<table> <tr> <td class=headerlogo> <p class=image><a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/logo/hg101logo.png" alt="Logo by MP83"></a></p> </td> <td> <table class=headerright> <tr> <td class=headermenu> <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/alpha.htm" target="_parent">Articles</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/features.htm" target="_parent">Features</a> | <a href="http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent">Blog</a> | <a href="http://hg101.proboards.com/" target="_parent">Forums</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/about.htm" target="_parent">About</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hardcore-Gaming-101/109837535712670" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/facebook.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/HG_101"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/twitter.png" target="_blank"></a> </td> <td class=searchbox> <form action="http://www.google.com/cse" id="cse-search-box" target="_parent"> <div> <input type="hidden" name="cx" value="partner-pub-5230184257141993:xfg3mydy24k" /> <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1" /> <input type="text" name="q" size="30" /> <input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search" /> </div> </form> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/coop/cse/brand?form=cse-search-box&amp;lang=en"></script> </td> </tr> </table> <table class=headerad> <tr> <td> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "pub-5230184257141993"; /* HG101 */ google_ad_slot = "4961941287"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table>

<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro
Front Mission
Front Mission: Gun Hazard

Page 2:
Front Mission 2
Front Mission Alternative
Front Mission 3

Page 3:
Front Mission 4
Front Mission 5
Front Mission Online

Page 4:
Front Mission 2089
Front Mission Evolved
Other

Back to the Index


Front Mission 4 (フロントミッション フォース - PlayStation 2 (2004)

Japanese Cover

American Cover

When the Front Mission Project was first announced, two games were revealed: the remake of the original Front Mission, and Front Mission 4, which was released in 2003 for the Sony PlayStation 2.

Set in 2096, Front Mission 4 takes place after the original game, but years before the other sequels. The game uses two scenarios that switch back and forth, like in Front Mission 2, but here the two scenarios never merge during the storyline, despite a direct link connecting them together. The main scenario involves an EC research organization known as the Durandal. The Durandal take part in an investigation to discover who perpetrated a series of German base assaults. The second scenario takes place in Venezuela, when it declares independence from the USN. A large detachment from the USN military is sent to liberate the country.

Characters

Even though Front Mission 4 is a PlayStation 2 game, there's not much of a change in presentation, even right down to the character portraits. Fortunately, the portraits are drawn by Yusuke Naora and never get boring to look at. The stylish character art does not save the rest of the visuals from a case of blandness. Even though the graphics are a step up from the previous games, they feel washed out due to poor use of colors. Nevertheless, Front Mission 4's visuals do the job and within its genre, are among the best of its era. Hidenori Iwasaki makes his official debut as a composer and he does a respectable job here. Iwasaki's tracks convey the situations nicely and while lacking any standout pieces, are consistent in their quality. The voice-overs are nicely done, even with the cheesy foreign accents. The sound effects are more realistic and well executed in here, which is a nice plus.

Although the presentation lacks any major changes, this does not apply to game mechanics. As the radical cutbacks in Front Mission 3 were not well received, it was designed with Front Mission 2 in mind. A number of elements from the said installment were brought back, such as the concept of flanking. The job system returns, with each pilot having a role in which they perform best at. The major addition to this entry is the Links system. Essentially an updated version of the Honor system, Links allows units to link up with each other to provide offensive and defensive support. While particular skills from Front Missions 2 and 3 allowed for this, this is the first game that makes this option into a normal feature. Setting Links can be a problem as the player has to specify who is linked to whom, and what actions they will take. Lastly, the scale of missions has been restored to Front Mission 1st levels.

Front Mission 4 is a respectable entry in the series, but it leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of features common to Front Mission are noticeably missing, such as the Arena, and the game as a whole feels rushed. The presentation is lackluster, the interface is messy and cumbersome to use, and the story has pacing and character development problems. There are also game balancing issues, from the poor enemy AI to unusual enemy Link placements (one enemy could be linked to another on the other side of a map). Even though it was reported that most of the game's developers were new to the series, these problems should have been rectified before release. The game is still worth playing even with these flaws... it just lacks the polish of its predecessors. Aside from the Battle Simulator, Front Mission 4 doesn't have much in the way of replay value.

As with Front Mission 3, the game was released both in Japan and overseas. Unlike Front Mission 3, though, the game did not receive an European release, so only an official English localization exists.

