Glory Days 2 Hands-On

Glory Days 2 is the sequel to Super Army War, which was named Glory Days in the European market. The GBA title received a lot of criticism, but I’ve always thought it was a fun game. GD2 captures the feeling of Super Army War perfectly, but ups it yet another notch; think of Glory Days 2 as Predator, and Super Army War as Predator 2. (I can play with the order like that, due to the whole name issue.)

The basic premise is that you’re a troop in the army, flying a helicopter (and later a plane) and leading the way in some pretty explosive battles. In each mission you’re in charge of rescuing civilians stuck in the battle zone, taking over enemy forts, and protecting your own assets against the enemy attack. Like a reverse tug-o-war, each side attempts to make it to the other’s main fortress on the opposite end of the map. The gameplay is a mixture of a sidescrolling flight shooter with some tactical elements sprinkled on top, and it works extremely well.

So how exactly does the game play? It’s fairly simple to describe, but once you’re playing it yourself, you’d be surprised at how hectic it can get. You move the helicopter back and forth, and up and down with the touchscreen. At the same time, you can perform all other commands (fire missiles, shoot the gun, etc.) with the d-pad and other buttons. (You can also opt to play with a typical control pad setup, but I found the touchscreen/stylus route much more responsive and easier to use.)

The top screen displays your helicopter, while the bottom shows a random portion of the battlefield with the most action going on. This can be a little confusing at times, as you’re touching a screen other than the one your helicopter is on, but after a while you get used to it.

Despite its appearances, the game also includes a bit of strategy. Most of this will come in the form of taking over enemy bases and deploying your own troops/tanks. One of my initial complaints focused on how ridiculous it was at times having to switch between the two styles (flying and annihilating enemies is infinitely more fun for me than landing to refuel or toggling through build menus), but after a while it really grows on you. Although I’m still not entirely sure how rescued civilians leads to money… Do I force them to manufacture stuff for me once I’ve rescued them, as some weird form of compensation? Either way, it’s a lot more fun than the traditional way of gathering resources by building something or clicking some made up plant.

The stategic elements also help separate this one from the other generic, clichéd action titles. While most sidescrolling shooters will let you just run through enemies and mow them down, Glory Days 2 forces you to consider the implications. Is it better to just make a quick strike at the enemy fortress, or should you take over some bases first? Should you call in paratroops, deploy a tank, or use normal troops? Should those guys be sent in behind enemy lines? Should you save your bombs, or use them to take out that lone tank? Unlike a lot of typical strategy games the choices don’t really amount to a lot of difference, but they’re still there, and at times will either make you grin as you win, or make you curse as you end up losing so much territory you can’t fight back.

Glory Days 2 is a game that hasn’t been talked about in most gaming circles, despite its imminent release next week. The mixture of action, strategy, and balls-to-the-wall adrenaline pumping fun is an absolute blast, though, and more people should take notice – especially with its 8-player multiplayer mode. Sure it has its shortcomings, but overall, it’s a very enjoyable title, and one that’s easy for people to fall in love with. For DS owners looking for a nice change from the casual-friendly dominance – or for those looking for a unique action game that delivers on its promises – keep an eye on Glory Days 2. So far it’s a very fun game, and unlike anything else out on the DS.



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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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