Space Griffon VF-9 is a mech-piloting First Person Shooting rpg-like survival horror game...?
In a very anime fashion you are a rookie mech pilot (think veritech from robotech/macross). Your squad consists of the sarcastic jokester, the female stoic teammate who is aloof and mysterious, and the aged and wise squad leader. Your squad is called up to determine why a research facility located on the face of Luna (that's our moon) has gone off the grid. No communications. No power, just a whole bunch of lifesigns. Your mech squad arrives and immediately splits up, searching the station for clues.The game runs similarly to mech assault or Chromehounds, but with an understandably simplified interface as it was a PS1 title. FPS and RPG elements are mixed in an interesting way. You are inside a giant mech that can transform into a shape fit for walking, driving, and a mixture of both. Movement feels stiff, and much more like it's vehicle based than on the fly FPS control. Your mech can evade with slides left or right, and looking allowed up and down. Combat is straight forward: survive and heal off item drops and weapon upgrades as opposed to a real experience based level system. you have hit points, energy points, but they are predominantly static over the course of the game. Combat is tense almost in the vein of "Aliens". When an enemy approaches, this is shown through an icon, along with the distance remaining between said target and you.
The environment is claustrophobic and maze-like, filled with lots of baddies. The game features an unusually large amount of plot for a game of this type, mostly consisting of conversations between your teammates, who are always in other parts of the station. The characters are deep, and relating to the degrading situation on the moonbase, heightens the experience throughout the game.
The only truly unfortunate aspect was designing so many fetch quests into the tale: i.e. get the circuit breaker and power coils from levels 17 and 14 to fix the elevator on level 6...that kind of thing. But all told Space Griffon was ahead of it's time as it dabbled in the FPS, RPG, Survival Horror, and Mech combat genres long before most of them had become recognizable to the mainstream.