Glory Days 2 Review
I'm willing to bet that it's been a while since you've played a side-scrolling shooter strategy game. In fact, it's quite possible that you've never played such a game because it's a rather unique game genre hybrid. But that's exactly what you have in Glory Days 2, a game that has you flying air support for the armies that you yourself build. Glory Days 2 is certainly a unique game, but unique doesn't always translate into good. Let's find out if Glory Days 2 was able to pull it off…
Glory Days 2's campaign is played over a series of missions that have you fighting battles everywhere from the tropical coastlines to snowy mountains. However, the locales are just window dressing as each battle is fought along a long stretch of flat, two-dimensional terrain - think of it as two armies facing each other along a stretch of straight highway. Bases are situated at both ends of the road and along the length of the road you'll find a few bunkers. At the start of the battle each side's army begins leaving its base and starts marching towards the other end of the battle. The armies will press forward until they meet the enemy, and the survivor of each encounter will continue to march on. The ultimate goal is to reach the enemy's base, but capturing the bunkers along the way will generate extra cash for you and that cash can be spent to bring more troops into play.
Even though both armies have a lemming-like strategic approach to battle there's a surprising amount of ebb and flow in the missions. Luckily an on-screen map lets you easily keep track of the location of the frontlines during the mission. By using this map you'll have an idea where you're needed most to stop an enemy breakthrough or to give your troops a final push to victory.
Your role in the war effort is to support the troops from the air, either by flying a fighter or helicopter. A helicopter has the advantages of being able to land anywhere and also to ferry people around the battlefield. If you use the helicopter to pick up civilians trapped on the battlefield, you will earn bonus cash for your war effort when you return them to your base. You can also pick up troopers and drop them anywhere on the battlefield, and putting troops into a key location at the right moment can turn the tide of battle. The fighter can't be used for such tasks, but it's faster and can take out enemy aircraft. The advantages of the helicopter are big enough that you'll end up using it most of the time, though.
While you're flying around supporting your troops from the air you'll also need to keep tabs on your troop strength. The cash that you generate can be spent to create more troops and send them to battle from your base. The interface for creating troops is pretty easy to use, but it's still distracting enough that you can't create troops while you're actively attacking the enemy. You can select from infantrymen, tanks, AA guns, and such, each with its own associated cost and firepower.
Glory Days 2 battles can be pretty enjoyable despite the simplistic nature of the game. Probably the biggest problem with the game is the DS' fault as much as Glory Day 2's: the screen isn't wide enough. It takes the full screen width just to turn your aircraft around and head in the other direction. This is just a minor annoyance but there is a bigger problem in that there is not enough screen real estate for you to strafe ground targets with your guns. Everything is fine as long as you still have your bombs, but once they're gone you've almost outlived your usefulness. The angle of attack required to hit the ground targets is too low for the screen size you'll end up crashing into your target more often than you will strafe it successfully. Since you simply respawn back at base after you die, suicide attacks are a viable option after you're out of bombs. It sure works better than the strafing.
You'll be able to play through the game's campaign pretty quickly, but Glory Days 2 also includes a skirmish mode in which you can set a variety of battle options and then take on another player or the DS itself. Only local play is supported though, so you'll need a friend with a copy of the game if you're going to be able to take on a human player.
Glory Days 2 can be enjoyable, primarily because it is a rather unique game. On the downside it feels like the game was designed for a larger screen and that it could use a little more unit and aircraft variety. Still it is definitely worth a look for gamers on the go who are looking for a little light strategy action.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 73%. RTS light for the gamer on the go.