.
If that is what you are in the market for then definitely grab Super Famicom Wars now that it is available in English. Me, I play turn based strategy games for the story as well as the tactical combat that is afforded me by great development.
Grab the patch file from ROMHacking.net.