August 31, 2012

Future Soldier Lios - Ranking

Story & World

I'll throw down a couple of points just for attempting to include a story in a game focused on strategy.  Having actual NPCs to talk to helped as well, even though they never said anything remotely important or interesting (other than gat bro).  Not being forced to liberate every sector in the world was a nice touch (which I didn't take advantage of but still appreciate).  5/20

Character Development

Other than the prince, none of the units gain anything (other than armour upgrades) during the game but the high degree of mech customization offsets that.  It would have been nice if the better weapons could also be distributed to the troops after the prince was done with them but they still had ten different weapons to pick from.  4/20

Combat & Monsters

The battles are quick-paced due to small map sizes (most are two screens long while the rest are four screen squares); conflict usually begins during round two or three.  In addition to the failure of the AI to keep its forces together, it also had the annoying tendency to always try to skirt my defensive line and attempt to destroy the defenseless supply ship.  Any unit reaching it generally had already suffered losses (and therefore striking power) and with the supply ship almost always being out in the open, eliminating the enemy unit was mere child's play.  I was more ticked off that the AI wouldn't respect my defensive line, which would have to be broken in order to chase down the rogue enemy.

Weapon types that are strong versus certain unit types are not as pronounced as in previous strategy games such as Famicom Wars.  Anti-aircraft missiles can hit ground units just fine and grenade launchers will often hit airborne units.  By the end of the game, my entire fleet was comprised of fliers armed with assault rifles because they worked fairly well against any other unit.  Having superior mobility should come at a price.  6/20

Graphics & Sound

The mech close-ups were nice and showed any changes made in chassis type or weapons.  Each unit has a unique paint job; the prince opting for hot pink.  These did not translate over to the battlefield graphics, which used only about half the colours shown in the paint jobs for some reason.  The battle cut scenes are the high point.  The particular weapon type is shown being fired, exploding, and then doing damage (if any).  They don't get particularly dull either; I was always hoping to see if the prince could manage to take out all three mechs of a fresh unit in a single attack.  The music was just alright (i.e. very generic).  It just as easily could have been used in a shmup or platformer.  12/20

Gameplay

The dreadful AI takes all the challenge away throughout the whole game.  Just terrible move after terrible move.  For example, during its turn, it would often just neglect to attack a unit adjacent to it, even with plenty of ammo to spare.  The game could be fun if it would allow for another human or manchine to control the evil empire.  There is no resource system in place.  Enemy unit numbers and types are set at the beginning of each map while the player always has the same eight slots to configure.  All units start fully repaired and replenished; nothing carries over from the previous battle.  3/20

Final Ranking:  30/100