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Front Mission 2 Remake Review

by Ethan Marley
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I’ve sat on my ideas about Front Mission 2 Remake for months, most likely too many months. As an avid fan of SRPGs, big robots, and unlocalized video games from the ’90s I used to be excited from the get-go. This recreation was notable for a way elusive it has all the time been to western audiences, so whereas the perfect state of affairs could be a localized port or remaster of that PlayStation model, a full remake has its worth. I assumed the remake of the unique Front Mission was general stable, so I had excessive hopes that suggestions may very well be used to make this remake the absolute best. Unfortunately, for a copious quantity of causes we’ll seemingly by no means absolutely know, Front Mission 2 Remake is filled with issues.

There’s been a lot of updates and tweaks to Front Mission 2 Remake since its rocky launch, a lot in order that I really feel that it’s a residing recreation. This isn’t the identical recreation that I performed months in the past, however I wouldn’t actually say it’s that a lot of a greater recreation. It performs higher, and there are undoubtedly stability changes that make for a extra pleasing SRPG, nevertheless it’s apparent from following it carefully that it’ll take some time earlier than this lives as much as its potential. Maybe it by no means will, or perhaps an replace will drop seconds after this evaluate goes dwell. I can’t absolutely know, however at this level, I don’t actually want to wait for much longer.

The story is a direct sequel to the primary recreation, involving a brand new forged of Wanzer pilots needing to outlive a political coup the place they’re stationed. Any gameplay challenge would have been unlucky to cope with in a revival of a recreation this particular, however so long as we had an opportunity to expertise the story as meant I’d be considerably forgiving. The translation might be one of many worst I’ve seen in years, studying stilted at greatest and stuffed with typos with nonsensical grammar at worst. The unique Front Mission had been translated when it was formally remade by Square Enix on the Nintendo DS, however its sequel needed to be translated from scratch. Even if this wasn’t the case, the script that got here on launch looks like machine translation or no less than a really unedited uncooked translation from somebody on a time crunch.

Front Mission 2 Remake Review Screenshot 1Front Mission 2 Remake Review Screenshot 1

The script is so missing that it’s truthfully onerous to evaluate the story precisely. Every character talks the identical, with the one little bit of distinctive taste coming from the occasional typo. Any potential emotional second falls flat. All of the websites on the community, offering key lore and background data, reads nonsensically. The purpose for that is that this textual content supposedly was written in damaged English even within the JP launch, however I really feel like in that case among the unique workforce ought to have been introduced in to offer clarification on the intent as a substitute of presenting it as is. The story, irrespective of how good the unique Japanese script is perhaps, isn’t in a position to current itself as something higher than satisfactory. 

This translation additionally impacts the play expertise, if even to a lesser extent. There is a plethora of typos within the menus, like “Career” displaying as “Carrer” and the colour “Gray” introduced as a person named “Gary”. The latter one was patched sooner or later, however was fairly hilarious to see for some time after launch. Supposedly the newest demo encompasses a have a look at their newest massive localization replace I can solely assume is being ready for the upcoming bodily retail launch. Since we don’t have a precise date for this, I can solely report on what has been obtainable for a number of months since launch. 

Having initially launched as a Nintendo Switch unique, the visuals are stable however nothing groundbreaking. This isn’t a rock-solid 60 frames-per-second expertise, and even docked the sport is hardly a looker. It merely will get the job carried out, with a whole lot of the element put into the Wanzer fashions. Given the system’s weaker {hardware}, this was most likely the very best factor to place sources into. There’s a whole lot of enjoyable mech customization on provide for each single unit in your military, from components to designs, they usually’ve made the leap from the PlayStation fantastically. You can inform the 3D artists have an adoration for mecha, they did an exquisite job.

Front Mission 2 Remake Review Screenshot 2Front Mission 2 Remake Review Screenshot 2

Because these fashions look so nice, it’s unhappy to say that it appears that evidently they’ve minimize the extremely dynamic battle animations from the unique recreation. Just gameplay on-line reveals actually prolonged battle animations for every encounter, and whereas I perceive that might result in fatigue for contemporary audiences, what they went with as a substitute strips out a whole lot of character from battles. Now we simply get a really generic set of method and assault battle animations widespread within the style in the present day. 

