By Steve Baltimore / July 11th, 2018
|Title||Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins|
|Developer||BB Studio Inc|
|Release Date||May 31st, 2018|
|Age Rating||N/A (Japanese version is rated CERO B)|
I recently got into the anime series Full Metal Panic!, and since I love a good mecha war story this was right up my alley. When I heard about the PlayStation 4 release of Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins, a strategy game based off the series, I had to check it out. Let’s see if this one scratches my itch for some mecha greatness.
The story here is basically one giant recap of the anime. The story follows Sousuke Sagara, a member of an anti-terrorist private military known as Mithril. He is ordered to protect Kaname Chidori, a high school girl, for reasons that are not made completely clear at the time. The biggest problem is Sousuke has lived his entire life as solider and interprets every situation as one where she is in danger. The two start to relate to each other as she realizes he is there to protect her, and their epic struggle is only just beginning.
While this game does provide a decent recap of the anime, and I really loved the alternate events you can earn with additional playthroughs of the game, the biggest problem is they jump around a lot at the beginning and leave out some important scenes. Some series are skimmed over while others are left out completely. If you’re a newcomer to this franchise I highly recommend checking out the anime before playing this. It will be far less confusing and you will get a whole lot more out of it.
Graphically this one is nothing to write home about. In fact “Basic” really describes this to tee. As you can see from the screenshots this one looks a lot like the Super Robot Wars series. The big difference is there aren’t very many flashy cut-ins while combat is taking place. Outside of the combat the game is very much a Visual Novel. I really thought some of the CGs for this section were top notch, so this kinda made up for the lackluster combat presentation.
The music is taken straight from the anime and really gets you in the mood for some combat. The visual novel sections have a wide variety of tunes that fit each scene really well. There are tragic and heartwarming moments in this one, that’s for sure. The voice cast from the anime return here to reprise their roles, and since I watched this one subbed I felt right at some. There is no English dub for this title.
The gameplay is very much like what you find in the Super Robot Wars series. The story is broken down into missions and you will unlock some side missions along the way to grind levels on. There are 26 story missions in total and most of the time you’re objective is just to defeat your opponents while keeping your group members alive. All members do not always have to survive, but most of the time a specific one does.
The combat plays out like any turn based strategy game. You will move your mech into position and attack your enemies with a variety of weapons. These weapons of course have different ranges and strengths. Some pilots will do better with certain weapons than others. This really depends on how they are leveled up and if the mech has been upgraded or not. Other factors will include the usual things like line of sight and terrain.
Battle flows here just like in Super Robot Wars. You will attack and the enemy will either counter attack or defend. You will be shown a percentage of your attack hitting the enemy and vice versa. One thing to note in this game is that instead of your mech having just one HP gauge you can damage each limb as well. Destroying an enemy’s head will reduce his accuracy, while taking out their arms will cripple their attacks. If you reduce the enemy unit’s body HP to 0 the unit will die. This makes the weapons you use very important because some will damage a specific part, while others will do some damage to every party of the enemy.
Each enemy you defeat will reward you with OP (operator points), and these points can be used to unlock skills on the Skills Tree. These skills will grant you better accuracy, evasion, the ability to use heavy weapons after moving and even boost your basic stats. The points you earn after each mission are shared between your four pilots, so don’t make the mistake I did and give Sagara everything and leave the others out while they are not around. I was really making the anime overpowered protagonist trope without trying. Clearing missions will also earn you some cold hard cash to upgrade your mech with. This doesn’t always help a lot since some maps give you a mech for that mission and you have to deal with what they give you.
The skills mentioned before will consume a bit of ASP when using them. You will have to manage this carefully as there are only a few items that can restore ASP in battle. You can equip up to three items to take into battle. These will have various effects such as restoring your mech, recovering ammo or boosting morale. You’re morale is important as it will raise your critical hit rate and it will have to be at certain level to use some of your special skills. Using these skills will turn the tide of battle as they do massive damage to an enemy.
The two major issues I ran into here were that the last 5 missions of this game have a huge difficulty spike. You will be grinding to get Mao and the rest of your crew that wasn’t around for most of the game up to snuff. You will need to be right around 45 to be able to easily polish off those missions. The other major issue is some of the skills just simply do not work. Iron Will is a shining example of this because it’s supposed to reduce damage for the entire turn, but it does nothing. This would’ve been great in the last few missions because these bosses hit hard.
I don’t think Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins is a bad game, but it certainly has some issues. I would’ve liked to have seen a more fleshed out recap, the graphics could’ve been better, and some of the skills not functioning properly is inexcusable. Still, underneath all of its faults there is a basic Super Robot Wars game here with a pretty sweet Full Metal Panic! theme. The game costs $61.99 at Play-Asia and takes about 10 hours to complete. You can get a little more mileage out of replays for the alternate scenes. If you’re a fan of the series I think you could really enjoy this title, but if you’re not a fan I would be hard pressed to recommend this as a starting point.
Game was provided by Play-Asia. If you would like a copy for yourself, please use our affiliate link below.
*Link used in the review was an affiliate link as well*
Bandai NamcoFull Metal Panic!mechaPlay Asia