Front Mission Evolved
“Front Mission Evolved” is exactly the kind of game you would expect when a tactical role-playing franchise gets turned into a third-person, mech shooter and its developer is the studio that most recently made “G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra.” In other words, it wasn’t very good. At best an “Armored Core” knockoff with a ridiculous storyline, “Front Mission Evolved” simply wasn’t that much fun to play. Building your own mech and outfitting it with weapons has its appeal, but the repetitive and unpolished nature of Square Enix’s mech shooter severely lessened its appeal. Even the prospect of going online and killing your buddies with a humongous, machine-gun wielding robot wasn’t enough to warrant investing the time and money in “Front Mission Evolved.”
The reason why it was such a disappointment, though, was because “Front Mission Evolved” bears the name of a truly awesome RPG series that Square Enix has been neglecting for years. Fans have been yearning for a dose of turn-based, mech-killing fun on current gen consoles, and the fact that Square Enix wasted the time making a generic, robot-shooter instead of a true installment in the franchise is as baffling as it is frustrating.
Don’t get me wrong --”Mafia II” is a fun game. With its gripping storyline full of betrayal and murder and its action-packed gunfights, “Mafia II” was an enjoyable experience. However, as fun as “Mafia II” was, it was far from perfect. The missions were far too linear, the gameplay was riddled with inconsistencies and flaws that caused irritation, the game was far too short and the ending was shockingly abrupt. While this might be acceptable for any other “Grand Theft Auto” clone, “Mafia II” fails to live up to the prestigious reputation of its predecessor, “Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven.”
The original “Mafia” was more than just a “Grand Theft Auto” clone. It defined itself as a PC classic with its adherence to mobster flicks and early Americana. The fact that the gameplay took the best of “Grand Theft Auto” while still making the art of driving, shooting and killing feel fresh and unique certainly didn’t hurt anything either. “The Godfather” tried to replicate what made “Mafia” such a humongous success, but even with the film’s licensing it failed. Unfortunately, “Mafia II” doesn’t fare much better. It’s a good game, but when you’re the successor to one of the best PC games ever made, good just doesn’t cut it.
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