I have with me a copy of Front Mission 3. It will be my first FM game, but havn't been able to find any truly helpful reviews on the internet. What am I in for? What are your thoughts? Tips and strategies are welcome.
There are two story lines. Make sure you scour the internet in-game before and after every mission to get new parts and simulator missions. Talk to everyone in every location you can before/after every mission. Make sure you understand the AP system and the impact/penetration/fire weapons triangle as much as you can. You will have to grind for AP and abilities in the simulator a bit and each wanzer part has an ability that will trigger randomly. When it does, that character will learn it. That's the gist of what you need to know
Strategy gameplay pretty typical, though you can damage individual parts of the enemy, very rich world-building including a surreally detailed in-game internet, game has two primary paths but you won't know what set you on one or the other till you look it up.
If you're thinking about playing 3 before 1, don't. 1 lacks many of the game play elements from 3 (like ap) so it plays completely differently, and it can be hard to unlearn certain things.
FM3 is mostly stand-alone, but there are mentions of the events of FM1.
FM1, FM2 are related.
FM4 is mostly stand-alone, but it tells a few behind-the-scenes stuff from FM1 and 2.
FM5 brings them all together.