Review by Psycho Penguin

"The best series always have to start somewhere.."

Front Mission really surprised me. Sure I had heard good things about it, but I didn’t know if Square could produce a top-quality strategy game (Final Fantasy Tactics was good but not great). Well, it turns out that my favorite gaming company produced yet another outstanding game, as Front Mission surprised me by being such a cool game. In anticipation for Front Mission 3 (the second most wanted game by me right now), I downloaded a ROM (don’t worry I own the real cartridge) of Front Mission and decided to play it to simmer my anticipation.

After playing it, I could hardly wait for Front Mission 3!! If Front Mission 3 is as good as part one, we could have an instant classic on our hands!! Well, it turns out that I really do enjoy playing this game, and now that Front Mission 3 is out in America, I can appreciate the type of game play that this game provides even more than I did before. And I really enjoyed this game to begin with, but Front Mission 3 is a much better game in my opinion. Regardless, I still consider the original Front Mission to be one of the all time classic video games.

I can not really go into too much detail about the story line, because I had no help from a translator while playing this game, so I will just move onto the next section. I will say that if the story line is anything like it is in Front Mission 3, then you all will be in for a real treat.

The graphics in Front Mission are very good. The character designs when viewing them
during dialogue are lifelike and very cool looking. The battlefields look good and have a nice design to them. Plus they are very large and allow lots of space to move, which is a good thing not found in some strategy games (*cough* FF Tactics *cough*). A complaint about the graphics in this game is the small characters on the battlefield, but they look really cool when a 1-on-1 battle commences.

That leads me to the character designs in the game. Most of them are rather solid, but I do have to mention something. There are actually two types of character designs in the game. One is the normal human characters, and the other type is the robot mechs in which they travel in. Therefore, I will need to talk about each one individually. The human characters are rather solid in design, and they look very realistic. I also liked the design of the robot mechs, they looked very realistic and futuristic. I definitely liked the character designs in this game.

Square Soft always produces top-notch soundtracks, and this game is no exception. I really liked the music in this game, and felt that Square Soft did a simply awesome job composing the soundtrack for this game. Most of the music sounds great, from the battle theme to the boss theme, all of it sounds great. I really did like the battle music, and the good thing about it is the fact that it never really got annoying to listen to. This is important because the battle theme can be heard a lot, so you will need to like it in order to be able to put up with the game.

Sound effects in the game are pretty good but not perfect. Most of the sound effects during the movement during battle are your basic sounds: the character moves from space to space with a whirling sound, the guns fire bullets, etc. Once you go into a one on one battle with your opponent, some new sound effects are introduced. Most of the sound effects in the game are solid, although I will go on the record as saying you will not really hear anything that can be considered as revolutionary.

The control in the game is solid, as the game takes full advantage of the Super Nintendo controller. It is easy enough to pull off a lot of the commands in the game, and gliding between the various menus is very simple and easy. This is definitely an important aspect of the game because there are a lot of menus in the game, so you will need to navigate between them a lot. Square Soft definitely did a good job configuring the control scheme in this game to fit exactly with the Super Nintendo controller.

The game play in this game is great. You start off in a battlefield. Once its your turn you can take one of several actions, including attack, move, or act/item. It is really good, plus on the ROM the commands are in English. Once a one-on-one battle commences (for instance you choose an attack on an enemy) the scene shifts to a RPG battle like screen where the command is carried out. I love games with robots in it, and this is the best yet.

One of the things I did not like too much about the game is the fact that it deals a lot with menus and commands. Some of you may not be too shocked by this, after all a lot of strategy games do deal with menus and commands, and this is a strategy game. However, a lot of the text in this game is Japanese, less so with the ROM but more so with the actual game. Therefore, you will need to be able to read Japanese in order to complete this game, because you will need to figure out the various menus and commands on your own.

The replay value in this game is pretty good, as I still do find myself playing this game from time to time, even to this day. I have never forgotten how fun this game is to play, I guess. Quite frankly, this is one of the best strategy games I have ever played, and also ranks as one of the top 10 games Square Soft has ever made, in my opinion. There is a lot of secrets in the game which will only add to the replay value, and the fact that Front Mission 3 is out does not take away from the replay value of this game much at all.

This game is certainly not as challenging as some of the other games in the series, but it is safe to say that it is still pretty challenging nevertheless. I never thought I would be saying this, but I have actually found a complicated game that was still surprisingly fun and not so challenging to play through. The Front Mission series has always been like this in terms of challenge. The game is very complicated, as you have to deal with a lot of menus and commands, but at heart it is just another strategy game, and a pretty easy one to play through at that.

There you have it, I have given a 10 to a strategy game. Download the ROM and emulator out and give it a shot for 24 hours!! This is a really enjoyable game, and I definitely enjoyed playing through it. The game has this special feeling to it that I can not really describe, you just need to play through it to experience that feeling for yourself. If you have played Front Mission 3, you have played the best, but this game is definitely a viable alternative. I would recommend downloading the ROM only, because this game is hard to find, only available on Japanese import, and therefore very expensive.

Good Points
-The control in the game is solid, as the game takes full advantage of the Super Nintendo controller.
-The replay value in this game is pretty good, as I still do find myself playing this game from time to time, even to this day.
-This game is certainly not as challenging as some of the other games in the series, but it is safe to say that it is still pretty challenging nevertheless.
-Square Soft always produces top-notch soundtracks, and this game is no exception. I really liked the music in this game, and felt that Square Soft did a simply awesome job composing the soundtrack for this game.

Not So Good Points
-I would recommend downloading the ROM only, because this game is hard to find, only available on Japanese import, and therefore very expensive.
-One of the things I did not like too much about the game is the fact that it deals a lot with menus and commands.
-However, a lot of the text in this game is Japanese, less so with the ROM but more so with the actual game.
-Some of the sound effects in the game could have been a little bit better. Most of the sound effects in the game are solid, although I will go on the record as saying you will not really hear anything that can be considered as revolutionary.

I Run Down the Ratings… DaLadiesMan style!
Storyline – Not Available
Graphics – 9.2/10
Music – 9.3/10
Sound Effects – 7.8/10
Control – 9.2/10
Gameplay – 9.7/10
Replay Value – Above Average
Challenge – Above Average
Is the game worth a purchase? – Depends on what price you can find it for.
Overall – 9.7/10

The Last Line: This is a great game in the Front Mission series, and is one of my all time favorite strategy games, if not my second favorite of all time, ranking only behind the third game in the series. I would buy this game if you can read Japanese and can find it for under forty bucks.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/10/00, Updated 07/16/01


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