Published on July 16th, 2023 | by Boouya
Front Mission 1st Remake Review (Switch)
Summary: Front Mission: 1st Remake has everything that a fan of the series would want with improvements to both the visuals and UI. The game is approachable and the difficulty can be toned down if needed. Hopefully this game will sell well enough that we will see more of the Front Mission games come to the west.
Front Mission can trace its roots back all the way to the Super Famicom (Nintendo) in 1995. Whilst the series has never really been given a solid go in the West with few games making the trip from Japan, it nevertheless has a cult following both from those who have enjoyed the original Super Famicom game with or without a translation patch and those who enjoyed the PS1 original remake that was released again only in Japan in 2003.
Front Mission: 1st Remake is a remake of the original remake from 2003 in 3-D. Allowing more people to appreciate the series and hopefully showing the series holders that the West wants more of this Tactical RPG series.
A Cold War warming up
Front Mission: 1st Remake’s storyline follows a Cold War turned hot between the OCU faction and the UCS as they fight for control over Huffman Island. Intertwined in this larger story are the smaller humane stories including the OCU character Royd who loses his girlfriend in the first mission and ends up leaving the OCU and joining a mercenary company.
Mecha me want to play more
The Wanzer Mechs that you pilot in this game are of course the main draw, each having its own characteristics, pros and cons. Throughout the many maps and levels when defeating enemies there is a chance that they may drop a piece of their mech. This can be attached to yours to make your mech more powerful. Modifying both your own and your team’s mechs is pivotal to succeeding especially in the later game.
Additionally before each mission you have the option of going on a shopping spree to buy weapon and armor upgrades that cover both close and long range combat. Making sure you have enough of a mix of the two in your team can be especially satisfying watching your Mech shoot a rocket across the map and doming an enemy before they have had a chance to properly move.
My only gripe with the system of upgrades is the amount of menus and the fact there is no auto-equip feature which does mean a good portion of pre-level time is spent navigating menus and making sure that you equipped the right upgrade on the right Mech.
To help with the grind of upgrades in the OCU chapter is the ability to fight in the Arena for money, once you get the hang of these battles you will soon realize that this is the best method for farming that coin and bagging the best upgrades!
The slow grind
I will warn those of you who have not played Tactical RPGs before, the grind in Front Mission especially early on can be frustrating with the RNG nature of weapons you will have to expect that you will miss and battles can take 20+ minutes. Of course those of you used to this genre and the Front Mission series will be fully aware and will enjoy this style of play.
Old Metal shines bright
One aspect of Front Mission: 1st Remake that can be overlooked is the visuals even in handheld mode on the Switch everything has a crisp look to it whilst still keeping that original feel. There are no chibi or Cartoony gimmicks here, just Shiny Mechs and bright explosions all mixed in with the changing environments of Huffman Island.
Front Mission: 1st Remake has everything that a fan of the series would want with improvements to both the visuals and UI. The game is approachable and the difficulty can be toned down if needed. Hopefully this game will sell well enough that we will see more of the Front Mission games come to the west.