August 28, 2012

[Game 025] Future Soldier Lios (NES - 1989)

Translation by Aeon Genesis

I hope I live to see the day where any and all disputes are resolved with 100-ton boxes of steel bristling with armaments that leave desolated wastelands wherever they may tread (regardless of the physical absurdity of such vehicles).  It's mecha time and Future Soldier Lios delivers the goods.  The story hastily mentions the evil and oppressive empire that serves as the standard antagonist needed before getting straight to Michael Bay-ing the shit out of the rest of the game.  It's foremost a strategy game but there are some RPG elements.  As any good mecha game should have, FSL allows for (somewhat limited) customization of all the giant robos.

Did I say giant?  Cause I meant

Our squadron consists of eight units, each of which can be customized at the beginning of each stage.  I might also add that the stage's map is thankfully viewed before customizing the mechs.  The commander of each unit rolls solo in an extra tough mech while the other units have three mechs of the same type apiece.  Chassis types include wing, foot, tire, tread, and float.  The chassis type determines base movement rate, terrain movement penalties, and weapon weight allowance.  I prefer mobility over raw power so half of the squad is designated as fliers right from the get-go.  They don't have many weapons to choose from but assault rifles should serve well for some hot strafing action.

Now THAT'S what I call a jetpack.

Walkers and wheelers carry the desirable heavier weapons, such as grenade launchers, ma(n)chine guns, and medium missiles (large missiles are too heavy for anything but sluggish treads and small missiles are teh sux).  New weapons are sometimes found after encounters but unfortunately only the selfish main character is allowed to equip them.  The underlings will just have to deal with their antiquated weapons.  To further add insult, after the prince of hoarding got his second weapon, he hasn't even bothered to try out any of the new weapons acquired after.  His advisors have tried to convince him to at least try out the plasma gun but the prince just shuts them down with some def rhymes.

♫ And I ain't with that, so I gotta get that ♪
big black gat, aim and I hit that. ♫

Really doe, it's because the gat is lightweight and allows the prince to keep his winged mech.  His performance since installing it has been exemplary.  He can often take out an entire unit with his first attack; something which is extremely rare for other weapons.  Oh, did I mention it's also long-ranged (allowing for choice sniping spots)?

You think mere wood can
stop da gat?  Bwa ha ha!

In combat, control of the non-commander units can be given over to the AI via a large menu of orders.  To me, this defeats the whole purpose of playing in the first place, so normally I would elect for manual control.  However, since the manual selection is not the default choice, sometimes I'd scroll too far and pick flee or fall back instead... which the AI would promptly ignore and attack anyway.  Curious, I tested out all the options a couple times to see what they did and, 95% of the time, the AI would just do its own thang (usually something stupid).

Wha?  No All Out Attack option?

As the campaign continues, huge tracts of land are liberated as well as some towns and castles.  The townsfolk never say anything useful and their attempt to flush out some sort of backstory is painfully sad.  However, I did meet a homie who's a gat man just like yours truly.

Welcome to the club, bro.  *fist bump*

A little over half of the territory has been reclaimed and there is no sign of slowing down.  The enemy AI is woefully inept and predictable, sending most of the forces ahead at maximum speed.  This has the effect of splitting up their forces into unit type, making it easy to gangbang all the fliers before the walkers arrive and so on.  Our forces pretty much just set up shop nearby our drop point in some choice terrains and wait for them to come skewer themselves.  Look out, evil empire of whatever, cause I'm gonna get in this mech thing and I'm gonna KICK... YOUR... ASS!