Excerpt: It has been almost four years since Squaresoft graced American shores with a tactical mech game, but considering the embargo was lifted with Front Mission 4 , one can hardly complain about the wait. The prior Front Mission 3 was loaded with graphical glitches, inane gameplay limitations, and a general sense of constraint, some of which likely stemmed from the ancient Playstation hardware.
Excerpt: You would think that, by now, people would realize that eye-candy does not make a great game. The entire Strategy RPG genre is proof of that (and the uphill battle Working Designs has been engaged in bringing the
Excerpt: The Front Mission series is of those franchises that has a set of hardcore fans that will always invest in new titles while everyone else completely overlooks it. The last title to come out was on the original Playstation and fans have waited a good time for this sequel to show up. When it comes to story, though, FM4 is more of a prequel as it happens years after the events of the original Front Mission .
Pros: Deep combat and character/wanzer customization, Strong story, Inclusion of linking attacks and backpacks gives a nice change to gameplay, Unlockables
Cons: Graphics suffer from jaggies galore, Slow gameplay and hearty story may turn off some people, AI isn't all that special
Excerpt: They say that fate can be a fickle mistress, wantonly tossing good fortune and despair without forethought. Sometimes lady luck can smile on the most unworthy individual, while the most innocent can be forced to endure the most dubious challenges imaginable. For Darril and Elsa, the two main protagonists in Toshiro Tsuchida’s Front Mission 4, destiny can take the most unlikely people and make them into heroes.
Excerpt: The strategy genre has gotten a nice little boost in recent years, with releases like Rome: Total War on the PC, the Game Boy Advance rebirth of Final Fantasy Tactics, and the hugely underrated Disgaea and La Pucille: Tactics at home here on the PS2. Plenty of advances in presentation, innovation and overall style have helped update the genre that a year or two ago, would probably have just passed off as fodder for Blizzard's Starcraft or Warcraft titles.
Excerpt: After four years, the Front Mission series returns with a fourth installment and a slightly different developer, if you can consider SquareEnix to be that different from Squaresoft. The overall story is the same: giant robots, or “Wanzers” as they are called, are now used in most of the world’s military engagements. The world has also constructed two large NATO-like groups of countries, the E.C. (European Community) and the U.C.S. (Unified Continental States).
Excerpt: Let’s face it, good mech games are few and far between, which is probably why they’ve been a cult-like subsection of the industry. Balancing the sci-fi universes they reside in with the content, replayability and complexity found in their anime counterparts has inevitably proven difficult for most developers, with the possible exception of Square Enix.