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Nov 5, 2007

Review: Front Mission

I think this is the first time I ever realized that Square Enix makes role-playing and tactics games that don't involved magic somehow. And honestly, I don't care for such games ...

But I'm a professional and I'll give anything that Square Enix makes a good once over but I judge. Front Mission was original release for the Super Nintendo in 1995 but was only released in Japan. The game was remade for the Playstation in 2003 for the Japanese market again, but was then remade again for the Nintendo DS in 2006 for release in Japan and in 2007 for North American.

Front Mission has spawned 5 sequels, 6 spin offs and several remakes.

Set as a tactics game, Front Mission has you controlling giant mechs called "Wanzers" in a battle against feuding nations. The main storyline is set in the 21th and 22the century where 2 nations begin fighting over a small island in the Pacific.

Wanzers are deployed by the Oceana Community Union, against the peace treaty to one of the United States of the New Continent's weapons facility where UNC troops are ambushed and the facility destroyed. Roid, a member of the OCU, loses his fiance in the battle and the whole event soon leads to war, as the OCU denies any involved.

Roid is discharged his unit, but is later asked to join a special unit for the OCU with the lure of revenge against the man who killed his fiance.

Each battle is played out by the Wanzer units. Each unit has a long range attack and a short range attack. Each unit has a certain amount of moves that are calculated based on the terrain around them and each Wanzer has a certain amount of hit points for their body, left arm, right arm and legs.

Each attack takes out a certain amount of each hit point for each part of the mech and mech can also attempt to dodge the attack. Much like Final Fantasy tactics, when the board is clear of enemies and the object is complete, the battle is complete and the player moves onto the next level.

I was a little disappointed in the graphics for this game. I never played the first Front Mission for the Super Nintendo but playing this game made me feel like I was. I was hoping for maybe an updated cinematic or two, but everything was your basic SNES looking graphics.

The music is classic Square Enix. Even with a midi sound to it, Square always seemed to bring a real full orchestra feel to its games. Very well done soundtrack, even if this is the original music from the first version. (Not sure, didn't play the first game)

The storyline was a little bland for me. Honestly, if the storyline talks about futuristic wars then it better have a lightsaber or some photon torpedoes, or I'm not interested. I know there are people out there who enjoy mech games like Mechwarrior and to them I would recommend this game because it has a lot of mechs to play with.

The game play was pretty easy to understand, even with the long and draw out storyline causing your mind to wander to other things like your laundry. You use the stylus to move, attack and choose your attack methods. There aren't a bunch of command buttons or screen getting in the way of your tapping and I figured out the basic game play within minutes of picking the game up, so its pretty easy for anyone to pick up.

Honestly, I wouldn't normally play a game like this and the storyline went way over my head with its futuristic mumbo-jumbo, but if your a fan of Square Enix, love their tactics games and love stomping around in mechs, then this is your game. It just didn't float my boat in the end.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

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