From Software made a surprise announcement that Armored Core: Formula Front, previously thought to be PSP-only title, would also be coming out for the PS2. Since the announcement, new details have come to light on both versions of the game.
First, some info on what the Formula Front part of the title brings to From's long-running mech combat series. Formula Front continues the Armored Core tradition of allowing players to equip various parts to a mech and take on other mechs in battle. To this, the game adds a new AI battle feature where customized mechs battle using artificial intelligence rather than direct player input. This time around, it seems that strategy will be more important than action.
Mech fans will like what Formula Front has on offer. The game's Garage Screen lets players set up their mech using hundreds of parts and view the resulting performance changes through a chart that shows how strong the mech is in areas such as defense, attack strength and movement. Mech customization is, overall, done in a similar fashion to previous entries in the series. Players can customize multiple mechs and store them in their garage for quick access when heading out to battle.
The PSP and PS2 versions of Formula Front have the same name, which would suggest that they're the same game. From a visual standpoint, this seems to be the case. Screenshots reveal slightly different user interfaces, with the PSP version having a green-colored background compared to the PS2's blue. Text and small objects are a bit bigger on the PSP, likely in order to make viewing easier on the small screen. The actual battle interface is identical, though, except for the PSP's wide screen display. Although we've only seen small screenshots, mech detail between the two versions seems to be close; we'll have to see the full versions for ourselves to search for differences.
While gameplay will remain fundamentally the same between the two versions, From is planning some exclusive features for each. Details have yet to be revealed, but a company representative has gone on record stating that From would like to make use of the capabilities of both systems. No mention has been made of direct connectivity between the two titles, although this highly anticipated feature hasn't been denied either.
Development on both games is at 30% with a simultaneously Japanese release set for this Winter.