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3.7 out of 5 stars
Front Mission Evolved - Xbox 360
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Change
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2010
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
I am personally an avid FM fan and had this pre-oredered for the Xbox 360 for quite a while, and as of this review I have completed the game on Normal and Hard, and I am a Staff Sergeant 2 in Multiplayer.

Story/Characters/Cutscenes 2/5

The story (about 10 hours in length), though cliched, is truly weakened by how forced it feels--a little more exposition and well-placed dialogue explaining some of the under-lying themes/plot holes would have improved the otherwise average story I felt like I was watching a new addition to the Gundam series with no fight choreography. However, since Motomu Toriyama, the lead writer for Final Fantasy XIII wrote the story, it should come to no surprise that it has all the same issues as FFXIII's story; that being a lack of exposition manifested in unspoken themes and massive plot-holes. Additionally, The Character development was predictable, but the voice-acting, produced by Hydrogen Whiskey Studios, wasn't too bad. However, the dialogue provided to record was terrible--thank you Toriyama. The Cutscenes, also outsourced to Hydrogen Whiskey Studios, were quite good and went a long way to enjoying the otherwise below-average story.

Gameplay 4/5

Gameplay mechanics are tight, (Double-Helix did a great job) and the additional modes: On foot infiltration and Gunship Defense are well thought out and fairly fun (except on hard in which case they're a nuisance). I was very pleased to find no bugs in either of my two playthroughs, and quite frankly, a little shocked. It was quite refreshing as it has been too long since I have been able to say that. The gameplay, though not anything revolutionary, is the highlight of the game and makes the game worth buying for Hardcore FM fans and Hardcore Mech fans alike.

Customization 3/5

Customization mirrors that of FM, FM2, and FM4, so fans of the more open upgrade driven advancement in FM3 and FM5 will be disappointed. At different campaign levels and cash milestones more parts are available, and these new parts will yield the old parts obsolete (in most cases these new parts are upgrades to the previously purchased Wanzers). This doesn't bother me much, but I know this will be a concern to some FM fans and AC fans. An issue I have with the customization is the lack of strategy involved in the campaign and multiplayer as a result of customization restraints. For instance in FM4 and Evolved a Ballistics Wanzer could use a Recon Wanzers sensor backpack to extend the Ballistic Wanzers Range, and though the repair backpack makes a come-back, it comes at the cost of mobility as the roller-skating ability, though still accessible, is less maneuverable without the A.G.I.L.I.T.Y backpack. It feels like the strategic component is overall lacking in a series that has ever emphasized strategy.

Overall 3.5/5
For all its faults it was better than I expected. The story was written by Square-Enix, The voice acting and Cutscenes by Hydrogen Whiskey Studios, and the gameplay by Double-Helix, and despite this, the overall cohesion of the product is exceptional and exceeded my expectations. I truly enjoyed the full experience of it all despite it's shortcomings, so I recommend this for the true die-hard fan of the FM series and die-hard Mech Fans starved for more robotic slaughter, but everyone else should consider renting first.

-Tommy Race
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
While Front Mission is normally a mech-based Strategy RPG series, "Front Mission Evolved" is closer to games like Armored Core or Mechwarrior than its predecessors. It tries to keep some of the themes intact, and does a pretty good job about the setting and designs, but also seems divorced as a game. As an individual game, it does a fairly decent job of being entertaining.

Front Mission Evolved is a mech combat game combining action-heavy gameplay with some customization features. Players pilot "wanzers" (short for "wanderpanzer", meaning "walking tank), which are similar to any number of human-shaped giant robots. These mechs can be equipped with different weapons, armor types, backpacks, and so on. Like in the older games, there is a balance of weight and power versus the amount of weapons and ammo carried. However, the core gameplay itself is much different than previous Front Mission games. While these were strategy role-playing games, Front Mission Evolved prefers to let the player pilot a mech themselves.

