It only took me fifteen years but I finally decided to do a full playthrough for Front Mission 3!
I am quite acquainted with this series of mecha-focused strategic RPGs, having played through the entirety of its first game on Nintendo DS. I had also dabbled a little in the fantastic Cybernator inspired spin-off in Gun Hazard, as well as the recent English translations of both Front Mission 2 and 5 respectively.
Front Mission 3 is a little different however in that it was the first in this long-running series that I had experienced. What a first impression it left me too: A Tom Clancy esque conspiracy, with many different characters and twists. Kazuki, the protagonist, is played straight-forward as the honest, hot-blooded, if brash, leader but his comrades, such as Yun or Denis, present a level of depth that is to be expected from an RPG. Front Mission 3 has a look clearly inspired by Mamoru Oshii’s anime output, there are shots in this release that appear as if they’re straight from Patlabor, to the point where Squaresoft have even tried matching Kenji Kawai’s sound to compliment it. What always impressed me most though was the fully functioning network system, which you could access at anypoint during the story. The network features a working email system, with websites to be visited, it was rich in universe lore and detail, all of which helped to build the necessary backstory behind the characters and factions represented in the campaign. As it turns out, Front Mission 3 was also first in the series to receive an English localisation. While Square did put out a further two sequels out in North America with Front Mission 4 and (sigh) Front Mission Evolved, this is the only entry into the main series that saw an EU release. Perhaps the revelation that Front Mission 3 is the most memorable to me isn’t all that surprising really.
So what is that has stopped me from getting it over and done with for all this time?
For years, the medal ranking, from Bronze to Platinum, has put me off Front Mission 3. My biggest pet peeve in computer games comes from how some decide to “grade” your overall play style: Ranking interrupts the flow of play, it hurts the way in which one might otherwise experience their interactive entertainment and ironically kills experimentation once you have a working formula. This is somewhat ironic too because I find especially that the turn-based structure of play gives a whole lot to chance based on the way you finish, there is no fixed right or wrong way to finish because fortune or misfortune ultimately dertmines how you end a mission. Many of the levels I play in Square’s RPG are concluded through lucky shots or abilities being inadvertently activated because I had been granted a decent dice throw and that has forever bothered me when playing this release.
I must acknowledge a few other matters before this video series is treated as a legit walkthrough:
– Due to the high number of parts featured, and the complexity of editing between them, there may be some continuity errors between videos in this playthrough. I have tried to avoid it as much as possible, but please, point out to me if any of the cuts between parts look a little wonky.
-Front Mission 3’s network system has a few side-quests and caveats you can explore, should you desire to. In this playthrough, they are largely ignored. What I miss out on is not critical to the story, nor consequential to the end-experience and should be treated as such. My mistakes here aren’t nearly as bad as what I missed out on during my run of Shadow Hearts put up prior.
– Skills, or lack of them. Who knows how it took me so long to discover their use or how to even discover them. Thankfully, there are only two or three parts where I genuinely grind my party to learn new skills, and this was a necessary measure in order to win those platinum medals. Again, better methods probably could have been employed but I honestly have never been able to find any concrete advise on the subject of obtaining new skills or the chances of activating them.
– I spend ALOT of time tweaking my Wanzers (mechs). Feel free to skip ahead of those sections when they come up.
For those who have stuck by me, and my video series, you have my gratitude. Do leave any comments you would like to make in the section below, or by personal message. Otherwise like, share, subscribe, whatever else you kids like to do these days!
A LEGAL NOTICE:
Any copyrighted footage I use is covered under fair use laws, or more specifically those listed under Section 30(1) of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1989 and under section 107 of US Copyright Act 1976. This video exists purely for the purpose of research and crticism. I do not make a profit from any uploaded content, nor do I intend to. Thank you for watching.
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