Front Mission Series - Gun Hazard (Japan) [En by Aeon Genesis v1.01] ROM
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) ROMs
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Game Description & Reviews:
Front Mission, in case you don't know, is a series of Turn-Based Strategy Role Playing Games by Squaresoft that involve mechs known as Wanzers. I have not played a Front Mission game in my life, so if any of you hardcore FM fans read this, don't go bagging on me because I don't know much about the series. Normally in these games, you control a bunch of units on a board and you only command them to do stuff; you don't have total control over the Wanzer and its pilot ever. In Front Mission: Gun Hazard, however, you do, as this game is not a turn-based SRPG like most of the series, it is instead a game that plays more like a side scrolling shooter like NCS Corp. And Konami's Cybernator.
Now, two years ago, when Front Mission Evolved from Double Helix and Square Enix came out, many people complained that it was not an SRPG, but rather what they called a 'Generic shooter', or a 'Armored Core clone' and many fan boys declared FM to be ruined forever and Square Enix to be the devil (something S-E has been called a lot lately for their experiment in plot-fuelled RPGs with Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, the game 'with no ending'); in other words, people cried that they changed it, and now it sucks. While I can not have an opinion on FM:E as I haven't played it ever, I can say that like FM:E, this game borrows heavily from another mech action game, Cybernator, but unlike FM:E, it wasn't met with a million angered fanboys, maybe because Gun Hazard has more depth, maybe since it was Japan-Only, only Japanese fan boys complained, maybe they didn't complain. I don't know, I haven't played FM:E before, let's just start talking about Gun Hazard already.
The graphics are excellent in Gun Hazard. It is easy to tell what everything is, the 'lighting effects' are quite excellent, the size differences between a wanzer and a person are clear, the explosions look satisfying when you blow things up, you can see the debris flying as your wanzer punches though the enemy's tough defenses with your hard, powerful fists, when you fire your machine gun, you can actually see shells dropping out from your wanzer, a common sight in today's FPS games, but in a 1990's Super Famicom game, it was truly a nice touch you hardly saw back then. The graphics perfectly represent the theme of mechanized war in this game. Graphics like these were common late in the Super Famicom's life.
The soundtrack of Gun Hazard is outstanding. Like the Graphics, they perfectly give you the feeling of a war-themed game. The song that plays before you start a mission really gets you ready to go out and fight the enemy. Many famed Square composers such as Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger), Junya Nakno (Threads of Fate), and Masashi Hamauzu (Final Fantasy X) have all helped to compose the brilliant music in this game. The Super Nintendo's instruments are well used and the are at the same level as the music in the PlayStation Final Fantasies.
While I haven't beaten the game as of time of writing, the game play in the game is very fun and fast-paced. While a lot of the missions in the game are just kill them all and make it to the end, there are still some variety in there and the numerous upgrades you can get for your Wanzer will have you coming back for more to build and level up your perfect mech.
Story : 8/10
Let me remind you again, I'm no Front Mission expert. I don't know much about the back story, but rest assured, even if you're like me and haven't played any previous Front Mission games, know that this game is non-canon and exists in a separate timeline from the other FM games, meaning you can go in and play this without being confused about termology and what's going on in general. I won't go into detail, but the game starts with you 'Albert' and your comrade out to escort President Orwen, who seeks to escape the country to avoid capture by Colonel Ark Hellbrand, who seeks to gain control of the nation of Bergen. At first, everything goes fine, when suddenly, Colonel Ark and his soldiers appear, kill you comrade, and are now demanding the President's capture. You free from the area, but now you have to escape the country with Orwen as his bodyguard, but eventually you are captured and them have to escape prison with a mercenary named Tifa Lockhart Brenda Lockheart after relocating your Wanzer and escaping with Brenda to New York, you now work as a mercenary, traveling to several countries amidst in conflict. Eventually you and Albert will see the connection between all of the conflicts going on in the world... In other words, this game has a deeper plot than your standard shooter. This game is actually an English translation from a game that was never brought over stateside and is currently on the Wii Virtual Console... in Japan...
Although this game is from a genre not known for depth, it is actually a very deep shooter, Square goes as far as calling it a "Doramatic Action RPG [sic]", and I guess you can call it an dramatic action RPG because it does have a dramatic plot, and it is a shooter with RPG elements. Your Wanzer has numerous interchangeable parts with many different stats that affect how certain functions of your Wanzer. These parts can be bought from the store and include jet boosters, better armor, mech fists, Laser guns, shotguns, spread guns, machine guns, grenade launchers, rocket launchers, and so much more! Also, not only is your mech playable, but the pilot Albert is as well! LISTEN TO ME MORTALS. PRESS SELECT TO EXIT YOUR MECH. THAT IS ALL. Albert is not as powerful as his wanzer (obviously), but he can still do other things, like going in places that mechs can't go. There is also a map screen where you can plan which area you want to go next. Sometimes there will be forks in the road and you have to decide which area is strategically better to go to first. There one part in the game where there's a facility that requires a key to enter, but you must find the key different parts of the country map, but the question is, where is it? Later on Albert can find new comrades to recruit and aid him on his missions as well, so there's plenty of features at your disposal.
So far the difficulty is Front Mission: Gun Hazard is a perfect balance; it's not too hard, but at the same time, not too easy, which is good. Sometimes I don't feel like playing easy games like Kirby, but sometimes I don't feel like Hard games like Sunsoft's Batman, or Undefined Fantastic Object. The only things I need to warn you about this game is to REMEMBER THAT SELECT HAS ALBERT EXIT HIS VEHICLE, AND PRESSING OR HOLDING DOWN+B WILL LET YOU ENTER CERTAIN AREAS WITH AN ARROW POINTING DOWN AT THEM REMEMBER THIS. IT WASN'T OBVIOUS FOR ME WHEN I FIRST PLAYED. Also, save often, if you don't and you die, you'll end up where you last saved, I had to learn this the hard way.
Front Mission: Gun Hazard is one of the most underrated Super Nintendo Games ever. It was a shame us westerners never got a chance to experience this gem properly, probably because it was released in 1996, by then, people were already playing their N64s, and their PlayStations. You know, we hardly ever get any Front Mission games. Only four games ever came out here (Front Mission 1st for DS, Front Mission 3 for PS1, Front Mission 4 for PS2, and Front Mission: Evolved for PS3/Xbox 360/PC). Evolved was probably made by a western developer under supervision by important Square Enix members and released out here because they probably saw that normal Front Mission games didn't sell well here but noticed that shooters like Armored Core did fine, so the felt that they needed to make another Action-oriented FM like Gun Hazard. Who knows, if they think that western audiences would be more interested in an action game, then maybe it's time to take a chance with Gun hazard and release it out here in English on the American and European Virtual Consoles. They took a chance with the DS re-release of the first FM, maybe it's Gun Hazard's turn to shine.
Using the Front Mission background and conflicts, this game is a wonderful side-scrolling action-RPG for the SNES. The game is wonderful for both RPG and action lovers, carrying the best of both worlds for the SNES. The game uses a top-down map to go from section to section in the game world, allowing you to revisit past areas in new wanzers (A bi-pedal tank, and a mash-up of the words 'walking' and 'panzer') that you can obtain throughout the game. You're also permitted to leave the wanzer to go on foot for smaller areas that pop up in the game. A fantastic game all-round, though it feels like the story could go deeper.
you know how they made 2d sidescrollers? well in this they give you other weapons and level ups too. one jem to check out for this system
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