It’s sad when there is a game everyone loves and it doesn’t matter how much you try and you just can’t get into the game. Probably most gamers have at least a few beloved games that just simply isn’t for them even if it’s in one of their more cherished genres. For me Front Mission 3 was this game.
I’m a big fan of Strategy RPGs and Final Fantasy Tactics is among my favorite games of all time. I’ve played even many forgotten SRPGs like Stella Deus and Jeanne d’Arc but I’m also into the more known, such as Disgaea and Fire Emblem. So it’s not without love for the genre but Front Mission 3 for me is a huge disappointment.
For starters, this won’t be a review but just a short summary of my impressions because I’ve only played 9 hours of game that should last about 40. Not enough time for a review but time enough to make my opinion about it.
For starters, the characters. What’s up with them? There isn’t a simple likable or relatable character. They all sound stupid, specially the protagonist but his friend is not far behind. One keeps complaining like a child, obsessed about his sister, even to the point of invading a high security military base just to check out if she is okay. His friend just keep making stupid jokes all the time. There are more characters that you meet later but they don’t fare any better. Well, at least they are more of the quiet type, so if they have nothing interesting to say at least they keep their mouths shut.
The music is incredible repetitive to the point that I think there is only a single song that plays during combat and for me it got old pretty fast. The sound of their wanzers (mechs) are okay. They sound like metal should, so no complains here.
The customization was so weird and obtuse that I honestly could not enjoy any part of it. I guess that part of the problem is on me. The easy part, which I could figure out easily is the part where you upgrade your mechs to have more HP, accuracy or a slightly enhanced weapon. A nice upgrade to have but honestly, it felt so barebones to me. Other SRPGs I’ve played gave me so much choice as far as customization or at least choice of who to use as party member but even if you change party member here it does nothing different, specially because you can change their mechs.
The worst offender for me was the gameplay itself because it was so numb, for me. I felt like I used the same strategy through all the maps with barely any sense of effort or strategy needed.
The maps were small, with the same enemies over and over. Given that your units also have nothing new or interesting in them, aside from some skills that activate at random, and I was getting bored.
Surprisingly what really caught my eye about the game were the graphics. Sure, they are Playstation one polygon graphics and while they do show heir age I think there is a great charm to them. I think the game has a big deal of details whenever possible.
In all, after giving the game such a hard time I’d like to stress that I don’t think it’s horrible, not even bad but it isn’t good either. It’s in that limbo that could be good but the gameplay made it so numb and repetitive that it’s making it really hard for me to enjoy.
It seems this game has many fans and I’m honestly sad I couldn’t join their party but after 9 hours and I have seen very little to keep me going, so unless this game gives a complete 180 when I hit the 10 hour mark with it I’m calling it quits.