I received a bunch of FDS games recently and one of them was Castlevania. But when I wanted to play it, it was overwritten with SD Gundam. This has happened once before, with the Legend of Zelda. I decided that if a game is good enough that people rewrite Castlevania and Zelda, I should at least try it. No one ever bought my boxed copy so I had actually unlisted it. Here is a new photo I had to take.
I don't generally like strategy games because they often take a long time to learn and then a long time to play. Especially if there is a story mode with 20 or so missions you go on. I remember I played Red Alert to the end when I was younger, but even then I felt the courses took too long.
In SD Gundam World: Scramble Wars (with the full title also including Gachapon Senki) you use robots to fight with. I think in the Super Famicom games they removed that aspect, and the robots do the fighting by themselves. I'll have to try those games some other time. My quest is to play all the good 8-bit games before I move on to the 16 bit games, and then later other consoles.
I was pleasantly surprised by SD Gundam World: Scramble Wars . There is very little information on how to play the games. I just picked it up and start playing. There is no story mode I can see, you just select one out of 10 missions. I didn't understand the menu after that, maybe you select a difficulty level there. Once playing, I had to restart twice until I understood the exact strategy, but after that I played a good 4 hours until I beat the first course. I think it was straight forward and not too difficult.
There are some loading time and "thinking" time for the computer AI, but I will say that in a strategy game it doesn't matter that much because you can spend your time thinking what you'll do next. Or you can grab a beer, or just watch the computer play.
My strategywiki "hero" who has written so many helpful articles is negative about this game. (http://strategywiki.org/wiki/SD_Gundam_World_Gachapon_Senshi_-_Scramble_Wars) What's the matter punk, emulator save states didn't help you? Well I had a fun with it. I spend most of the night. You can actually save your progress by just pressing Start (or is it select) in the map mode and press "Yes". Then it gets saved to the disk and you select Continue next time. But I prefer to play in one sitting.
Well alright. You play on a map screen. A part of it will look like these pictures.
You have a home base were you build your robots. The opponent also has a base. The goal of the game is to take the opponent's base. From the home base you select which robot to build. Its name, cost and move stats will be displayed in English or in numbers.
On the map are a number of cities or small bases that you can take. They will increase your income. Income is where it says "IC" in the bottom right. "CT" is how much Capital you currently have.
The manual has explanations on all robots in Japanese I don't understand. But the important stats are: Health, and Moves they have. Weapon is also important but generally if it is expensive it has good weapons.
The idea is that you move your robots around on the screen. I won't bother with the details because you'll understand them quickly. You might want to know that you can end your turn early by pressing A+B.
When your robot encounters an opponent's robot, the screen with become a battle screen.
I learnt that a robot get his health restored when he goes to one of the bases. That is an important strategy element.
The cost of the robots are very different. The most expensive is W-Base that costs 8000 "money". The DOM is the third cheapest unit, costing only 500 money. The W-Base is however not a great fighter because he has no short range weapon, so I would prefer to build the second most expensive units: Psyco Gundam or ZZ-Gundam. They cost 4500 money. Early on in the game you don't have so much money to spend and it may be more useful to build cheaper units that are still powerful, such as the Bound-Dog for 2500 or the Gundam for 1500.
The more bases you take, the more money you'll make each round, which will enable you to buy better robots. That's all there is to it. In the end you'll fight the opponents base keeper, and then you win.
The FDS game also has a two player mode. This was removed on the Game Boy Advance version.