Front Mission: Gun Hazard
Review by akira slime
"Roger Ramjet would have made a better hero."
Gun Hazard is the second instalment of the Front Mission series. Unlike the other Front Missions, Gun Hazard is an action RPG, where you control the Wanzers on a range of side-scrolling levels. The choice of weapons, parts, and sidekicks (each with individual experience levels) expands as you gain levels, and do battle across the globe.
The story pales in comparison to that of the first Front Mission. The plot itself isn't particularly bad; it has some interesting twists, and manages to maintain a central theme. The characters however, especially the main character, lack any depth. How should I put it, if Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai-X) annoys you for being a goodie-goodie, this guy is similar, only much more superficial. Not saying that being nice is a bad thing, but this guy was embarrassing.
The graphics are impressive in conveying the differing climates of each nation, but leave an impression of being rather dull, especially the enemy bases and bosses. I also felt that the in-game graphics didnft really do justice to the great illustrations found in the instruction manual. The music is decent throughout, but only really starts to pick up near the end.
The controls are smooth and the action is entertaining. Choosing weapons is fun, and there's plenty of tactics to find for each. There is an immense amount of weapons, and each of them fires in a totally unique manner. Finding combinations of main weapons and sub-weapons for each stage adds an extra element of strategy.
One thing I found was that the weapon experience system was a bit restrictive, as it limits you to using only a few of the more useful weapons. The choice of sidekicks is also limited for the same reason (I only had 2 of the 10+ side-kicks strong enough to use). Using a wider range would have been much more entertaining, only it would have more than doubled the time consumed in gaining experience.
The enemies also lack in variety, especially the bosses; they all look and act the same. Although there are subtle differences in each stage that help keep the game exciting, none of the enemies stand out of the pack. To me, the biggest fault in Gun Hazard is the lack of memorable enemies - a must for any truly great action game.
Being a hybrid of side-scrolling action and RPG, Gun Hazard is a bit of a difficult game to recommend. I still wonder what Square's target audience was. Anyway, If you like what you hear, have a go. I enjoyed it anyway. (Square, Omiya Soft, 1996)
My mark: 8.1
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/21/02, Updated 07/21/02
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