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Front Mission 4 Review

FiremystFiremyst Daddy Dragon IIFull Members
edited June 2004 in Latest Updates
The latest in mech-smashing games is now heading to a store near you. Having played the game from beginning to end, check to see if it's worth your money:

Front Mission 4 Review
Founder, RPGamer
I love tweeting -- follow me @ http://www.twitter.com/mtidwell

Comments

  • MageoftheSandsMageoftheSands Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Nice writing. I still think I'm getting it. The demo convinced me.
  • Dutch girlDutch girl Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    I don't know for sure if I will buy it because I don't like all the machinery. Maybe if I have some money left, but otherwise I will not buy it.
  • itagamiitagami Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    This doesn't concern the review at all, actually, but I feel this is as good a place as any to say this:

    RPGamer had been my homepage for over three years. I say had because it changed several months ago. Now, I barely even visit once a week, and when I do, I realize I don't care about anything on this site anymore, for a plethora of reasons. I see the donation bar at the top of the page as a sign this site is in financial trouble. Would it have popped-up a year ago, I would have gladly given my shirt to the site. But again, now, I barely even visit.

    I used to submit reader reviews weekly, read the Q&A section avidly, and read the newest RPG-related news daily. My interest in games and RPGs in general has not dwindled at all, given how I surf other gaming sites much more thoroughly than ever. I simply do not care about this one site in particular any longer.

    I say this because the decreased interest in RPGamer seems almost palpable. I'm not the only one who feels that way for certain. You guys (staff) need to do something, or this will be the end of RPGamer (and square.net and whatnot) as a whole. Convince me you all(staff) still care, and I might jump aboard this ship once more.

    Until then,

    ~Phillipe Richer
  • Zidane109Zidane109 Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    nothing Said about the graphics?
    how are they? they look kinda.."playstation 1 ish"
    eh.gif
  • RicoRico Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (itagami @ June 15 2004,11:02)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"I say this because the decreased interest in RPGamer seems almost palpable. I'm not the only one who feels that way for certain. You guys (staff) need to do something, or this will be the end of RPGamer (and square.net and whatnot) as a whole. Convince me you all(staff) still care, and I might jump aboard this ship once more.

    Until then,

    ~Phillipe Richer[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    But yet, traffic is the same and people are willing to donate (and asking for donations for unnecessary upgrades doesn't quite spell financial trouble perfectly). I'd say you're mostly just bitter over getting fired.
  • Amish_ChiefAmish_Chief Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (itagami @ June 15 2004,13:02)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"This doesn't concern the review at all, actually, but I feel this is as good a place as any to say this:

    RPGamer had been my homepage for over three years. I say had because it changed several months ago. Now, I barely even visit once a week, and when I do, I realize I don't care about anything on this site anymore, for a plethora of reasons. I see the donation bar at the top of the page as a sign this site is in financial trouble. Would it have popped-up a year ago, I would have gladly given my shirt to the site. But again, now, I barely even visit.

    I used to submit reader reviews weekly, read the Q&A section avidly, and read the newest RPG-related news daily. My interest in games and RPGs in general has not dwindled at all, given how I surf other gaming sites much more thoroughly than ever. I simply do not care about this one site in particular any longer.

    I say this because the decreased interest in RPGamer seems almost palpable. I'm not the only one who feels that way for certain. You guys (staff) need to do something, or this will be the end of RPGamer (and square.net and whatnot) as a whole. Convince me you all(staff) still care, and I might jump aboard this ship once more.

    Until then,

    ~Phillipe Richer[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    ...a couple of things.

    First of all, the mere fact that you're seeing a Front Mission 4 review on the day of its NA release is courtesy of our presence with the industry, and in particular, Square-Enix. ?Not too many gaming news sites have the privilege of being around long enough to merit review copies on an advance basis. ?Trust me, print media usually gets priority.

    I am going to make this very, very clear. ?RPGamer is not dying. ?In fact, part of the reason why we have stalled lately is for bandwidth limitations. ?We could increase the capability for traffic on the site, but to do so would have cost an enormous amount. ?Hence the donation campaign and its specific goals.

    If you wish to flame us for whatever reasons, that's fine. ?The site has gained its share of enemies over the last couple of years, and it's an understandable (if sometimes regrettable) development. ?However, if you're going to throw us off with some Manichean logic of how we either make improvements or die off, I almost wonder whether there's a vendetta involved.

    Just my $0.02.

    As for the Front Mission 4 review, I don't feel too bad for not running out to purchase the game. ?Like was said, this might be more for the fans of the series.
  • kardas_heartkardas_heart New Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    I like Rpgamer.com and I (and probably many others) don't really care about your pointless whining.

