Hey, I finally got to play a really good PSP title! Or is that just the delirium talking? I can't tell, as when it comes to PSP games, I feel like a starved man presented with an empty food bank coupon book as a present. While the game releases haven't quite been anemic, I've been waiting for a really solid title that seems purpose built for the PSP. Field Commander delivers a really satisfying experience, with a simple, easy to learn gameplay.
If you've played Tactics titles before, you've played Field Commander. In this game, you'll be in control of pseudo-realistic military units that you'll use to beat the ever-lovin' tar out of your opponent. Using a simple resource system, wherein you capture cities to provide production income, you'll control your army as you spread it around the map. Since you're so mobile, capturing buildings and territory is less important than smashing the enemy and completing mission objectives. Since the game is turn based, you can take your time, and if you're bored and don't want to continue, you can bring up small data files on every unit on the battlefield, reading about the units, vehicles, and weaponry used by all the forces a field. Plus, as you go through the game you'll unlock various different regiment designations. Play with one regiment and you might get special abilities to move quickly, another might allow you to repair vehicles on the fly.
The visuals aren't that hot, but the designs of the units themselves are entertaining. The units from either side have distinctive styling, and range from half-tracks to transport trucks to attack choppers. One of the things that I really like about this title is the audio. Nearly all of the games I've played on the PSP have lacked one important feature. They haven't had a human voice. I know that the UMD is a small disc, and so can't necessarily pack in tons of audio, but even games like New Super Mario Bros. for the DS has Mario jumping around and making little Mario sounds. That doesn't sound like much, but when I don't get to hear something that approaches a human voice, I can't help but thing of really old titles. Although Field Commander doesn't plaster it all over the place, it does have a fair amount of narration on the part of the other officers in your organization, giving you briefings on the mission at hand.
All in all, I really enjoyed this game. It has strong multiplayer capability with the PSP's wireless functionality, and a satisfying single player game. While I can't attest to it being very long, it is definitely a good, fun title. Light and cartoony, I think most everyone would like it.