The MechWarrior wiki last edited by Mento on 04/24/14 08:16AM
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MechWarrior, also known as Battletech in Japan, is the first game in the series of the same name. Originally released on the PC, it eventually saw an enhanced Super Nintendo port that took advantage of the system's Mode 7 capabilities and provided an entirely new plot.
MechWarrior is based on the table-top wargaming franchise Battletech (which is where the Japanese Super Famicom port received its name) and acts as a true simulation of the experience of mech-on-mech combat rather than as an abstraction. The game focuses around managing a team of MechWarriors and outfitting a lance (group of 4) mechs to take into paid mercenary missions. Not only does the player have to manage the economic aspects of the fighting in order to earn enough money to cover repairs and purchase newer and better equipment, but they also have to pilot the lead mech into combat directly.
The highlight of the game is the mech design, allowing the player to customize a chassis to install various types of weapons (lasers, particl canon, auto-cannon, etc), to choose an appropriately sized engine, heat sinks, and the layout of the armor. During the design phase the critical factors where what the player could afford, the ammunition they could carry and the weight that each mech could support. Once out into the field, the player has to balance their use of ammunition with the amount of heat that would dissipate after firing the weapons, making for constant tension during fights.
The game is based on the older Battletech role-playing and tactical combat system by FASA, and tried to implement their rules as accurately as possible. The major advantage the player has is the ability to target their weapons with a reticle to a high level of accuracy while the AI fired their weapons in a random distribution (the one used in the miniatures game). This allowed the player to much more efficiently defeat foes and to increase the salvaged components they would receive at the end of each mission.
The series continued in this tradition for subsequent sequels, with the exception of MechWarrior 3 which was more arcade focused and featured a 3rd-person perspective.