    There is no obligation to visit this site. If you don't like it, you should simply ignore it. If you think you have useful suggestions, e-mail them. There's no need to complain on this forum.

    Personnally, when I don't like a site (or lose interest) I stop visiting it and I don't post on its forum...

    Anyway, thanks for the review. And, Rico, in french, we say "Plus ?a change, plus c'est pareil".
  • ScarmiglionScarmiglion Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Getting back to the review...

    I find it sad in a lot of ways that the main concerns I had about the game are the ones that Myst apparently has problems with. The addition of the subtle changes suggested make me wonder if it's worth my spending money on, since I have limited resources. Guess it's a 'probably not'.
  • KamikazeKamikaze Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Color me as a fan of the series, because I'm going to get it the second my local Gamestop calls me, regardless of some of the negative reviews I've been reading.

    Besides, it has an average rating of 78.3% at Game Rankings, which at the very least makes it worth renting for an RPGamer. It's more than enough for a fan of the Front Mission series to get it.
  • RivermanRiverman Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Its not the best strategy game in the world but its definantly one of the best PS2 games ever made. Ofcourse its not for everyone though.
  • aldarynaldaryn Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    I do have a real itch for some strategy role playing right now, but the bad reviews mixed with the fact that i found FM3 really, really tedious and the characters too detached (it's been a long time though, too long to defend this perspective), i have to restrain myself on this one. actually, i have a real itch for any new, high quality rpg at all. here's HIGH, high hopes for tales of symphonia.
  • alldayrpgplayaalldayrpgplaya Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Its for me. I didnt expect the reviews to be all that great for it. Not after seeing IGN's review on it. But like i say. They dont have to like a game for me to be interested/buy a game. I only have to like it and i'm getting FM4 very, very soon.
    biggrin.gif
  • itagamiitagami Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Fine answers by me, people.

    Thank you for the good times you've provided me along the years. Especially you Paul.

    Take care,

    ~Phillipe Richer
  • cormyrecormyre New Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    I'm going to go get it even though the reviews have been luke warm, though if it turns out to be bad by my standards I'll go back to my stand on "A Ring of Red sequal is needed!!" ...just loved that game, with its mechs and support soldiers with it, but it suffered from the HOURS long battles as well, but I kinda liked that laugh.gif

    Oh and I completely agree with the posts above about the flamer, if you don't like something, don't do it/go there, so on, ect. Working for a web company myself I know that bandwidth costs out the butt. Been here for YEARS and will still support the site!



  • TethMawTethMaw Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    I personally loved FM3, and FM4 is on my list of games to get. Regardless of reviews. FM4...yay!
  • CainEJWCainEJW Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    I know this is furthering in terms of derailing this thread, but I feel I have a right to respond to itagami's basic insulting of the job we do here, and being I am on staff I will speak for myself.

    I often do not really like to toot my own horn on this site. I would actually prefer if I never got credit, as this job is about doing my best, not doing it to be a staff member. With that said, I'm going to now toot my horn a bunch.

    In the past year and a quarter of my employment on this site I have edited over 150 game pages by hand. This fixed ad errors made by other staff members, errors in release dates, publishers, consoles, expansion dates, and other things. In fact, if you go to the FFXI page and you see "Expansion Dates", the reason we have this as a seperate list of dates is because of me doing it. I have done over 30 media updates, 10 news updates, and reviews. I've done wallpapers, submitted them. I've also volunteered as board administrator, clarified the rules, posted a moderator policy to all moderators, redone the moderator list, and found all active moderators in one fashion or another. I've designed 3 seperate sections of this website, including E3 templates 2 years in a row and the awards page. I did the awards design single-handedly as well as wrote most of the stories along with Paws. I created every single interaction button you see every update save Roundtable.

    I spend over $1,500 to fly out to LA and spend a week at E3 to cover games for this site. I had not planned this until I was hired here and invited to go on the team.

    None of that is my job at this site. None of it is what I was hired for. All of it was to improve this website for your enjoyment and because I wish for this site ti improve and get better. These are countless hours dedicated to positions I was not responsible for nor was I assigned. I volunteered to head them for you to get a better experience. Let us visit what I've done as my employment here outlined.

    In 1 year and a quarter I have redesigned fan art from a template used over the course of 3 years to a new design most seem to enjoy. I reinstituted fair, but harsh guidelines. I single-handedly put in over 1,000 artworks for our database. I updated without fault for around a year until submissions dried up.I updated rules, policies, procedures for fan art as well as instituted a submission system that is used in multiple other interaction sections to this date. Most of all, I have been told that my tenure thus far has improved fan art's quality of works exponentially. From any submission back to RPGamer's art section being where you see great art of many games.

