Square Enix' upcoming PlayStation port of the classic SNES mech strategy game was on display at Tokyo Game Show 2003. The graphics in the new game seem to be based on the original 16-bit version with some minor enhancements, though there don't seem to be any graphical changes that specifically take advantage of the PlayStation hardware. When you first start playing, the game asks you if you've ever played the original Front Mission. If you say no, the game will give you the option to play the traditional OCU scenario, or the new USN scenario. The USN scenario begins as its main character Kevin leads his team members Sanders and Matthew on a night mission to a base secured by automated Wanzer mechs. According to Square Enix's press, the USN story answers untold mysteries from the original game.
In terms of the battle system, Front Mission 1st seems to use the same system that was used in the original game. However, we did notice a major difference between the new game and its SNES version: When you encounter an enemy, you have to sit through a load time of about four seconds to go into battle, and another four seconds once a battle is finished. Fortunately, the Playstation port has a simplified battle option that lets the Wanzers fight on the field without switching screens during battles. Front Mission 1st is scheduled for release on October 23, at the price of 3,800 Yen in Japan.
In related news, Square Enix announced during the show that it will release Front Mission History for the PlayStation in Japan, which will be a compilation of Front Mission 1st, Front Mission 2, and Front Mission 3. The compilation will include the same PlayStation version of Front Mission 1st detailed above, including the additional USN scenario. The compilation's version of Front Mission 2 will also be a PlayStation port of the SNES release from 1997, and it too will include a simplified battle option. It does not seem that Front Mission 3 will have any changes from its original release. Front Mission History will be available at a limited release of 20,000 units, and will come with three bonus Wanzer figures in its box set. The compilation is scheduled for release in December, but no price has been announced as of yet.
While no additional information on Front Mission 4 was available during the Show, the game has been confirmed for release this December in Japan.