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Author Topic: Field Commander Impressions  (Read 2374 times)
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Scott
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« on: May 23, 2006, 01:08:04 AM »

Picked this up today on my trip, and played the tutorial a bit.  So far, its a bland Advance Wars wanna be.  I'm not terribly impressed with the graphics, but they may get better.  I'd prefer more detailed 2d units then 3d for the sake of 3d, but we'll see.  Units seem kind of tough to tell apart, but that may come with familiarity.  I'm early in the game, and if its as fun as Advance Wars, I'm in.  

Where Field Commander could completely rock and own Advance Wars though is the online options, both infrastructure and even a built in play by email mode.  This could be great, and make the game worth it by itself potentially.

If anyone else grabs the game over the next few days, we should try and hook up and play.
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006, 01:09:28 AM »

I'll have my copy tomorrow.  I definately want to try out PBEM and online play.
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2006, 02:55:29 AM »

Whoa whoa whoa...

Play by email?! How's that work?
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Scott
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2006, 03:10:40 AM »

Played some more.  Field Commander does seem to be a bland, but functional clone of Advance Wars.  Online could make or break it.  

My biggest pet peeve, is for the first time, I've had a handheld game hang on  me.  It froze the PSP and eventually rebooted, which sucks.  

Quote
I'll have my copy tomorrow. I definately want to try out PBEM and online play.

We'll have to try it out.

Quote
Play by email?! How's that work?

I believe you create an account on their servers, and the game functions very similar to PBEM.  You log in, make your moves, submit it, and wait.  How smooth it is, I have no idea yet.  It could really move Field Commander from an okay strategy game to a great one though.
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2006, 05:01:44 AM »

Thanks for the impressions, Scott.  Make sure to report on how your online sessions go, guys, because that'll be what gives my purchase of the game the green light.

(Well, I'm not sure I'll be able to hold out anyway, but yeah  Cool )
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Canuck
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2006, 10:18:46 AM »

Wow it actually does have PBEM games!  That's amazing.  I may have to pick this one up if I see it in Japan.  I want to like Advance Wars but the kiddieness of the characters and the not so great graphics really get to me.
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Canuck
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 10:23:52 AM »

Quote from: "Scott"

My biggest pet peeve, is for the first time, I've had a handheld game hang on  me.  It froze the PSP and eventually rebooted, which sucks.  



Maybe this will shine a little light on your situation-found this over at Gamefaqs:

Quote
I am thoroughly enjoying Field Commander.  However, I have found a bug that can ruin your game if you arn't carefull.  I had been playing a campaign mission for over an hour and had to quit and restart becasue of this.

If all of your units have moved and then you activate the Nitro Boost division power, the game cannot proceed.  It will wait for you to assign the power to a unit, but you cannot do this since all your units have moved.  You cannot even bring up the start menu.  You are left with no choice but to press home and quit the game, and restart it.  I do not knwo if this holds true for the other division powers or not, but be careful and save you progress regularly during the mission.  See that this does not happen to you.
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Scott
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2006, 02:13:41 PM »

Thanks Canuck, that may be what happened.  All my moves were completed for my turn when the freeze happened.

Played some more last night.  Its perfectly functional so far.  It is harder to see what's going on then Advance Wars.  I liked the easy icons/units of Advance Wars, and the bright playing field.  Field Commander's graphics are pretty good though in fairness.  I can't really complain about it.

Load times seem decent as well.  I didn't notice any load during the missions so far, and loading into the missions was quick enough.  

My biggest worry right now will be the AI, and how good it is.  EGM said the AI wasn't nearly as good as Advance Wars, and early on, the AI seemed reluctant to attack me.  It may just be the first few missions of the campaign though.

I'm optimistic.  I've really wanted a good strategy game on the PSP, and couldn't get into Metal Gear Solid 2.  

[/quote]
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Scott
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2006, 02:57:32 PM »

A couple of minor annoyances that I forgot to mention:

- when choosing a unit to move, it doesn't seem to show you by default how far the unit can go, or attack, like in Advance Wars.  You have to hit a button to see the range you can move/attack, then hit the button again to see just the move radius.   You see a little yellow overlay of your range this way, but I'd really like to see it by default, immediately.

- after moving, you then have to commit the order, but choosing an action such as fire, or wait.  the default action is to cancel the move, which means its an extra controller move to select from a menu.  while its perfectly easy to do, its just not as slick as Advance Wars

- there doesn't seem to be nearly as many units as Advance Wars 2, or the DS followup

- when capturing a city, its hard to tell the progress.  it was very clear in Advance Wars how much further you had to go to capture the city, and you saw the jumping effect each turn.  in this, you just see a little red flag come on over the city.  again, its not so much a problem as an annoyance compared to a better mechanic
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2006, 04:57:33 AM »

Any more impressions?  Specifically, multiplayer?  Nearly grabbed it today, but had to make sure the MP wasn't broken or majorly borked or anything...
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2006, 06:48:56 AM »

Here's a review by Bill Trotter.  If I trust anybody to review wargames, it's Bill

http://www.wargamer.com/e3_2006/previews/field_commander/
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2006, 07:44:55 AM »

^ wow
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Scott
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2006, 01:36:05 PM »

Quote
Here's a review by Bill Trotter. If I trust anybody to review wargames, it's Bill

That's more of a preview, and it doesn't look like he's played Advance Wars, otherwise I'd expect him to have mentioned it.