    None of this was I paid, compensated, or given any sort of money for. All of this is volunteer work, all of it is of my own time. You tell me I and others on this staff have to prove to you that we care about this site because we ask for donations and sell merchandise?

    Let me tell YOU something. If we didn't care, we would walk. Many a day I have wanted to simply throw up my arms and say screw this site and its thankless users much like yourself. Then someone comes along and they actually appreciate the fact I and others have given countless hours and money to bring news and other things.

    You think Mikel Tidwell needs to spend his paychecks on 40 GB A DAY for you? You think he enjoys possibly having to sell HIS house so this site can survive while you suck up every ounce of bandwidth and tell him you won't even begin to pay for MORE IMPROVEMENTS FOR YOU?

    I'm sorry if you see yourself as the mighty victim of this site because you don't enjoy it. I do enjoy it, because I get to help people with gettign what they enjoy. I don't give a crap about money or the fame of my name in internet lights. I don't really care about the credit either. At the end of the day I do this because I care and want to. If that isn't enough for you then get gone, because that is all I'm going to offer you.

    I speak for me, and I'm sure I speak for every staffer here when I say we care about this site more than you'll ever comprehend because we work here. We don't get paid, we don't get thanks, we don't even get respect from some of you. We still do it despite the countless hours and frustrations of this site and its users like you. All that crap I said above about what I've done? I'd do it again in a heartbeat and get not an ounce of credit. If that's not enough for you, then good freekin bye and don't come back.

    Thus ends my rant. I apologize greatly for taking the thread off topic once more. I would have split this conversation off a while ago but we simply don't have that feature on this board. Again apologies and lets get back on topic.

    ON TOPIC: I don't really think this game is for me. I saw Myst playing it at E3 and I just didn't get the appeal. It looked less like an RPG and more like a soldier sim with mechs. Not my cuppa.
  • Duke OtterlandDuke Otterland Banned Banned Users
    edited June 2004
    I think I'll pass on this one, too, being a bit disappointed by the demo. The battles were okay, but the shopping interface was an absolute nightmare.
  • KiralynKiralyn Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Zidane109 @ June 15 2004,14:35)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"nothing Said about the graphics?
    how are they? they look kinda.."playstation 1 ish"
    eh.gif[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Personally, I think the graphics are quite good. Have you seen the
    game in action, or just screenshots? I've noticed that screenshots from
    games always look worse than the actual game itself....

    Part of the problem may be that static images of the gameboard don't
    show how 3D it is (none of the old-style sprites for scenery), and also
    that the muted palette (as the reviewer said, Military is kinda dull) doesn't
    stand out.

    The animation on the wanzers and vehicles is quite detailed, good textures,
    nice detail on the "zoom-in" battle scenes, etc....

    (I was kinda disappointed in the reviews. But, then, I understand how a
    person's opinions and biases can make or break a game for them. For
    example, I picked up Disgaea after seeing all the gushing reviews, and...
    ..... yeesh, that game makes me want to bang my head against the wall
    and tear out my hair. Boring, boring, tedious combat missions, endless
    repititions of already completed levels to gain xp, and waaaaay too many
    characters/classes/items/etc. to manage. Ick. smile.gif

    I loved FM3, picked up my FM4 this morning, and just stopped to take
    a break and check my mail..... smile.gif
  • OrbusOrbus Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    I really wish people would keep their gripes out of the news comments. That's what the rest of the forums are for.

    I was kind of idly considering picking up FM4, but I think I'm probably going to pass now. I'm kind of lukewarm on the whole SRPG thing anyhow, and this one doesn't sound like it has enough going for it to push me into a purchase.



  • SorahikoSorahiko Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Cain, that was awesome. I'm with you RPGamer guys! I've been coming to this site without fail for years now. It was introduced to me by my elder "RPG Guru" friend who has been coming since it had its old name. He even applied to be staff here once, but I'm not sure what happened with that. laugh.gif
  • AGiESAGiES Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Just what the heck is "Interation?" I assume that you mean innovation but honestly guys, your reviews are getting a little shoddy. An editor / copy reader should have picked that up right away. Can't you at least run a spell checker through it? There's this and all the inverted money signs (100$) in the River City Ransom review that just make it seem unprofessional and sloppy. If a review seems sloppy to me then I can't seem to trust it or the opinion of its writer. I don't mean to put anyone down about this I just hope that in the future you will be more careful.
  • RicoRico Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Why would you assume that innovation was meant when the next score down is for originality? It's pretty obvious that the word is supposed to be interaction (the menu system, et cetera). As far as the dollar signs go, while the site does try to stick to American English standards, placing the symbol after the amount is common practice in a great deal of the world, and the reviewer is Canadian.

