Budget PS2 game review: Front Mission 4

And when I say “budget”, I mean “borrowed from friend who is much more well-off than I am”.

FRONT MISSION 4

The Front Mission series, for those not in the know, was created by squaresoft in the 90s as a tactical RPG that featured Wanzers (Giant robotic mechs). Deep political storylines, tactical turn-based combat, and near infinite Wanzer customization are the hallmarks of the series, and FM4 doesn’t veer away from that.

There are quite a few niggles that keep this game from being a classic however, not the least of which is the rather tepid AI. Enemies are grouped into “units”, each of whom will wait until you’re in range before going in to attack you. Battles then become repetitious, with you simply taking your time wiping out wave after wave of enemies to clear the level. Speaking of levels, most objectives will simply have you “destroy every enemy unit on the map”, which gets really dull after a while. Additionaly, using different weapons can sometimes be a hassle, especially when A) you have a weapon equipped but you can’t use it and the game doesn’t tell you why or B) you launch a missile at an enemy only to see it smash against a building.

Still, the engaging storyline and top notch voice acting will keep you playing, and any fan of bighuge mechs and political intrigue is sure to enjoy this. Just be prepared to spend 1/3 of the game levelling up. It would have been nice to see the Philippines (and FIlipino characters) again, just like in FM3, but then maybe that’s asking too much.

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