I played more of the campaign last night.  I'd say the game feels like Advance Wars 1.5.  Field Commanders biggest problem, is that its main rival in this genre, Advance Wars, is just so good.  I can't but help thinking when playing that Advance Wars does various things better.   I miss some of the extra units (like the heavy tanks) from Advance Wars, and the personality of Advance Wars.  Field Commanders units are kind of dull, as well as the characters in the game.

Still, Field Commander is fun.  Its well done, and pretty slick.  I'm looking forward to playing multiplayer, as all the stealth tricks, and various unit tactics will really come into their own.  As soon as someone else here picks it up, or Devil opens and wants to give it a try, I'm up for a game.  I think this could be great online.

My biggest gripe at the moment is that the AI isn't very good, and its slow.  Maybe its early in the campaign, but the AI seems to make some odd choices at times.    Unit design is also pretty uninspired.  Hopefully later missions will pick up.  

Field Commander also plays slower then Advance Wars.  The AI takes more time, and things move slightly slower.
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2006, 07:14:35 PM »

You know, I like this game.  I would like it more if I had never seen Advance Wars before. slywink  But it seems to me (that Scott's impressions are pretty spot on) that it is a good solid strategy game with a few flaws to it.  I'm four missions into the campaign, and looking forward to unlocking more units. smile
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Scott
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2006, 07:36:59 PM »

I'm going to setup my PSP for wireless again at home tonight, and try creating an online account for Field Commander tonight.  Devil and I are going to try and hookup over the next day and setup a PBEM type game.  Are you up for giving it a shot too Dreamshadow?  If so, I'll let you know when I get an account setup, or whatever is necessary.

I probably come off to negative about this game then I am.  I haven't listed many of the good things it does, as I'm assuming most of us are familiar with Advance Wars.  A lot of the things that make Advance Wars so much fun and addictive are present in Field Commander as well.
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2006, 07:42:17 PM »

I grabbed it...I'll probably be ready for some multiplayer by the weekend biggrin
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2006, 07:46:05 PM »

Well, I guess I'll break down and pick up a copy this afternoon as well.  Anybody up for an email based game later?
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Dreamshadow
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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2006, 08:23:05 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"
I'm going to setup my PSP for wireless again at home tonight, and try creating an online account for Field Commander tonight.  Devil and I are going to try and hookup over the next day and setup a PBEM type game.  Are you up for giving it a shot too Dreamshadow?  If so, I'll let you know when I get an account setup, or whatever is necessary.

I probably come off to negative about this game then I am.  I haven't listed many of the good things it does, as I'm assuming most of us are familiar with Advance Wars.  A lot of the things that make Advance Wars so much fun and addictive are present in Field Commander as well.


I'm game..my online name is DREAMSHADOW
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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2006, 09:31:08 PM »

My only two complaints about Advance Wars DS were the goofy commander dialogue and the lack of online multiplayer. So Field Commander sounds very interesting to me. Thanks for the short review. I am heading out to pick it up no
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Scott
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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2006, 09:51:20 PM »

Quote
Well, I guess I'll break down and pick up a copy this afternoon as well. Anybody up for an email based game later?

I'm more then willing.  I'll setup an account tonight and post my name, and see if I can start something with Dreamshadow (and anyone else that has created an account).

Quote
My only two complaints about Advance Wars DS were the goofy commander dialogue and the lack of online multiplayer. So Field Commander sounds very interesting to me. Thanks for the short review. I am heading out to pick it up no

You should really like it then.  I think the goofy commanders were negatives in Advance Wars, but I liked the unit looks and animations of Advance Wars, and some of the gameplay differences.
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« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2006, 09:59:40 PM »

So what's the single player like?  Any sort of coherent storyline?  Cutscenes?
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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2006, 11:59:19 PM »

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So what's the single player like? Any sort of coherent storyline? Cutscenes?

There is a story, though its pretty basic, something about fighting a terrorist group, blah blah.

Created a profile online, but there doesn't appear to be anyway to specify who to create a tranmission game with, or any type of game.  Basically, you create a game, it goes to a game listing (that's pretty sparse), and first come first serve.  No notion of a friends list, password protected games, or anything else.

I'm pretty unimpressed.  I really don't want to get into games with random people I don't think.  That type of play hasn't been totally satisfying with other games.  Great modes, but horrible implementation?
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« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2006, 03:19:17 AM »

Really??  That's seriously disappointing-especially since it's the online part that would make this the killer game.  I was browsing Gamefaqs again (I'm sorry) and apparently you get the usual problems with people who are losing and just quit.  Surely they could have implemented something where you get the win if the other person quits on you.  Or a surrender option or something.

