Okay so THIS is what I love about Nintendo handhelds. As scrutinized as console libraries are, it always surprises me how many cool overlooked games are out there on portable systems. In fairness, Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is an easy one to overlook. For one thing, the title and cover art make it look like any number of Ghost Recon games. It would be easy to assume that this is just a generic 3DS third person shooting game. IT IS NOT!
Back in the day I was thrilled to find that Julian (X-COM) Gollop had created a GBA game called Rebelstar: Tactical Command, that was for all intents and purposes, a new pseudo X-COM. Well let's call this deja vu, because the man was commissioned by Ubisoft to create a new game for the Ghost Recon license and guess what he did? He went ahead and make a 3DS X-COM game.
I remember IGN's review of the title saying that it was a really fun tactical game, but that the Ghost Recon name really had nothing to do with what was contained on the cartridge. The writer compared the characters and story to something cartoony and stereotypical in the vein of GI Joe. I don't disagree. But in my mind, this is actually a plus. I'll be honest, had this been licensed as GI Joe: Tactics, I would have bought it years ago. But again, that title and cover art just made it look so generic.
But friends, I tell you this - here's a hidden gem on 3DS. Let's say you've already played your Fire Emblems and what have you and you want something else to scratch that strategic itch. Here you go. It's not quite as deep as a FE game, but it's got plenty to keep you interested. The missions are mostly "kill all the enemies," but do offer up some additional objectives. The characters and story ARE cartoonish and silly, but in a fun b-movie sort of way. And gaining access to new soldier roles along with the ability to upgrade them (and upgrade points are depended on difficulty level of missions - which you can replay to achieve better rank) gives the game a fair amount of replayability.
I've only just started the game myself. I'm about an hour in. But man, I am GLAD I finally picked this one up as it's been on my wish list for years.