Game advertisements by <a href="http://www.game-advertising-online.com" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Square Enix

Publisher:

Square Enix

Director:

Toshiro Tsuchida

Genre:

Strategy

Themes:

Mechas!
Military


Front Mission 4 (PlayStation 2)

Front Mission 4 (PlayStation 2)

Front Mission 4 (PlayStation 2)

Front Mission 4 (PlayStation 2)

Front Mission 4 (PlayStation 2)



View all "Front Mission 4" items on eBay


Front Mission 5: Scars of the War (フロントミッション フィフス~スカーズ・オブ・ザ・ウォー~) - PlayStation 2 (2006)

Cover

OST Cover

The main product from the Front Mission Project line, Front Mission 5: Scars of the War, was released on the PlayStation 2 in 2005. It is the pinnacle of the series, being a culmination of the best elements of the previous games. It's the perfect tribute to the fans who have stuck with the series from day one. While it draws heavily the first two games - the most liked installments - Scars of the War leaves none of its predecessors empty-handed.

The story of Scars of the War encompasses the entire timeline established in the previous Front Mission games and takes place over five decades. As the series conclusion, all unresolved on-going stories are covered and are eventually concluded decisively. The lion's shares of these stories are from Front Mission 1st and 2, with the rest taking the leftovers. These on-going stories run in sync with the standalone story, which covers the life of Walter Feng and his military career over the decades. A major focus of the story revolves around the physical, mental, and emotional damages that war inflicts on all persons involved, combatant or non-combatant.

Characters

The visual presentation in Scars of the War is a massive improvement over the direct predecessor. For the first time, the game delves into cinematic cut-scene storytelling. Instead of watching 2D portraits of characters, players are treated to a fully realized 3D world like in Front Mission Online. Using the graphics engine of the PlayStation 2 Final Fantasy games, Scars of the War is an extremely gorgeous game. Backgrounds are more vibrant, wanzers are more detailed, and a ton of special effects serve to enhance the overall impact. The battle sequences are also more engaging thanks to dynamic camera angles that emulate war footage. In a nod to Front Mission 2, these begin with combatants getting into position, who then start attacking once they stop moving. Lastly, Yusuke Naora returns to provide art direction and even though his stylish character artwork is not seen in the game, it translates well into 3D.

Hidenori Iwasaki returns as the composer, with help from Kenichiro Fukui (Einhander) and Yasuhiro Yamanaka (Code Age Commanders). Iwasaki's growth as a composer is evident in his compositions for the game; tracks such as "War of the Titans" and "Scars of the War" are lively, powerful, and memorable. Also, some of the tracks are re-arrangements from ones found in Front Mission Online ("A Minefield"), Front Mission 3 ("Invasion") and Front Mission 4 ("Lock and Load"). Complementing the music are voice-overs and sound effects. While they are in Japanese, the voice-overs are beautiful, convey a large range of emotions, and avoid problems that many Japanese games tend to have, like high-pitched voices. The sound effects are more diverse and booming than ever, from the sound of wanzers walking on water to artillery rockets raining hell from above.

Like Front Mission 4, Scars of the War's game mechanics are heavily influenced by Front Mission 2. The difference in here is that the game finishes the job its predecessor could not do. The job system is a mix of Front Mission 2 and 4, in that training in other roles is not discouraged, but specializing yields the most rewards. Likewise, elements of the Honor system return, particularly the concepts of leader units and pilot types. By eliminating the leader unit of a linked squad, the combat effectiveness of the aforementioned squad drops. Pilot types are improved in that during Links, they may or may not provide support depending on the situation at hand. (Aggressive pilots will act even in friendly fire cases) Front Mission Alternative's briefings, 1st's Arena, 3's upgrades, and 4's Links are some more of the features brought back in Scars of the War.

The game also introduces new features, such as recruiting pilots, Survival Simulator, and friendly fire. After a certain point in the game, players are free to recruit pilots to suit their needs. Survival Simulator is a mode where players go through a number of floors and collect gear to be used in the main game, much like the Item World in Nippon Ichi's Disgaea. In terms of friendly fire, ranged weapons now shoot through any unit in the line of fire. The interface has been upgraded in that many menus have been integrated into one main system. With new options such as part sorting, setting up your units is much easier now. Finally, the massive scale battles of Front Mission 2 have returned as well.

Through the greatly improved presentation and game mechanics, Scars of the War hits the right notes in every area. When Toshiro Tsuchida remarked that he wanted the series to go out with a bang in a Japanese interview, he meant every word of it. It's clear that a lot of effort and care went into the game's development and as a result, it's hard to really single out any major flaws in the design. The only noticeable flaw lies in storytelling as the game was clearly made for the series fan that played all of the previous installments. Additionally, understanding the game mangas and graphic novels also plays a role in the story's impact. Series newcomers can enjoy the well-crafted standalone story for sure, but the more immersed one is into Front Mission, the stronger the impact of the whole story. Series fans can find hundreds of nods and references throughout the game, ones that newcomers will likely not pick up.

