Front Mission 1st
Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Strategy RPG
In Japan, Square-Enix draws a crowd like Master Chief or Grand Theft Auto does in the US. So it is only fitting that Square's 2006 Tokyo Game Show booth was incredibly crowded. One platform Square is trying to support is the Nintendo DS. Looking at their TGS booth, many, many DS Lite units were present with a playable demo of Front Mission 1st.
Originally released on the Super Famicom, the franchise moved to the PSone and then to the PlayStation 2. Now the Strategic game is headed to Nintendo's immensely popular handheld gaming platform.
In Front Mission 1st, players control mechs from the USN (United States of New Continent) or the OCU (Oceana Community Union) from an isometric perspective. The level shown at TGS 06 had the player assist a group being attacked from six enemy units.
Players can go through text boxes and control the entire game by using the stylus. This definitely improves the Strategy Role Playing Game experience. This allows players to tap their units to move them and issue other commands like: attack, use item, end turn, etc.
While we will probably see Square-Enix or Nintendo bring this game to North America, Front Mission 1st is fairly friendly to those of you who might want to import. That said, unless you can read Japanese, importers will be missing out on the story. But since the in-game commands are all in English--this may be something you can overlook.
The use of the dual screens isn't entirely necessary for this game but adds a few elements to the franchise. After selecting your unit, you will see a close-up of it on the top screen. This is also true when the units are engaging in a battle.
Front Mission 1st hits the Japanese DS market this holiday season. Come on and give us a North American release date Square-Enix or Nintendo. This is definitely something we demand to have in the US.