Nov 1, 2007
Like its predecessor, Battalion Wars 2 is an action/RTS hybrid, similar to PC titles such as Savage. Instead of players assuming the role of General from a bird's-eye view, they are able to control their grunts, flamethrowers, anti-air tanks, bazookas or a number of other units that roam the field of battle. Controlling units, as well as performing other actions such as attacking, issuing orders and raising flags to assume control of mission objectives would require an elegant control scheme to maintain proper control of so many available actions. In this, Battalion Wars 2 delivers, though only to a degree.
Controlling units is accomplished via both the Nunchuk and Wii Remote. Moving a unit forward and backward, as well as strafing, is done with the analog stick, and camera control is handled by moving the Wii Remote. Each unit type, such as light tanks and artillery, is automatically grouped together, and switching between these groups is accomplished by pressing left and right on the d-pad. Should players wish to assume control of a flamethrower unit, they need only select the Flame group using the d-pad and press and hold the A button. An icon will appear over the random flame unit the player has been given, making it easier to denote the player's particular unit on the often tumultuous battlefield, and firing is mapped to the B trigger.
Despite the intricate setup, each command is easy to execute one at a time. But when the battlefield begins to teem with dozens of units, the control scheme begins to fall apart. It's just too complicated in a heated firefight. Even more annoying is the fact that you activate many commands using an onscreen cursor, and yet, the development team didn't allow more elements such as the different unit groups - lined up along the bottom of the screen - to be clickable. Why not? Surely moving the cursor to "Grunts" and pressing A or B would have been easier than forcing us to shuffle through every available group. Would it not have been simpler to allow the cursor to actually function as a pointer?
Battalion Wars 2's campaign is more for learning the controls and idiosyncrasies of the gameplay more than it is about telling a compelling story. There's a story there somewhere, but for the most part, it's very incoherent, with missions that feature disjointed objectives and have almost nothing to do with the mission that succeeded or preceded them.