Frame Gride

released on Jul 15, 1999

From Software's attempt to create a fantasy-themed take on Armored Core. The first game of it's type to feature online multiplayer for a console, years before Armored Core would include it.

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The concept of the game is great, and with the limitations of the dreamcast, plays servicebly well. However it is pretty short in terms of gameplay.
It has a fun VS mode where you can play with a buddy, but in this scenario I would probably rather want to play a later Armored Core game that has a bit more meat to its bone.

I'm slowly going through all the from software translated games and here we are, with the first non PS1 game, hurray.

I checked a bit online about this one and found a translation and the fact that it's a bit (a lot) like virtual on, so I played the first 2 virtual on games (great games) and then I played this one, which I must say it's a pretty great way to expand the formula to a single player campaign among other things, the gameplay is simple but it's building virtual on in the direction of Armored Core, you build you mech, you choose the parts and then you do the mission, but this game introduces a crafting element that works decently well in the gameplay loop and actually makes you wanna play better for its sake.

The game is short, really short, but virtual on has always been short so this isn't a surprise, it flows well and the difficulty ramps up decently, the IA is not the best but it's decent enough and the gameplay is solid, and I think it moves forward this style in a great way.

Not the best from software game but a solid entry in their catalogue.

Cool concept for an arena battler: mecha knights who can cast magic and summon helpers to fight alongside them. Very much held back by how clunky the controls feel and how the single-player campaign is so short since we no longer have the blessing of laggy Dreamcast netplay on dial-up. I'd be absolutely down if FromSoft tried this concept again, though.

Before releasing their PSX swansong Echo Night 2, From released this interesting little gem on the ill-fated Dreamcast. It follows the 'spiritual series' rule that King's Field did with Shadow Tower, and the Souls games would do in the future, in that Frame Gride is clearly derivative of Armored Core.

What we have here is Armored Core adapted into an arena fighting game in a medieval fantasy setting. The aesthetic is compelling, but unfortunately the game isn't as fleshed out as it should be. Opening and closing narration is pretty much all the story there is.

The single-player consists of a ten mandatory fights, with plenty of optional fights for grinding resources. The resource requirements for attaining new equipment are too stringent for the brief runtime, giving less room for experimentation than it should have; I started as a medium mech and ended the same, as the resource cost for switching to light or heavy never seemed worth the risk.

So there's not much here, but what's here is mostly enjoyable. A fighting game built around mech customisation rather than set characters is unique, and though the gameplay has its own problems there's a satisfaction to its methodological approach, with heavy energy management and plenty of options for zoning and arena control.

A cool little game that could have been great with more fleshing out. This world/aesthetic is something From should revisit if they ever want to truly go down that "Armored Souls" route many speculated Armored Core VI would, it would be a perfect fit.

from software really just came up with a cool ass setting and then made a half-assed 1 hour long shitty game around it

this is basically armored core stripped of anything that makes armored core fun to play, then to top it all off there are only 10 fights and that's it. the final boss looks cool and has a cool arena but the actual fight is a goddamn slog. i do like the squire gameplay mechanic tho.

man, now i want frame gride's setting and shit but as a good game

Hidden Gem do dreamcast e ate mesmo da propria line da From Software, com uma gameplay interessante e mecanicas inteligentes (mal explicadas) ele encanta muito com seu setting e vibe sendo um Fighting game de mechas medieval! Defeito é ser curto