Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising

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a game by Intelligent Systems
Genre: Strategy/War
Platform: GBA
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 5 votes
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See also: Advance Wars Games
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising

I was blown away by the first game in the series and for me Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising on the Game Boy Advance is doing what a good sequel should. It takes what made the first game so great and just builds on it without radically changing stuff just for the sake of doing so like so many other sequels make the mistake of doing! It goes without saying if you liked the first game, you will like this.

Black Hole Is At It Again!

The story is pretty good and once again that pesky Black Hole is up to no good. They are trying to take over this small continent and the Advance War CO’s from the first game are back once again to put them back in their place. Orange Star, Green Earth, Blue Moon, and Yellow Comet have a ton of personality, but this time you have three new CO’s joining the fight to try and stop Sturm who also has new CO’s! I do feel that as good as the story is, you need to have played the first game to really appreciate it.

Wage War

What I love about Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising and the series, in general, is that this is a tactics-based game that anyone can play. They really managed to make this a game that is very in-depth and requires some serious strategy, but at the same time it is very accessible for people new to the genre. The game design in this regard is very, very clever. In a battle, you have to either capture the HQ of your enemy or you can just flat out kill all of them! The game has many different units and troops for you to consider and each CO has something about them and their squad that makes them special. One thing that I really liked was the Neotank which is a badass ground unit which is hard to get, but once you do it is awesome. Even Black Hole has a new arsenal which makes them more formidable than they were before.

Easy On The Eyes

While I feel the gameplay of Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising is accessible to those new to the genre, I do feel that it is the presentation that makes this a strategy game more people are willing to give a chance. At first glance you may think that this looks just like the first game and it does have the same style. However, I would say that there are more finer details here and in general it is just a tad better looking than its predecessor.

I really enjoyed the first game in the series and I would say that I enjoy Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising just as much. It may not reinvent the wheel, but it did not need to. Building upon what that first game did was a very smart decision and I would say that this and the first Advance Wars games are essential games to play if you are a fan of the Game Boy Advance.



  • The game has a ton of personality
  • I really liked the direction of the story
  • The game looks a bit better than the first
  • The gameplay is fun, addictive and easy to get into
  • There is a lot of strategy to tinker with in battles


  • You need to have played the first game to appreciate the story
  • Graphics could have been touched up a tad more perhaps?

Download Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

People say:


This war is one helluva mixed bag. Veterans from the first/will be a little disappointed that the designers poured all of their energy into making the Campaign mode more interesting, and almost none into making new units, which would greatly spice up the gameplay. How hard would it have been to rip off ideas from any other strategy title, like burrowing tanks or demolition crews? As it is, the deja vu in AW2 hits you like a 40-megaton bomb. Even the new walking-tank unit and superpowers don’t freshen up the experience. Is AW2 meant more for first timers, then? Luckily, that Campaign mode is one fantastic peace offering. Fans will dig the insane variety-from explosive volcanoes to objectives involving pocket-sized weapons of mass destruction, and more. The later stages are tough, though-so tough that you really have to play through them with the exact strategic plan the designers had in mind; you almost feel like a rat in a brain-stumping maze. Halfway through AW2, nonhardcore players will give up and go AWOL.


Shoe’s dead-on about how little has changed from the first AW. The sequel packs the same simple visuals and strategy system, but I think the rewarding game-play’s even better this time around. Trust me when I say you’ll work your noodle overtime commanding troops and plotting the best routes to seize enemy bases. Diverse mission objectives spice up solo play, and challenging (and usually losing to) strategy gurus like Shoe in multiplayer still rocks. Military analysts predict that AW2 is about to invade my personal GBA library.


If you loved Advance Wars, you need to play Advance Wars 2, and if you missed the last game, this is a great place to start. It’s incredibly fun and superaddictive. Be warned, though, it’s hard. And I mean hard to the point where if you make one wrong move, it might be best just to start a round completely over. Still, it’s very worth the serious time and effort you’ll invest plowing through its tactical depths. Just be prepared to ignore work, school, and loved ones for awhile. A long while.

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