Release date: October 5, 2023
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Strategy, Role-Playing
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
"Review Copy Provided By Forever Entertainment"
The Unassuming Brilliance of Front Mission 2: Remake
Nestled quietly beneath the glam and glitter of Square's top-tier titles lies a subtle, gleaming jewel: Front Mission. With its unpretentious sparkle, it grabbed attention when Forever Entertainment presented Front Mission 1st: Remake last year, showcasing a beloved series under a revitalized, western spotlight. The DS version previously tickled fans' appetites, yet many gamers hadn’t fully sunk their teeth into the series until now. A meticulously built framework—crafted by prior updates to the original Super Famicom title—eased the pathway for the port's unveiling. And although Square Enix pre-loaded the project with stunning graphics and a bonus storyline, it was the flawless polish and integration into modern consoles that truly brought it into the limelight. Fast forward to its sequel, Front Mission 2: Remake, and Forever Entertainment found itself with less groundwork and higher expectations. No major work had touched FM2 since its 1997 PlayStation debut, fueling fans' eagerness. Suddenly, the stage was set, the global theatre of 2102 hummed with political discord, and you, as Ash Faruk, found yourself in the throbbing heart of a coup, encased within the metallic shell of a Wanzer mech. What unfolds is an exquisite strategic ballet, viewed from a cozy 3/4 overhead perspective, where your Wanzer performs a delicate dance of war, entwining classic strategy RPG elements with a futuristic zest.
In this beautiful chaos, combat is your anchor. The new leveling system of FM2 seduces you into a rhythmic flow of earning EXP and Honor Points, the latter feeding into delectably potent passive skills. It’s tempting to arm every mech with the equivalent of dual-wielding baseball bats, but heed my words: versatility in weaponry is your true lifeline here. Every dance, each subtle move swayed by Action Points (AP), is critical, with skills to master and systems to fine-tune in this strategic battlefield ballet.
Front Mission 2 does not gently lead you; it demands precise, thought-out steps, especially as the AI doesn’t pull its punches. Even at lower difficulty, your adversaries exhibit a coordinated resilience that’ll have you sweating bullets and vehemently cursing those frustrating tanks. The pro tip whispered through the grapevine? Equip your wanzers with backpacks, ensuring they’re primed with items when the chips are down. But let’s divert our gaze to the Arena, a delectably challenging space for player-vs-player combat that invites you, after a respectable gameplay hour, to really dissect your weaknesses and enhance your strategy understanding. Not only an essential tool for long-term gameplay success but also a fabulous chance to duke it out against yourself, understanding the ins and outs of this mechanical waltz.
Aesthetically, FM2's remake soothes the eyes with vibrant, detailed visuals, albeit paired with slightly peculiar character animations. The color palette, a tad muted, adds a seasoned, wearied aura to the atmosphere, providing a subtle nod to the tired and grim nature of war itself. Meanwhile, your ears are caressed by Noriko Matsueda's soundtrack, a harmonious tapestry that seamlessly weaves through each gameplay moment, accompanied by an intuitive control system and responsive, player-friendly camera movements.
While FM2 may not reinvent the narrative wheel, its tale of military uprising presents a sufficiently compelling, twist-laden journey with hearty characters, keeping players tethered from beginning to end.
In the lavish, sprawling ballroom of strategy RPGs, Front Mission 2 Remake insists upon a dance with you. Its meld of deep strategy, enchanting story arcs, and hearty sound design establishes it as a must-play for devotees of the genre. Even if it never sashays officially onto US soil, its import-friendly essence ensures that no gamer should overlook this clandestine treasure. So, strap into your Wanzer; a rhythmically brutal battle dance beckons.