What is Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins?

Full Metal Panic. It's a series that is very special to me, and one that has been gone for quite some time. Although I personally didn't watch the anime adaptation when it first aired, the English release quickly became one of my favorite shows of all time, and it's actually the source of quite a few secret references here on this blog. But why am I talking about it now of all times? Well, that's simple. Because Full Metal Panic is finally getting a full video game, and it's coming out in English next month! Yep, that's right! It's a dream come true for many long time FMP fans, but that's not the only fanbase that might find this game interesting. In fact, it might just the game fans of the Front Mission series have been waiting for.

Before I get into the game itself, let me explain exactly what Full Metal Panic is. Stylized as "Full Metal Panic!" the series was originally a Japanese light novel released in the late 90s. It followed the story of a young man named Sousuke, as he is tasked with going undercover at a Japanese high school to protect a young girl named Kaname. Needless to say the story does have the whole "boy meets girl" thing going for it, but with a twist. You see, while Kaname is a "normal high school girl," Sousuke is anything but. In fact he's a soldier through and through, and he has no idea how to live a normal life. Sneaking guns into schools (DON'T DO THIS), blowing up lockers, tackling teachers, jumping out of trains, shooting arcade machines, and so on. The guy only knows how to be a soldier, and that makes for a lot of shockingly funny moments. In fact when the series was eventually adapted into an anime, a second season titled "Fumoffu" was released to focus completely on these aspects. Of course, this isn't all Full Metal Panic is about. Putting aside the stupid things soldier boy does, there is no denying he is in fact a soldier.

Along with the comedy, Full Metal Panic is technically a war drama of sorts. A strange group is out to get Kaname, and Sousuke, along with the group he works for, must do everything in their power to protect her. The story has it's serious moments, and giant mechs become the character's weapon of choice. While other series with robots just accept the fact that they exist, Full Metal Panic makes it apparent that such things aren't normal, and are like something out of science fiction. It's a technology no one fully understands, and it's becoming more and more common at a surprising rate. This is where the game and new anime comes in.

Originally the FMP anime only covered roughly the first five novels, now the series is now back and things are starting with a bang. At this point in the story the "intro" is over, and a full on war is about to erupt. Gone are the care free days of high school, and now only battle awaits. Taking a page out of this story, "Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins," allows fans to jump into the action themselves, and experience the war from of a turn based strategy game.

Taking a page out of the Super Robot Wars series (which FMP has been featured in), and mixing it with systems seen in games like Front Mission, Fight! Who Dares Wins is a full on tactical RPG. You pick your characters and mechs, send them out into battle, load them up with different types of weapons, and then do everything in your power to win. Battles are turn based, and they rely more on strategy than pure skill. Different weapons are effective against different types of targets, and each target you face has multiple parts that can be attacked and damaged. Of course this goes for you as well, so it's important to think your plans through, and keep your own units in top shape. Characters also have a skill tree to level through, which allows you to unlock new skills and abilities as the game progresses. While this setup isn't anything new to the genre, it helps make each unit unique, and allows players to develop their characters in their own way. This also means the game will most likely have quite a bit of replay value, as there is no real clear cut way on how you should play and progress through it's story.

Although FMP's game is stand alone, it comes after a long line of other similar games created by the same company. As I mentioned above, the game resembles Super Robot Wars greatly, and even has similar cut in attack animations during battle. The main difference here is that rather than using a grid system FMP allows you to freely move your characters around the map within a set range, and the characters and story are all set within one universe. While that might sound strange to say, you have to realize the type of games this team develops. Even their original games such as SRWOG Endless Frontier crosses over with Namco x Capcom and Xenosaga, which eventually leads into the Project X Zone series. Putting that aside though, the company is known for putting out massive strategy games packed full of content, and FMP is sure to be the same.

So what is Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dares Wins? A tactical role playing game that fans of robots, and fans of the series really shouldn't miss out on. If the game even sounds a bit interesting to you, I'd recommend checking out the trailer above, and watching the anime if you still haven't. You won't regret it.

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