Arm Slaves Made Easy
Played On: PlayStation 4 Slim
What I've Played:
- Game Time: 23 hours of play time.
- Completed the campaign twice.
Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins! is an isometric turn-based tactical game that runs on the Unity Engine. It plays almost like Front Mission or any other grid-based, turn-based game, such as Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea, only without the grid. The game treats you to some beautiful Mecha combat reminiscent of Super Robot Wars, but within the world established in the Full Metal Panic! series.
The story follows series protagonist Sergeant Sousuke Sagara of the paramilitary organization known as MITHRIL. His journey is told in the visual novel style, so you can expect to read a lot of dialogue in between missions. That's about as far as the visual novel influences go, however, since the story line is mostly linear. There are some minor choices to be made, but they have a minimal impact on the game.
Who Dares Wins! definitely feels like it was made for fans of the anime; and that's not necessarily saying that only fans will enjoy the game, but unfortunately, the game leaves newcomers to the Full Metal Panic! series out in the cold. I would have definitely wanted a small summary – if only to recap the events of an anime that was released fifteen-odd years ago – but sadly, it's up to players to familiarize themselves with the story and world beforehand.
When I started the game, it immediately felt like it was meant for a handheld, such as the PlayStation Vita. The story progresses via a series of chapters filled with Mecha combat. You'll want to pay attention to the story, and the combat isn't by any means hard to handle. Whereas some games might pride themselves on depth and complexity, in Who Dares Wins! it's outright easy to maneuver about the map.
That's not to say the game doesn't present any challenge; the main concept involves segregating your Mecha's health into individual parts, with each one having their own respective diminishing traits if they're destroyed - i.e. losing your legs will reduce how far you can move, while losing your head means you'll have a tougher time hitting with your shots.
I think the only major issue I had with the game was the difficulty spikes. You will find yourself grinding just to progress the story; this is necessary specifically for your comrades, since they don't get your main protagonist's powerful 'MacGuffin'. Each of your pilots will have their own specialty to make up for the fact that they're lacking in that protagonist privilege bestowed upon the chosen plucky anime boys.
Boy Meets Girl
Overall, the game is a decent companion game to the popular anime. It didn't have many new things to showcase, and that's fine. This was obviously a love letter to the fans of the series, and it was done well enough. However, I do believe that there were some missed opportunities and quality of life changes missing from the game, but nothing was so bad as to affect the game's playability, and my second run was definitely more enjoyable than the first.
While some problems may have dared to show up, Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins! is still a solid gift for anyone who loves the series. I grew up watching Full Metal Panic! and the nostalgia I felt made me fall in love with the game. Though it's not as deep as some of the other tactical Mecha games I know and love, Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins! is definitely a great addition to your anime-based game collection.
Satisfying, albeit easy turn-based tactical gameplay.
Competent use of anime franchise.
Lack of English dub translates to a lot of reading.
UI interface can be frustrating when managing multiple characters.
Combat scenarios can get repetitive
Fairly short game
[This review is based on a review code provided by Bandai Namco.]