    If sloppiness in writing somehow makes a person's opinion less credible, though, then I probably should have just written you off as some crackpot and not responded, since at least three necessary commas are missing from your post.
  • Anna Marie PrivitereAnna Marie Privitere Purr RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2004
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (AGiES @ June 17 2004,16:40)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"There's this and all the inverted money signs (100$) in the River City Ransom review that just make it seem unprofessional and sloppy.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    I also write colour and many many other words with a u. In a review, I take them out because I've been asked to - the same reason when I write a decimal place I use a period instead of a comma. How unprofessional am I.
  • FiremystFiremyst Daddy Dragon II Full Members
    edited June 2004
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (AGiES @ June 17 2004,14:40)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Just what the heck is "Interation?"[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    It is "Interaction". Apparently I made a typo when converting to the new review template. You can read more about what Interaction is with the Review FAQ
    Founder, RPGamer
    I love tweeting -- follow me @ http://www.twitter.com/mtidwell
  • cormyrecormyre New Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (AGiES @ June 17 2004,16:40)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"There's this and all the inverted money signs (100$) in the River City Ransom review that just make it seem unprofessional and sloppy.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Paws @ June 18 2004,12:21)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"I also write colour and many many other words with a u. ?In a review, I take them out because I've been asked to - the same reason when I write a decimal place I use a period instead of a comma. ?How unprofessional am I.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Plus ppl that write certain type of 'net coding and scripts for MUDs get use to putting the dollar sign at the end of an ammount due to it mixing with variable outputs, ?myself I can NEVER put it in front w/o knowing that it belongs to a variable. ?'Sides for that everyone is entitled to their own flavor and spelling choices, even if they are doing stuff for a site.
    tounge.gif
  • carrion crowcarrion crow New Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Speaking as one who has had limited exposure to the series (dabbled with the FM1 translated ROM; only aware of the PS1 FM title), and as one who has very recently purchased the game, I find that I am not regretting this otherwise costly purchase (it came to nearly $80 at my local EB). I've always been a fan of strategy RPGs, as that tactical element is just up my alley. (Though I haven't beaten the game, I am rather very taken with the story. Perhaps I am a tad biased, what with my previously stated connections to the series, although thin as my bias/connections are, I was absolutely taken by FM1's story, especially regarding the whole Wanzer "computer" system. Very nice, indeed.) I agree with the editor that the voice acting is most superb. I suppose it would depend on the person and their grasp of the story/events when the swapping of characters/story/Wanzer setups come into question, as it was said, you spend time building up one party only to be taken to another party, and a considerably inferior party at that, having to adjust to a slightly different strategy than those in the previous mission. (I'm guessing the learning curve is fair, though at times feels reversed, what with the player having to get refamiliarized with weaker, generally inferior Wanzers when the story shifts to and fro' of parties when a shift in the story is called for. I think I've succeeded in confusing myself...)

    Another thing I love about this game (and those of this genre) is the depth of technicality behind the characters, or more specifically, their Wanzers and how you customize them. (I loved Final Fantasy VIII for this, as you could, to some extend, strength or weaken your characters throughout the game at any point, provided you -- or didn't opt to -- junction one's magic to whatever attribute. I loved spending upwards of 30 minutes just tinkering with the weaponry and armor, the torsos and limbs, and then wondering if I could/should add an additional piece like an item-storing unit (read: backpack), a support module (to weaken the opposition in one way or another, whatever the method), and what have you. I especially enjoyed knowing I had to do that many times over. Some people don't have the patience for this, which is perfectly understandable. Myself... I've been waiting for Front Mission 4 for quite some time. After receiving my demo in the mail (after signing up for it at SE's website), I, for lack of a less colorful metaphor, grew a long, veiny, twitching, blood-engorged phallus after experiencing a rather lengthy and pleasing taste of what was to come. (To twist my point, I considered it a non-literal sexual service. A free one, no less.)

    So, there are the words, thoughts, and general feelings of a man who is quite taken with the Front Mission name. And, as well, is likely to soon be made to concur with court-ordered therapy.

    My summer will be a cold one.
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited June 2004
    Having played through a fair bit of this, I only say that you were far too kind to the story of this game. Just eww, what truly repugnant script writing.

    Dracos
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