The Definitive 50 GameCube Games: #37 Battalion Wars

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

This Advance Wars spin-off moves the series away from its turn-based roots to give GameCube owners something with a little more action. Battalion Wars takes #37 on the Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

You command small teams of troops, vehicles, and airborne craft in missions across the globe in an effort to take down the evil Xylvanian aggressors.

The idea is for you to both strategically maneuver your units around stages, while simultaneously controlling one for yourself. It works for the most part, although, the controls can feel a little cumbersome and overly complicated.

Battalion Wars has an incredible sense of style. The units themselves take on a cuteness familiar to Advance Wars fans, with lighthearted designs and animations to match.

The story is a hilariously comic-book-y take-off on familiar real life stereotypes: you’ve got the Cowboy-like Western Frontier, the red and snowy Tundran Empire, the menacing Xylvania, and the honour-bound Solar Empire all mixing it up. Several well animated and voiced leaders are introduced in between-mission cutscenes for each of these factions, where most of the story of the game unfolds.

Battalion Wars can be challenging to get into thanks to its stubborn control scheme. However, players who fight past this early frustration are well rewarded, as the title’s aesthetic charm and addictive mission-based structure both demand to be experienced.