Each Wanzer has four weapon slots: The right hand is used to hold a gun (usually a machine gun or shotgun), the left hand is used for melee attacks, and the two shoulders are used to hold missile or rocket launchers. The backpack slot is by default used for a jetpack (which allows hovering) but can be replaced with repair gear, extra ammo, jamming equipment, and so on. The game's combat is good, but also sort of boring: you move the reticle over the target, you pull the trigger, you move on. There's not a lot you can do that differs from the basic model.

As far as combat goes, the only real things that stand out as being markedly different from other action games is the gliding mechanic and locational damage. The former is a battlefield tactic; by using a jetpack as a sort of roller skate, the wanzer can be much more mobile than they would be by walking. This is an invaluable tactic, since walking out to shoot an enemy also leaves you exposed. Gliding makes it much safer to skate out, fire a missile, and skate back to cover. The latter refers to the fact that wanzers take damage in their arms and legs as well as their body. If a section is damaged enough, it becomes unusable. The player's mech will regenerate body health, but not limb health (which requires finding a repair kit). Enemy mechs are generally not worth crippling, since it's just as easy to hit their torso as it is to hit their limbs.

Front Mission is a decent game in terms of graphics, sound, gameplay, and so on. However, its biggest failing is that it doesn't really have anything that sets it apart. It's about the same as Armored Core, with perhaps a bit more customization. There haven't been many mech games recently, so it's sort of filling a niche, but the customization isn't good enough to actually fill mech enthusiasts' needs. It's the kind of game that's worth picking up if you liked Armored Core or Mech Assault, but only in the sense that you can chew through its content and its multiplayer and be done with it. There wasn't anything innately appealing about the game itself.

Rating: 6/10.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2010
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
I have always been a mechwarrior fan and like similar games and stories. This is fun game to play but due to the thin plot, shallow customization, and lack of strategy options I think it fails to really pull your attention from other games. I found it fun to play but got bored after about 6 hours of game play because of the unidirectional game play. There are better games and more fun games out there to take up time. I have already traded it in after a week.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2013
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
Okay, first of all let me state, that I am a "mech" fan... If its a game that has mechs, I'll give it a shot if I can.

I had high expectations when I ordered this game after watching some footage and playing the Demo. But the demo doesn't do the game justice, as in showing how it really is. You get a minor snipet and that's that.

I'm going to keep this short and bitter sweet.

The gameplay of this game is horrible. The game designers decided to give you an auto aim, aim assist, pain in the butt, whatever you want to call it, that you CANNOT TURN OFF. At first I thought it was me, when it came to trying to boost away from an enemy (and instead boosting out into the open toward said enemy) But after testing it out.. buying a BRAND NEW CONTROLLER because I thought (hey maybe the one I have is bad) and still doing the same BS.. *boosting toward the enemies that are shooting me in the face* Yeah, major game design fail right there. What a HUGE smack in the face.

The controls are clunky... I was constantly fighting against the controls and trying to get my mech to respond the way I wanted.

The boss fights are horribly horribly broken. I'm talking about.. they have infinite energy, so it seems, armor that is like "God armor"... firepower that does like 10 times the damage that the best gun you can buy does... Its horrid.
The difficulty of the game on normal.. goes like this.. 1/3rd So So... Not too many enemies.. you can fight them off. Then the 2nd third.. its like.. Okay this is tougher.. and then later on in the game. Its freaking ridiculous. I'm having enemies bum rush me on normal. That I can't one shot.. I can't stop.. (Their like a brawler set up..) And then they stun lock me and just beat the piss outta me.

The "Edge system" that they put into the game is ridiculous.. for you. As in it runs out really really quick... where as, your enemies, seem to almost be able to use it infinitely. And then smack you in the face with said ability.

Its horrid. It really freaking is.

You constantly have to buy parts, you already bought. WTF? Seriously? Same goes with weapons..