Unfortunately, Front Mission 5: Scars of the War was only released in Japan. An official English localization was apparently planned at some point, but the idea was never made into a reality. The poor sales of Front Mission 4 overseas are often used as a reason, but a more likely reason is Square's poor handling of the series outside of Japan. As many of the Front Mission games were never localized, it would be difficult to release a game that is very dependent on them for maximum story impact. Thankfully, a group of loyal long-time fans of the series completed an unofficial English localization of Scars of the War.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Square Enix

Publisher:

Square Enix

Director:

Shintaro Tamai

Genre:

Strategy

Themes:

Mechas!
Military


Front Mission 5 (PlayStation 2)

Front Mission 5 (PlayStation 2)

Front Mission 5 (PlayStation 2)

Front Mission 5 (PlayStation 2)

Front Mission 5 (PlayStation 2)

Front Mission 5 (PlayStation 2)

Front Mission 5 (PlayStation 2)



View all "Front Mission 5" items on eBay


Front Mission Online (フロントミッション オンライン) - PlayStation 2, Windows (2005)

PlayStation 2 Cover

Windows Cover

During the unveiling of the Front Mission Project, one particular product captured the interest of many: Front Mission Online. Released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 and the PC, the game is a massively multi-player online game (MMOG) spin-off. It was officially ended on May 31, 2008.

Even though it's an MMOG, Front Mission Online does have a storyline and is a canon entry in the series. The game takes place during the entire 2nd Huffman Conflict, from its outbreak in 2090 to the final day of the war. The player takes part in the war from either the OCU or the USN side. Due to its nature as an MMOG, special story campaigns were released on a monthly basis that reveals how the war progressed. These campaigns featured cut-scenes with the game's characters, with English voice-overs, that were relevant to the story. Over its three-year run, many characters from the series appeared in these campaigns, such as Roid Clive of the original Front Mission.

Front Mission Online and 4 share the same graphics engine, so there are no changes. MMOGs aren't built for graphics so this isn't a big problem. Yusuke Naora handles Front Mission Online's art direction and is assisted by Yoshitaka Amano, who produces some promotional artwork for it (like the game box's front cover). Unlike the previous entries, the visuals are completely in 3D. Character creation exists and the player can make their own characters as they see fit. As one would expect, Front Mission Online's main characters are more detailed than others. Hidenori Iwasaki handles the game's music and aside from some new pieces, most of it are arrangements from earlier games. The lion's shares of these are from Noriko Matsueda's work in Front Mission 2 and unlike the other remakes, sound better than the original. Sound effects are exactly the same as in Front Mission 4 though.

Describing Front Mission Online can be summarized into one statement: it's Front Mission, third-person shooter (TPS) style. Like Armored Core, players control their wanzer's actions directly, from movement to attacking enemy units. Unlike Armored Core, the game puts a lot of emphasis on teamwork in such a way that it retains Front Mission's strategic elements. Team balance and cohesion are far more crucial than individual skill and setup to winning the game's battles. A job system is in place and it acts more like the one in Front Mission Alternative; there are no randomly activated skills, but each role has its own unique abilities (Missileers get abilities for quicker missile lock-on). Outside of the battlefield, players can customize their wanzers, buy accessories for their characters, participate in Arena matches for money, form teams with other players, or even defect to the opposing side.

Front Mission Online is an interesting spin-off that finally allows the player to experience the action in real-time. It has a lot of traditional elements from MMOGs such as character creation, Player-versus-Enemy (PvE) and Player-versus-Player (PvP) battles. At the same time, it tries something that most MMOGs don't do and that's having a story-based experience like in single-player games. The game was extremely well balanced and stayed as such throughout its three-year run. Every job was vital to the success of a team and there were no roles that dominated all others or broke the game's balance. This was most evident during the story campaigns, in which as many as 50 players could be battling it out on an urban battlefield. In doing so, players were more like members of a big army rather than simply being players of the game. Since it was officially ended in 2008, Front Mission Online will sadly remain a Japan-only release.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Square Enix

Publisher:

Square Enix

Director:

Toshiro Tsuchida

Genre:

Action: 3rd Person

Themes:

Mechas!
Military


Front Mission Online (Windows)

Front Mission Online (Windows)

Front Mission Online (Windows)



<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro
Front Mission
Front Mission: Gun Hazard

Page 2:
Front Mission 2
Front Mission Alternative
Front Mission 3

Page 3:
Front Mission 4
Front Mission 5
Front Mission Online

Page 4:
Front Mission 2089
Front Mission Evolved
Other

Back to the Index


Game advertisements by <a href="http://www.game-advertising-online.com" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.