10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Slight flaws, but well worth the money.,
This review is from: Front Mission 3 (CD-ROM)
Quite a while ago, I had a chance to play an SNES game called 'Front Mission: Gun Hazard' and was hooked by its simple but deep battle system. I was very excited to learn that Square made the wise decision to stop underestimating the US gamers and imported FM3. At first glance, the graphics looks a bit blocky. But watch closer - the scorched earth remain black throughout the battle. Miss your target, and stray bullet destroys the surrounding objects. The transition between the strategy map and the battle is continuous. Riddle the opponent with machine gun bullets, and his wanzer (pronounced 'vantser') wobbles as it's servos struggle to keep balance. It is these kind of details that makes the battle exciting - the sound is fantastic as well! Unfortunately, the music is mediocre at best. So is the plot, but the tour of futuristic Asia the story gives keeps things interesting. The 'forum' feature gives a little more depth to the character, while you cannot help but wonder how these civilian teenagers with no combat training feel little guilt as they blow people away (perhaps in the future people have evolved to have no conscience, lol). I felt that the network feature was a bit sluggish, and I was tired of it by the middle of the first game. But the battle is the heart of this game, and it is superb compared to other PSX strategies out there. While the graphics and sound has improved dramatically as it should with newer console. It has sacrificed some crucial strategic elements to the battle system. For one, each battle is restricted to four wanzers on the player side. The original can place around ten on the map. This is understandable, because the battle map itself is smaller due to increased complexity. The battle no longer supports the supply truck system, where the unit adjacent to the truck can repair and resupply - which makes holding stock parts more meaningful. Oversimplification is also present by being able to access merchants anywhere using the network, which also oviates planning. Furthermore, the upgrading of parts makes machine modification unnecessary! Weapons simply get better and better, so you just need to keep purchasing more expensive weapons. You never run out of money because you can keep selling wanzers that you capture for a very good price. Line of sight is only partially supported - other mechs simply disappear when attacking long range, so you can literally shoot through other unit, which is ridiculous (this was also true for the original). If trees can obstruct your shot, why not a giant robot? Anyway, despite these flaws, the game was highly enjoyable. My friends were hooked as soon as I lent the games to them. I give it 5 stars because Square's effort to bring more sophisticated (?) games (as opposed to final fantasy series) is commendable. This game can get so much better if the game balance was more fine tuned (it's too easy). I also wish there was a versus mode using the teams saved on memory card (the AI is too simple)! I hope that people buy and support this game. And if you ever do come across the old SNES version (not the action game version), please give it a shot!