I'm a few hours into FM3 and I really like it so far, I'm right after the mission where Dennis helps you escape. But I've only got three people, do I ever get more and just how many? I knew that fmfan said FM3 lacks large scale battles, but by now I'd have expected to have four or five people at least.
In both scenarios, the max amount of playable characters on your team is 8 people, though you can only use up to 4 at a time. This excludes allied NPCs who appear in certain battles.
front mission 4s battle system was awful. looked pretty when playing but there was no strategy beyond 'link spam'. its plot was awful as well. FM3 was much better in almost every way.
also very in-depth branching paths and awesome characters in FM3.
That may be so, but FM3 has even less strategy required to beat it than FM4. If you know how to set up your units properly, you can pretty much sleepwalk your way through it without needing any other strategy than blitzing the enemy. You don't even need to grind in the battle simulators as well, just because you'll win by way of stat advantage. The only real challenge in FM3 involves getting all platinum medals, moreso on Alisa's side since Emma's side is basically Easy Mode.
FM4 can't be beaten without actually learning how to use the game's mechanics, so by default it requires more strategy to beat. Also, the game's hardest missions are a lot harder than FM3's hardest missions.
By chance, would the FM in your name stand for Front Mission?
If you're talking to me, then yeah it is.
On FM Online, you can sort of play it through Armored Core V. I read that From Software had hired some FM developers who left SE after Front Mission ended years ago to help change how the game was played. Having played that game, I can say it plays a lot less like a typical Armored Core and definitely seems like a spiritual successor to FM Online. I also read that the top Japanese teams are all former FM Online players too. On a side note, Armored Core V's Operator Mode is basically ripped right out of FM Alternative too.
Oh and if anyone's wondering where each numbered FM falls in the SRPG-TBS line:
(from TBS to SRPG, top to bottom)
FM2 FM5 FM4 FM2089-II (never played, but read it's modeled after FM5) FM2089 FM1 FM3
So if you're into Advance Wars and Fire Emblem, FM2/4/5 and arguably Border of Madness (FM2089) are definitely worth a try. FM1 and FM3 are decent games in their own right, but don't expect them to really make you think hard. They're the least strategic (moreso with FM3 since it lacks the huge scale battles and complexity of all other FMs) and easiest FMs to get into.
Just how large scale are the battles in the other FMs?
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