The gameplay is one other side that I’m equally blended on. I’m glad they remained trustworthy to the unique recreation, however that’ll most likely come at the price of alienating a whole lot of gamers. Every single engagement in Front Mission 2 Remake’s battles comes down solely to RNG. There are methods you’ll be able to construct your Wanzers to deal with this, and you may specialize them in sure methods, however on the finish of the day whether or not you win or lose comes all the way down to a cube roll. The components of a Wanzer all have their very own well being, and what components your assaults hit is what’s random. An enemy may come at you and rating an extremely fortunate assault to knock out each arms, leaving you defenseless. However you can simply as simply do this to them, and that messiness of battles with the ability to go any approach at a break up second provides a tense feeling to them that makes you are feeling immersed within the warfare. 

What feels a lot much less immersive is the consumer interface (UI) and the sport really feel being clunky. Battle UI doesn’t all the time provide the greatest thought of what you’re moving into if you method an enemy, and isn’t very readable when you find yourself in fight. Moving your items additionally feels floaty, one thing widespread in 3D SRPGs emulating 2D grid-based video games. You get used to it, however menu navigation doesn’t really feel snappy and it makes fights develop tedious as you battle with the controls.

Front Mission 2 Remake Review Screenshot 3Front Mission 2 Remake Review Screenshot 3

You can have the RNG play out extra in your favor by assigning abilities to items, which prog at random however may give you extra strikes in battle or presumably buffs to particular actions. Another side I believe is certain to be divisive is ammo, with the early missions particularly being slightly punishing to gamers who aren’t enjoying optimally. I grew to actually love battles, however there are moments when there’s simply an excessive amount of friction that doesn’t all the time appear meant.

Despite how a lot I finally actually get pleasure from how battles play out, this recreation has a whole lot of bugs being reported by followers in Forever Entertainment’s Discord. Crashing points, visible results not rendering appropriately, AI points, and extra. I had loads of points early on with ally AI being extremely poor, making characters I used to be supposed to guard drive proper into enemy traces and inflicting me to restart. Bugs and glitches are a tough factor to report on, and I say this as somebody who codes for a residing. Talking about them in depth will make this evaluate not maintain up, however most of my expertise has been inconsistent by way of a collection of patches. The problem stability, for instance, has felt so much higher since I first performed. 

This is a textbook case of a disappointing remake. Without the context of the unique, you’d most likely assume Front Mission 2 is a mediocre recreation. I’m positive the intent of the entire builders wasn’t nefarious, and it’s attainable that there was only a brutal time crunch they needed to work beneath that resulted in so many minimize corners. The translation is such a large blemish on this recreation that I can’t suggest this even being value your time till it’s correctly retranslated, and hopefully, by then, you’ll be able to seize it for a handy sale. Front Mission 2 deserved higher, and I want I may have correctly skilled every little thing it needed to provide.

However, I don’t suppose a greater script will absolutely alleviate a whole lot of my disappointments with this remake as a complete. As a murals, this simply appears missing in comparison with the unique recreation. So a lot is misplaced aesthetically, and it doesn’t really feel like this was faithfully tailored. The fashion chosen additionally doesn’t really feel distinctive sufficient to warrant the departure, the sport is visually generic more often than not. I believe the very best abstract of the methods this remake disregards the inventive legacy of the unique has to do with the elimination of a seemingly inconsequential menu choice.

front mission 2 remake color palettefront mission 2 remake color palette

In the PlayStation model’s configuration menu, there was just one factor you can change, the window shade. The Japanese model has a whole lot of English used for principally stylistic functions, however all with intent. Each of those you’d scroll by way of options alternating shade palettes:

  • #00 Default Color
  • #01 Color of your eyes,
  • #02 My eyes,
  • #03 Your hair,
  • #04 My hair,
  • #05 Your voice,
  • #06 My voice,
  • #07 Your tears,
  • #08 My tears,
  • #09 Your coronary heart,
  • #10 My coronary heart,
  • #11 Me in your thoughts,
  • #12 You in your thoughts,
  • #13 You,
  • #14 Me,
  • #15 and You and Me

This small function, one thing simply missable, is emblematic of Front Mission 2 Remake. The artwork is gone now, and the gorgeous distinction of disparate parts with it. It’s all homogenized, protected in a approach the place love can not bloom.

Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy supplied by Forever Entertainment

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