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Canyon Crows touch down in Japan

  • Published at 17:23:59 PT
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The Nintendo DS strategy title Front Mission 1st is out in Japan. The game features an involved plotline, customizable mechs, strategic gameplay, Yoshitaka Amano character designs, and music by Yoko Shimomura, Noriko Matsueda, and Hidenori Iwasaki. Naturally, there are no plans for an English-language release.
Before English-speaking players were introduced to grid-based simulation RPG's with Final Fantasy Tactics, Japan had been experimenting with the genre for years. Front Mission plays much like the Zodiac Brave Story, but with lumbering mechs taking the place of Medieval summoners and chocobos. The strength of the game lies in its weighty plotline, Amano art, and compelling characterization. Somber broodiness in a decaying near future set the tone, as Roid Clive and his rag-tag cadre of Oceanic Community Union soldiers are pursued by mercenaries from the imperialistic United Sates of the New Continent and the corrupt Sakata Corporation.

The stages themselves can be exciting, especially once players have specialized their ranks into missilers, short-range artillery, and hand-to-hand kickboxers. The view switches between overhead map and battle scene: a convention that is sure to be vastly improved by the portable's dual screen view and stylus control. Gameplay allows players to take part competing in the coliseum, where Wanzers can be tested against the local talent. There are also characters to be recruited between stages from bars, shops, and bases across Huffman Island. Challenge them to combat in their custom mechs, and if they are impressed by your skills, they might just join your culturally diverse party.

Whoever had the idea of boning up Front Mission 4's composer Hidenori Iwasaki on the original game's tunes by Yoko Shimomura and Noriko Matsueda was really onto something. The update is the most successful wall-to-wall remix of an old school title to date. The handful of original tracks by Iwasaki are practically indistinguishable from the style of the originals, yet hold to the same high quality of composition. The soundtrack remains one of the most memorable multi-composer titles released from Square, and its multi-platform upgrade has only improved upon the merits of the original.

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The menus are already in English and everything. Lazy fucks.
Yeah, seriously.

First Scars of the War, and now this.
According to the recent update at Front Mission Project Blog, 1st DS is currently undergoing the translation process. As I expected, SE would've localized it anyways.. it only needs minimal changes apart from plot translation of both the OCU and USN sides. Cost and time-friendly. FM5 is an entirely different manner...
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