I haven't played a game in a looooong looooooooooong time, that I felt was a one. That just flat out failed. That just made me want to break something out of frustration. This game does that. Its not like Dark Souls or Demon Souls, carefully crafted difficulty or situations... Its like a hodge podge of difficulty/pacing.

Story is cliche and cheesy and at some points, just stupid. If you played Front mission three, and go into this game expecting.. a cool story and all that? some really cool scenes, etc... forget it. Seriously.

Don't buy this game.. unless your just a hardcore mech fan, or a big time fan of the front mission series and just want to check it out. This is a purchase that I regret.

The only really cool thing I can say about this game, is its customization of the wanzers, aesthetically... Also its really cool what you can do when it comes to different arms and shields, weapons.. etc. They did a good job on this area of the game.

It's sad, that they could do so well in some areas.. And then the game designers just freaking dropped the ball in the rest of the game. I'm guessing it was the team over all. Some team members just didn't do as well as they should have, verses.. others who did an amazing job on the section of game they worked.

So bottom line? Don't waste your money or time.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 12, 2010
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
Front Mission Evolved is totally different than the previous version of Front Mission that came out for the ps2 Front Mission 4 and the DS Front Mission. These older versions of Front Mission were turn-based strategy games in which you customized your mechs (wanzers) and moved around in a manner that resembled chess.

Front Mission Evolved keeps what made the earlier games cool and brings the action to the front through third-person shooter gameplay. In many respects, Front Mission Evolved is more closely related to the Mech Assault franchize from the original xbox Mech Assault 2 Lone Wolf. Enemy mechs, tanks, and soldiers come at you and you have to balance close up melee combat with long-range missiles and machine guns. The graphics are good during gameplay and really brilliant in the cut-scenes.

The wanzers' controls are exceptionally intuitive. Moving between the walk, skate (like a sprint), jump, and hover is straightforward. The only manuevers that require some practice are the dodge and EDGE system (a fancy way to track enemies). Weapons are sensibly mapped.

You can equip four weapons and a backpack. There are multiple weapon types (missiles, rockets, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, and melee). And there are a variety of backpacks that provide bonuses like more ammo or greater manueverability. Each body part (arms, legs torso) can also be upgraded for armor, energy, or agility. On top of this, each weapon may also have a special effect assigned to it (such as shrapnel, inferno, corrosive). So you can see the customization is nearly endless.

The problem with 3rd-person games like Mech Assault and Front Mission Evolved is that they both sacrifice the element of giant warmachines duking it out with arcade "power-up" and such scattered around the landscape. While ammo is limited, all you have to do is find a glowing crate liberally sprinkled about. Which means that while Front Mission Evolved is the best mech game on the 360, it is not perfect.

Front Mission Evolved, because it does have online multiplayer, now ranks as mech game #1 for the 360 (the multiplayer edging out Chrome Hounds which was a great under-appreciated game).

Unfortunately, however, I think the venerable Mechwarrior 4 MechWarrior 4 Compilation is still the best mech combat game around. I am waiting patiently for the Mechwarrior Reboot that has been in the works for years. However until the new MechWarrior Reboot comes out (if ever), Front Mission Evolved is my mech arena of choice.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2010
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
Unlike the below review, I have played the other FM games back in PlayStation days. Also, I have finished this game as well. I can clearly understand why old fans of FM are pissed off because FM is known for strategy mach games and not a FPS. Anyways, here's my thought.

