The Full Metal Panic anime had everything – action, giant robots, comedy – you name it! With its popularity, we all knew a game was eventually going to get released and fast forward to 2018, we get a taste of it with a game whose title is quite a mouthful. Should you get it or not? Here’s our review of Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins for the PS4.

If you’ve never watched the 2002 anime or read the light novels it was based on, then by all means check out the series, it’ll be worth your time! Aaaaaanyways, the series follows Sagara Sousuke, a hardened veteran working for the military organization MITHRIL who is tasked to protect high school student Kaname Chidori, whom MITHRIL has deemed a “WHISPERED,” people who contain valuable advanced knowledge to create technology far more advanced than present tech. Though a seasoned veteran who’s seen countless battles, Sagara tackles his most dangerous mission of having to deal with Kaname’s fiery personality and acting like a normal high school student, something his military training will very likely not help him in.

If you’ve been following the series then the game’s story won’t be much of a problem to grasp, since it’s basically the latest anime season Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory in game form but instead of moving pictures though, the game’s story progresses through lots of standard text and dialogues. It’s rather dull and you’ll be bombarded with a lot of dialogue and at times it may feel like it is something that is very unnecessary. Not familiar with the anime? That’s fine as it does an okay job telling you the story as you proceed through the game. As a matter of fact, if you choose to play the tutorial you’ll be playing through a very condensed version of the first season to bring you up to speed on the plot. Presentation could have been better, but fans of the anime probably wouldn’t mind.

 

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“I’m not an amateur. I’m a specialist!”

Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins is a tactical RPG similar to the Super Robot Wars series. You advance the story through missions where in between you have options to level up your characters and Arm Slaves. I said similar though because unlike SRW, the battlefields are not on a chessboard like grid. Instead, you can move your Arm Slaves freely within a certain radius. While moving, you also have the standard actions like attacking and defending and you’ll be able to cycle through the various equipment you Arm Slave has to offer. When engaging an enemy mech, you’re treated to the usual chances to hit and what sets it apart from SRW is that you can target specific parts of a mecha like its head, body or legs, and reducing the HP to 0 can yield certain advantages in battle (e.g. reducing your enemy’s legs to 0 reduces their movement radius). While it offers something unique, personally it’s nothing new as we’ve already seen this in the Front Mission series of games with way better implementation.

Managing your skills, Arm Slaves, and inventory is all done in between missions where you can also save your progress. The number of weapons each of your Arm Slaves can bring will also depend on the weight of each weapon, so choose wisely as to what tools of destruction you want to bring to the field. It’s a nice touch and adds a bit of strategy to say the least.

Each of the characters from the anime that you can control have individual active skills you can level up when you obtain experience from battle. You have to be wise in managing which skills to level up because the whole squad shares these precious level up points.

 

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Looking pretty (normal)!

If you’re after cutting edge graphics fit for a PS4, look elsewhere. While the character art, battlefields and backgrounds are good, they just really don’t look as polished compared to other games on the system. The movements of the Arm Slaves during battle are fairly standard too so don’t expect flashy animated attacks like what you see in the Super Robot Wars series. As a far as graphics goes, it’s pretty much the standard fare.

If you’ve followed the anime series ever since, then in terms of voices the original cast are back here and you can hear them during missions and story dialogues so at least that part of the series is well represented. The standard screams and explosions are there too and gets the job done. On the other hand, the music is rather standard and not really memorable so if you’re also after a game for the soundtrack this may not be a good purchase for you.

 

Pros:

  • Story is faithful to the series
  • Original voice cast returns
  • An alternative to watching the anime

Cons:

  • Graphics look dull for a next generation title
  • Doesn’t offer anything new to distinguish itself from other tactical RPGs
  • Music is not really memorable

Final Verdict: 6/10

Full Metal Panic Fight! Who Dares Wins is *not* a bad game by any means, but the fact that this format has been a tried and tested genre with this game not introducing anything new is the disappointing part. It is a standard good game, but not exactly groundbreaking. With the game banking a lot on the fame of the anime, you’d be hard pressed to find a reason to get the game at full price. If you’re new to the series and want to see what all the fuss is about, might as well watch the original 2002 anime and decide from there whether you want to purchase this game or just wait for the latest season to end.

The game is out now for the Playstation 4 from Bandai Namco!

Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins was reviewed on the PS4 from a review code provided by the publisher.