Gamedaily writes like Dual Strike before it, Nintendo's Advance Wars: Days of Ruin brings out the best in strategy action, forcing you into a variety of rock-paper-scissors battles against strong artificial intelligence and human opponents through different scenarios. However, unlike other chapters, this one has a decidedly darker tone. Don't let that throw you, though – this change enhances the game's appeal.
The graphics look terrific, with battles playing out in real-time and splendid-looking environments. In addition, the interface is novel, divided evenly between the two screens. The audio won't wow you, but it's serviceable with its techno beats and booming sound effects.
Probably the best addition, however, is the direct involvement of Commanding Officers in battle. They simply jump into a vehicle and instantly create a more powerful command zone. Once this zone activates, soldiers have a stronger sense of offensive and defensive abilities.
Not all of the changes are good ones, though. Hachi's store, a mainstay in the series where you could purchase numerous characters and vehicles, was scrapped. In addition, some of the series' modes, including Combat and Survival, are history, in favor of a more "to-the-point" battle approach. Furthermore, there's no Hard mode to tackle once you blaze through the game – although there are still plenty of Trial and battle maps to keep you busy.
Parts of this game take getting used to, especially if you're an amateur gamer just getting the hang of strategy games. However, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin is an outstanding step in the series, a mature new approach with plenty of additions and online options to keep you fighting the good fight. 8/10