Author Topic: Fox's Review: Front Mission: Gun Hazard (SNES)  (Read 2784 times)

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Fox's Review: Front Mission: Gun Hazard (SNES)
« on: July 21, 2009, 04:14:38 PM »
So, just what is Front Mission: Gun Hazard?  Well... It's a game produced by the same developers of Cybernator (or if you wanna call it by the not-overdoing-it-name, Assault Suits Valken.  Also, the original, not that remade PS2 crap version) and, even though it has the Front Mission title and the names of the suits are Wanzers, it actually has 0 relevance to the Front Mission series itself.  None of the characters or wanzers the player can use represent any of the series' weaponry.  If one were to speak of it like Gundam... This is Gundam SEED to what is, say, the normal Mobile Suit Gundam timeline (in that SEED has absolutely no place in U.C).

(Graphics 8/10):
While not taking absolute full advantage of the SNES's capabilities, this game makes up for it by having very interesting effects, well-animated mecha of many varieties, very detailed worlds and each weapon being unique in both function and appearance.  The character portraits throughout the game are never re-used for characters that aren't them except our band of heroes and recurring villains as well as generic NPCs.  They all help to add emotion to the text you read.

Right away, the intro cutscene is easily the best-looking 2D scene on the SNES.  While having no scaling and being pure sprites, the developers clearly focused their attention to the atmosphere, and it shows.  As the car your first escort drives, you see that the light poles actually have an effect on the visible lighting of the scene.  It's a very cinematic look.  Not but a short while later, you and the President are attacked and the harbor appears to burst into flames.

(Sound 9/10):
However, compared to the above category, the sound I'm sure takes full advantage of the hardware.  Although expected that it's limited by the SNES' sound channels, the sound effects themselves are comparable to, if not better than Super Metroid's soundtrack.  Each piece of music has a specific purpose and a feel to it.  None are truly overused, as different areas often have different themes.  There's more music than you'd think there would be.  It's a shame they never arranged this game's music, I'd have loved to hear any of it in arranged form, like from Megaman Zero 3 to it's arranged album.

The music has a damn good excuse for sounding great, after all.  Nobuo Uematsu also did parts of this soundtrack, and it has shades of his Final Fantasy VII work. 

(Gameplay 9/10):
On the surface, you'd think of it as just Cybernator with a new coat of paint.  Actually, it's a little more complex than that.

The addition of a levelling system, along with other RPG elements, such as letting you use items to repair your suit or heal your wounds (more on that in a sec) switch weapons, issue orders to team mates and view a general map of your current level (helps with navigation a lot).  Also included is a shop system, where you can buy repair supplies, ammo for your sub-weapons, sub-weapons, primary weapons, Wanzers, and a whole bunch of other stuff.  Each area has it's own store, so some things might be available in stores in some areas.

Another nifty feature is the ability to just abandon your Wanzer.  Has it taken too much damage?  Press select and you leave the thing, now having your own HP meter.  Your Wanzer could get toasted, but you'd still be alive.  If you're feeling really ballsy, you can ditch your Wanzer at the start of the level and go through it just as a pilot with a teeny tiny pistol against big robots.  Destroying enemies is still possible, it's just not very smart as a pilot.  As a matter of fact, there are 2 instances I've counted that you actually have to leave your Wanzer.

You're also able to bring along allies for the trip.  Some have special features, such as repairing your Wanzer without you needing to use a hit, providing attack support, setting up bombs.  Likewise, you can tell them to back off before they get theirselves killed and they actually will.  Though disappointingly, the friendly A.I isn't very smart.  It's about as smart as the Enemy A.I, which doesn't do much to dodge your shots anyway.  Thankfully, you can also use your repair kits on friendlies.

(Overall 9/10):
I give this a 9 out of 10 because this is probably one of the deeper SNES games that never got released in the U.S.  I'd suggest hunting down a copy or ROM of this game.  It's like Cybernator, but it's also not.

Why a 9, and not a 10, though?  Because if I gave it a 10, I'm sure someone would bitch at me for being so generous to an old game.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 11:25:54 AM by Fox McCloud »