HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewFRONT MISSION 2: Remake Review

FRONT MISSION 2: Remake Review

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A little while back in mid-2023, I had the pleasure of reviewing the first game in the Front Mission series when it was released on the Xbox. Well, after the success of FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake comes a second game – the imaginatively named FRONT MISSION 2: Remake.

Coming from Storm Trident and Forever Entertainment, the main thing that piqued my interest about this game is that it was never actually released in the west the first time around so if you wanted to play it, you played the Japanese version or none at all.

So, can it, at the first time of asking in the west, smash it out of the park, or is our Wanzer reduced to a limping wreck?

FRONT MISSION 2 Remake review 1
It’s time to fight again in FRONT MISSION 2: Remake

The story of the game takes place about twelve years after the events of the second Huffman conflict; a conflict you will be familiar with if you have played FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake. After the war, the People’s Republic of Alordesh has been left impoverished, only kept going by the Oceania Cooperative Union (O.C.U) weapon factories. As the game opens, the O.C.U. is pulling out of Alordesh, and as you can imagine, this doesn’t go down well. It goes down so poorly in fact that the Alordesh Army rises up, led by a man called Van Mackarge, declaring their independence from the O.C.U. 

We start the game playing a soldier called Ash and as the Alordesh Army attacks we are left to try and escape, figuring out what is going on. This leads to contact with all sorts of people, from fellow soldiers to criminal elements; the story gripping just enough to keep things bowling along. In an interesting touch, we get to see the story from the different perspectives of three people – Ash, Lisa, and Thomas. Who are these people? Well, you’ll have to play the game to find out, won’t you!

The presentation of FRONT MISSION 2: Remake is pretty much as you’d expect if you’ve played the first game. The game is divided roughly in half, split over the battle screen, and then the rest, which is a largely menu driven affair. The battle screen should be familiar, giving a variety of landscapes with squares laid over the top of the world; the Wanzer, both ours and our enemies, all on the screen. 

FRONT MISSION 2 Remake review 2
What do you think to that hit percentage?

Actual combat sees us zooming in to a one on one fight, and this is all pretty much the same as the first game. The graphics do look quite rudimentary, but this is a game from the PS1 era, so it isn’t going to be a graphical tour de force. The rest of the screen is a series of menus, with everything from buying and fitting new parts to your party’s Wanzers, through to conversations with NPCs being taken care of in this way. I think the word to describe the overall presentation is “functional”. 

The sound is okay too, with the battle cries that you’d expect as stomping giant lumps of metal go about shooting seven bells out of each other. There’s some reasonable music to listen to as well and so that means everything works okay. Of course, never having seen the original game, I don’t have anything to compare it to, but as a new experience, it is not too bad. Faint praise, I know…

Moving on to the actual gameplay, and again, this appears to be a case of evolution rather than revolution over the first game. The battles are turn-based affairs, with the Wanzers moving and attacking (if they are within range). This time the weapons have an AP cost to use, and so the problem that I had is that it makes the combat so much harder than before, 

Let me explain… When you are attacked in FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake there is the opportunity to fire back no matter what; as long as our arms weren’t destroyed anyway. This time, each weapon has an AP (Action Point) cost attached and so if you are surrounded – something which happens more than you’d like, as the enemy are not stupid – you can only fire back a couple of times before you are left defenseless. This ensures the battles are a lot harder, and therefore strategy is even more important this time around. If you have a Wanzer that is out on its own, then it is not going to last, and this will be brought home to you in the first few battles. Supporting each other, keeping teams together (despite the fact that the Wanzers have different movement abilities) and attacking in unison is vital. 

FRONT MISSION 2 Remake review 3
Hunks of metal!

There are a couple of quality of life issues that drag the experience down a bit too. Firstly, the menu based part of FRONT MISSION 2: Remake feels very clunky to navigate with a controller, and while it may be better with a mouse and keyboard, not many Xbox owners use this, so I stuck with the pad. The other thing is an extension of this lack of optimisation for controller – trying to get your Wanzers to move to the exact square of terrain that you want is quite tricky. They are things to note, but otherwise the rest of the game is pretty solid. 

All in, FRONT MISSION 2: Remake is a game worth checking out if you like the genre. For rarity alone, it has to be worth a try. The conversion isn’t flawless, and there could be a good deal of tweaking to make it work better with a controller, but you should find yourself enjoying what is on offer in FRONT MISSION 2: Remake. Although, it is flipping hard, so brace yourself!

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Rare game, never before seen over here
  • Interesting story
  • Three different viewpoints keep things fresh
Cons:
  • Poor controller optimisation makes things feel clunky
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Forever Entertainment
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 30 April 2024 | £29.24
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Rare game, never before seen over here</li> <li>Interesting story</li> <li>Three different viewpoints keep things fresh</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Poor controller optimisation makes things feel clunky</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Forever Entertainment</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 30 April 2024 | £29.24</li> </ul>FRONT MISSION 2: Remake Review
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