Perhaps Field Commander 2 (or maybe the next Advance Wars?) will come with fully fleshed out online play.
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Scott
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« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2006, 01:23:51 PM »

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I was browsing Gamefaqs again (I'm sorry) and apparently you get the usual problems with people who are losing and just quit.

Yeah, its why I have no interest in playing a game vs random people.  And if its very hard to hookup with someone you know, then FC loses a ton of appeal.  Field Commander is good, but its not Advance Wars.
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« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2006, 06:16:24 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"
Quote
I was browsing Gamefaqs again (I'm sorry) and apparently you get the usual problems with people who are losing and just quit.

Yeah, its why I have no interest in playing a game vs random people.  And if its very hard to hookup with someone you know, then FC loses a ton of appeal.  Field Commander is good, but its not Advance Wars.


Hmm.  Glad I still have it in shrink-wrap.  May return it to play Monster Hunter with my bro...
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« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2006, 02:15:25 AM »

Yeah if the multiplayer sucks I have no interest in this game.  I may swap it for Monster hunter as well provided I hear that it is easy to get online with a tunnel program.
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« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2006, 02:26:50 AM »

Has anyone had luck connecting via multiplayer to a friend, or password protecting a game?  If the option is there, I can't find it, nor does the manual mention it.
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« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2006, 12:12:55 PM »

Quote from: "denoginizer"
Yeah if the multiplayer sucks I have no interest in this game.  I may swap it for Monster hunter as well provided I hear that it is easy to get online with a tunnel program.


THe problem with the tunnel program, is you have to have a specific router or wifi adapter hooked to a PC to be able to use it.  It isn't like you can just up and use it with any old network setup at home.  I am still deciding whether I think it is worth the trouble to go buy one of the supported wifi cards to get this to work or not.
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« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2006, 06:22:19 PM »

Couple questions, as I'm seriously considering trading in a few games for this:

Has anyone successfully gotten into a PBEM game with a friend yet?  Is the multiplayer as clumsy as everyone was worried about?

Also, is there any 'hit chance' element like in most PC wargames, or is this strictly 'unit X always does Y damage to unit Z'?
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« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2006, 11:25:28 PM »

I have not found a way to play with a friend.  It seems like you just have to create a lobby match and hope your friend sees it and joins.  The multiplayer is great in concept but terrible in implementation.
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Scott
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« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2006, 03:16:11 AM »

Quote
Also, is there any 'hit chance' element like in most PC wargames, or is this strictly 'unit X always does Y damage to unit Z'?

Damage seems pretty fixed for the most part.  Its rock/paper/scissors with damage being done varying based on your unit strength.  A tank at 6 will always do the same it seems for the most part.

Multiplayer is a lost cause for me.  As denoginizer said, great idea, terrible execution.

I'm having fun with the game, and trying to get my $40 worth, but as soon as I tire of it, its off to eBay I think.
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« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2006, 04:44:24 AM »

Ack, still have it here sealed...just don't know if I should return it or open it up frown  Any more thoughts?
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« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2006, 12:14:15 PM »

I've played a lot more in the campaign now.  I want to finish the game, I think in large part to justify the purchase.  I'm having some fun with it though.  FC isn't a bad game per say, and does some things fairly well.  

That said, FC has the WORST AI of any turn based handheld game I've played in recent memory.  After playing games like Advance Wars and Fire Emblem, Field Commanders AI is just unexcusable.  There are moves the AI makes that aren't just questionable, they are so outright poor that I can't even be amused.  

Most of the "challenge" comes from missions with the deck stacked against the player.  Usually its mostly just an exercise of moving your troops through a region.  

FC is a good relaxation game so far, kind of mindless fun, like solitare.
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« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2006, 12:56:40 AM »

Have you tried downloading user created maps yet?  I will check out and see if i can find this game the next time I'm in Akihabara.  Online disconnects aren't such a big problem if you can find a relatively decent community to play with (say 3 or 4 of us GT'ers?)
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Scott
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« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2006, 02:34:11 AM »

Quote
Online disconnects aren't such a big problem if you can find a relatively decent community to play with (say 3 or 4 of us GT'ers?)

Without friends list, locked games, or other ways to guarentee your friends get into your created games, the online play is dicey at best.  

I haven't tried user maps.  I may look later.  I'm slowly burning out on it.  Field Commander 2 could be great if they enhance the multiplayer and AI.
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« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2006, 02:21:18 PM »

Well, for some bizarre reason I picked up this game in spite of all of the negativity surrounding it last night.  I liked Advance Wars DS, but the setting and annoying 8 year old Commanding Officers were a turn off  so I guess I was hoping this would be an enjoyable knockoff.

So far its okay I guess, but man does the network interface blow...
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« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2006, 07:03:11 PM »

Quote
Well, for some bizarre reason I picked up this game in spite of all of the negativity surrounding it last night.

The game is pretty good.  Its just probably a 7.5/10 or so.  Mostly the AI holds it down.
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