Setup & Timing
Heavy Armor Brigade is not a game easy to pick up for new and non-gamers. To get to the Single-Card Download portion of the game, the host has to go through "Battle Mode" (which is not labeled as having wireless features in the menu). The opening credit, when not skipped, are extremely long. The download time is also much longer than other games.
Menus & Navigation
The menus themselves function apporpriately: whichever option is tapped is registered and there were no unpleasant surprises.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Many of the controls, including weapons-switching and angle adjustment, are done by tapping buttons on the lower screen, and those all work flawlessly, as does the overhead map scroll which is controlled by the Direction Pad. There were two major controls, though, that were not nearly as accurate as they could have been. When drawing a movement route, the lines can only go in certain directions, meaning that the lines don't go exactly where you want them to go. Also, the aiming (when in Attack Mode) estimates what you mean instead of shooting exactly where you tapped, making accurate shots difficult, and with no lock-on abilities.
Graphically, the gameplay is dark and, depending on the lighting situation, can make seing certain details difficult. Everything else visually and the game looks good, with storyine-based characters showing up with the menu systen. Audibly, the game's music can be a little brash. Even though the sound effects system is a nice feature, it can be skipped if the music is a problem. Festure-wise, there are now multiple tanks to choose from, as well as multiple time limit and mode options.
Category Score: 11.5 / 15
The first game (Tank Beat) was kind of a disappointment, marred by a lack of features and options, dark graphics, and poor controls. In the sequen, Heavy Armor Brigade, some of those problems are resolved. There are now several options, including time limits and modes, as well as five different tanks to choose from for Single-Card Download multiplayer. Controls were improved a little, with the ability to backtrack added back in, but with certain aspects (like auto-lock targeting) still missing in action. The graphics are still dark and hard to see in certain conditions. Overall, though, the game is vastly improved over its predecessor. Does it still have a way to go? Yes. Is it better and more playable for anyone seeking a tank combat game? Yes. It is the best Single-Card Download-compatible tank battling game on the market, and it's playable. It's not a great game, but it did make strides.
Label "Battle Mode" with the DS's Wireless icon (indicating wireless gameplay capabilities) or change "Battle Mode" to "Wireless Battle".
Shorten the opening credits sequence and reduce the download timing by increasing efficiency.
Change the movement route input to be more precise.
Accept attack input exactly where tapped on the map, not in a rough estimation of the location.
Were previous requests answered? (From Tank Beat)
YES - Add the ability to backtrack along drawn lines to redraw.
NO - Allow players the ability to lock onto targets.
NO - Offer a button-controlled option for shooting.
NO - Change the touch-controlled shooting mechanism to shoot with a single tap on a target.
NO - Brighten up the colors and have a greater contrast between the tanks and the buildings, etc.
YES - Let players change the time limit, or turn the time limit off altogether (in favor of a to-the-death ending).
YES - Provide choices (pre-download if necessary) for multiple tanks, weapons, and stages.
Category Score: 11.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 72 / 100 (a.k.a. 36/50)
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