Playstation : Front Mission 3 Details
An excellent science-fiction-themed strategy game with role-playing elements, Front Mission 3 is the first installment of the popular Japanese series to make it stateside. In a future where giant robots known as "Wanzers" are the war machines of choice, you are cast as a civilian test pilot who gets swept up in an international military conspiracy surrounding a weapon of mass destruction. The majority of the storytelling occurs via cut scenes and menu-driven "event" screens, with the game's "network"--a virtual computer that simulates Web and e-mail, among other things--providing additional background information and character interaction.
Gas Gauge 80
Front Mission 3 features a rich battle system that makes the game easy to learn but hard to put down. The different models of Wanzers can be used "as is" or modified to change their appearance, capabilities, and equipment; since a Wanzer and its pilot are controlled as one unit in battle, the pilot's battle skills and experience come into play when pairing them off during pre-battle setup. Pilots can, however, eject from Wanzers during battle and board unoccupied ones, or even fight on their own, David and Goliath style. Battles are turn-based and take place in 3-D isometric environments, which can be rotated to provide a better perspective. When combat occurs, the viewpoint changes to close-ups shown from various camera angles. While the battles are relatively short, Front Mission 3 makes up for their brevity with quantity, packing well over 100 hours of highly addictive gameplay on its one disc. --Joe Hon
- Topnotch turn-based strategy battles
- Intriguing storyline filled with melodrama and plot twists
- Highly stylized art design
- "Double feature" scenario adds replay value
- Some "network" features are more trouble than they're worth
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