The newly announced Advance Wars Switch bundle is being handled by Shantae developer WayForward rather than original developer Intelligent Systems.
WayForward confirmed the news this week shortly after the reveal of the Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp bundle. "We are incredibly honored and excited to be working on Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp with Nintendo," the studio said on Twitter (opens in new tab). "It's a thrill to help bring this beloved series to Switch!"
Spinoffs aside, Advance Wars has been inactive since the early 2000s, and Intelligent Systems has since moved comfortably into the house of Fire Emblem, so it's no surprise to see Nintendo working with a new studio on a modern-day port for the series, especially with Intelligent Systems now co-developing WarioWare: Get It Together.
You may know WayForward from the Shantae series, which has chronicled the 2D platforming adventures of its purple-haired protagonist for five games now. If you've missed the Shantae ship, perhaps you're familiar with the beloved brawler River City Girls (a collaborative project with BlazBlue and Guilty Gear studio Arc System Works), which recently confirmed a sequel. More pertinently, WayForward did an excellent job on DuckTales: Remastered, which bodes well for the treatment that Advance Wars will receive.
It's clear from the Re-Boot Camp reveal trailer that Nintendo wasn't kidding when it said Advance Wars had been "reimagined and rebuilt." The core gameplay looks unchanged, but the art style could hardly be more different. The lovely pixel art of old has been traded in for some delightful 3D models and high-quality 2D animation – which, in retrospect, I should've recognized for the distinct cartoonish polish that WayForward has developed. Looking at it again, some of these scenes really do scream Shantae.
We haven't seen a new Shantae since May 2020, but WayForward has been pretty active even outside of Advance Wars. BloodRayne: Betrayal, which WayForward contributed to back in 2014, is getting a surprise new-gen re-release, and the entire Shantae franchise is also coming to PS5.
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