I feel this game has vast potential of being great! However, for this release of the game... it doesn't offer much. You only get few weapons, few type of armor to use, and etc.. the choices are too few. Also, one particular weapon is very imbalanced. Once you figure out which weapon that is then you'll never change. They try to make their weapon library big by giving a shot gun about 5~7 different names. Still, this game does manage to keep it interesting as game progresses. Toward the end, I could not let go of my controller until I finished the game. Also, if FME 2 ever comes out it will definitely be at least 9/10. Anyways, in order to enjoy this game you must LOVE mach games and be forgiving in some part of the game. I'm definitely a mach fan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2011
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
i agree with almost all of the reviews below. so i'm just adding my 2 cents here, at first i was turned off by the series leaving the strategy element behind. still bummed that they decided against it. i loved all of the f.m. before for the strategy element. I feel they made this into a semi generic shooter but what it does it does competently. its like most any other 3rd person shooter, except you "level up" your wanzer by buying new equipment. so you can have a shield, melee weapons, shotguns, bazookas, rocket launchers, homing missiles and other types of weapons. so you can make any combination that you like, which is a nice alternative to your usual 2 weapons on most shooters. all in all i enjoy this game and recommend it definitely for under $30 if you can find it cheap. only thing that i didn't really care for were the on foot parts, could have done without those. also the graphics hoover around early 360 graphics so not the prettiest but good enough.
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on January 18, 2011
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
I've been a big fan of the past Front Mission titles and was a bit of a skeptic going into Evolved. Turn-based strategy was fine by me and I wasn't thrilled to see the series head off in a different direction. However, the game was presented to me as a gift from someone that knew I've enjoyed the series. What I found was a solid game that stays fairly true to the franchise.

The combat is enjoyable and familiar for anyone that has played Armored Core or Mechwarrior on the Xbox. It doesn't take long to get comfortable with the controls and Wanzers can still be built from the ground up to fit your playing style. The story mode is fun, but extremely short. I've been able to play through the game on the "hard" setting in less than an hour when skipping the dialog. The first play through will undoubtedly take longer for most players.

My only major gripe is the reliance on hidden "sensors" in each level to extend the life of the game. This egg hunt is tedious and simply not fun, but unlocks a variety of items and battle skills. Many sensors are so well hidden that they're almost impossible to see, which makes the game absolutely maddening if you're attempting to find them all without the benefit of a guide or FAQ.

The online play can be fun, but it can take a long time to find a match. Higher-level players have the benefit of considerably better equipment, which leads to some extremely unbalanced fights. The game attempts to balance teams prior to the start of the match. This is, unfortunately, very poor and often results in one extremely powerful duo trouncing severely handicapped opponents. The matches are very enjoyable when the game manages to create balanced teams. Matches also require at least four players for a ranked match. With no option for bots to fill the vacant spots, it can take a long time to get a contest rolling since the game lacks a large following.

Overall, Front Mission Evolved is enjoyable and stays true enough to the franchise. It's certainly worth picking up at the reduced price, or makes a good weekend rental. Just don't expect to be blown away.
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on December 31, 2014
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
Here's the rundown

2171 AD. The struggles between the two global superpowers, the O.C.U. and the U.C.S., have amassed to a cold war. Massive structures called orbital elevators tower above the planet, granting unblinking surveillance as these two nations maintain constant watch on one another. Suspended at the precipice of war, a new enemy will ignite the flames and watch the world burn.

It's a massive fast paced mech game with guns blazing action. Take damage and watch pieces of your mech fly. If too much damage is taken to a limb and that limb will become useless. Fly using jet packs and surf using boosters at high speeds to dispatch your foes with brutal force. Customize your mech with a large array of weapons, attachments and armors. Take the fight online and decimate your friends in a whirlwind of rockets, bullets and heavy metal. If you're into robotic destruction and frantic split second choices. Front Mission Evolved, Tear the enemies a new one.
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on August 12, 2012
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
Great mech game. It is not a mech warrior game which is more what I was looking for.
You can customize the limbs and body of your mech as well as several weapons. The game progresses
your mech forward in a way that works well. You never get too far behind the power curve. The
storyline is a bit lacking. The time spent outside of your mech is horrible. No mechanics there.

complexity 2/5
graphics 4/5
bots 4/5
gameplay 4/5
story 2/5
overall 4/5
age: 6+
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