Front Mission 3
|a game by||Sony Imagesoft, and Squaresoft|
|Editor Rating:||9/10, based on 3 reviews|
|User Rating:||9.2/10 - 5 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||RPGs, Strategy|
Front Mission 3 is Square's return to the world of strategy role-playing (SRPG). Wildly popular in Japan, SRPGs haven't quite grown out of their niche status on this side of the Pacific. Whether it's foresight or just plain experimentation. Square's decision to localize FM3 is a welcome trend for fans of import gaming. Ultimately, super-fandom for SRPGs is poised to happen; after all, SRPGs are remote cousins to America's current industry darlings--the RPGs.
In the 22nd century, the world is populated by 18-foot tall robots commonly referred to as "wanzers." Similar to the mechanized laborers in the Japanese anime Patlabor, wanzers are used for civic and military duty. You play as Kazuki Takemura, a test pilot out to discover the truth about an explosion that took place at the Kirishima wanzer facility. Your investigation will reveal a global conspiracy, one that will take you anywhere from 100-150 hours to fully uncover. Believe it, this game is friggin' huge.
One reason Square was able to fit all of FM3's story and data onto a single disc was their limited use of FMV throughout the game. Nearly all the cutscenes are real-time, which gives FM3's world a real coherent graphical aesthetic. Like Square's previous Final Fantasy Tactics, the battle maps in FM3 are a hybrid of 2D sprites on a free-rotating 3D background. When two units engage in combat or melee, the action unfolds in full polygonal viscera. While the 3D engine itself still leaves quite a bit to the imagination, FM3 has drastically improved the battle scene load times which rendered FM2 nigh unplayable; definitely one of FM3's major highlights.
Gameplay in FM3 is heavily based on the two previous FMs. Again, you have full control over each aspect of your mechanized entourage, and can freely interchange body parts to suit your overall strategy. As you develop your characters, they pick up skills (depending on the weapon they specialize in), that randomly activate based on your combat environment. After dropping an easy 25 hours into FM3, we've found it to be a refreshing and mature change of pace from Square's post-FFVIII efforts. Definitely, without a doubt, pick this game up.
- MANUFACTURER - Square
- THEME - Strategy/RPG
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
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I remember the long nights I spent with the import of FM3 last winter. Every minute I spent wrestling with the lapanese text, deriving half-meanings and generalities from the kanji, I longed--no, I prayed--for Square to bring this over to the U.S. Now I'm happy to report that FM3 has more than survived the translation...in fact, it's my favorite game from Square since FFVIII last summer. Behind FM3's straightforward (but never simplistic) turn-based tactics engine is a dynamic world of politics and characters. In-between battles (there are 131 scenarios in all), you're given free reign to customize your mech in any combination of ways you see fit. What really adds to the strategy on the battlefield is the whole notion of salvaging enemy mechs to overhaul your own. You begin to think twice about obliterating that rare enemy model. Plus, the ability to mix and match body parts and weapons ultimately gives you unlimited flexibility to prep for the field. The battles themselves are strangely addictive-, those who found FF Tactics to be long-winded will like FM3's 15- to 20-minute battles. You see, it's a perfect tension between story and battles--both are compelling enough to make you play the next stage before you hit the sack. I could go on about this game all day. Look, you like mechs and tactics? Get FM3!
lust when I was getting burned out on turn-based strategy. Front Mission 3 comes along and makes me a true believer again. It's the sci-fl setting that got me hooked. Mech battle animation is fantastic, the in-game cinemas are well-done and the FMV is downright incredible (if only there was more). Combat itself isn't quite as deep as what you'll find in FF Tactics-style games, but the load of mech-construc-tion options make up for it.
It's about time someone brought out a non-fantasy, non-magical tactics game on the PlayStation. The mech theme alone makes Front Mission 3 worth playing. The deep level of play (with nearly unlimited customization options), immersive story line and backdrop make the game worth coveting. This is an amazing game that deserves your attention. Make sure to set aside some good time...this sucker is loooonnngg.
This is the first time Square's brought a Front Mission to the U.S., and they couldn't have selected a better game for its debut. There's so much background detail to the story that you'll believe that things will actually be like this 100 years from now (and if it is, I hope I'm reincarnated as a Japanese mech pilot). I'm not usually into heavy strategy in an RPG, but the battles are just long enough so there's never a dull moment. A must for any fan of strategy RPGs.
In this Strategy/RPG you take on the role of Kazuki Takemura, a test pilot for Kirishima Industries. While making a delivery you witness a huge accidental explosion. After learning that your beloved sister, Alisa, not only works at the military base where the explosion occurred but that she is somehow involved, you quickly become involved in a worldwide conspiracy where an explosion at a military base is just the tip of the iceberg.
This game features two different, yet related, storylines. A decision to go with a friend determines which path you will take. As the game progresses you may find that in one mode you are the attacker at the same location you defended in the other mode. This game does a better job than most at making the story really compelling on both sides. You’ll find as you play through each of the two modes that the stories meet up at several points. This is really neat since on your second pass through the game you get to see how actions are viewed from the other side.
The entire game is spent in Story, Battle, or InterMission. The first two are fairly self-explanatory, but InterMission has some things worth talking about. First of all the "Internet" stuff you can do in the game is really cool -- this is not an actually connection to the Net, but an imitation Net that is incorporated into the game. For instance, you can communicate with other characters in the game via email. You have access to a number of "Web Sites" that have info on some of the Wanzers (Mechs) in the game, along with a number of other really great pieces of information that really add depth to the story. You can also shop for Wanzer parts and Upgrades online. Which leads to one of the other things that you do in the InterMission section of FM3: work on your Wanzers. Each of the Wanzers is completely customizable to the point that you can even replace each arm with a different model.
This is easily my favorite strategy RPG to date. The story is compelling and well written. The characters are very well developed and the interactions of characters are realistic. The only drawback to the story is that it may not be enjoyed as much by some players as it is a huge scale political intrigue story. But if you might be interested in such a thing, then this game will certainly rock your world.
The Enemy AI is quite good, although I must admit there are a few times when the enemy will just let you beat on them. Those times are actually few and far between.
All the different maps are really fun. Some are noticeably more difficult than others, but all the different aspects of placement and strategy really play out in the different map types. On some maps your best approach will be to break into teams of two, while in others you’ll want to stick together. Each of the maps has different elevations and line-of-sight obstacles that decrease your hit percentage.
Your options for upgrading and altering you Wanzers are so vast; it is nearly limitless what you could do. You can alter the weapons of each Wanzer, the parts, upgrade the parts... the options are enormous. Another point about weapons: the more a pilot uses a weapon, the more skill he gets in that weapon.
The graphics are great for this last year of the Playstation. The Wanzer models are clean and cool. Having the ability to alter each Wanzer's parts independently makes it really obvious that the developers spent a lot of time making it possible and graphically pleasing. All of the in-game graphics are clean and of high quality. All of the combat animations are fun and short enough that you won’t get irritated watching them.
As with all Squaresoft games, the FMA in the game is just unbeatable. Beautiful and lush, it just doesn’t get any better than Squaresoft.
All of the music is great. It gets to the point where you won’t even notice that it’s there -- the sign of really great environmental music
Buy this game. If you are a fan of Square or just like strategy games you will really enjoy this game. The story is compelling, the graphics are nicely done, the combat is good, and the options are extensive -- everything required to make a great game.
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