Armored Core Formula Front - Extreme Battle
|a game by||Agetec|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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The latest, and perhaps most adventurously original version of Armored Core to date, Formula Front is one of the PSP's hottest new titles. It has an impressive lineage, and appears to have new features that I can only be excited by. Yet, I find myself strangely disappointed, not able to find a great deal of value in this game. Could it be that I no longer like giant mechs? Or maybe I'm just disappointed with PSP titles. Unfortunately, none of these are the case, as I'll explain.
First, the most appealing aspect of this game is also its most hindering. Unlike previous AC titles, this time you can leave your hands in your pocket, and let an AI control your mech for the duration of all of your battles. The game features a new system that lets you control the basic behaviors of your AI, along with some perceptive abilities and preset AI actions, all of which combine to make your AC a frightening opponent. If you design your AI well, you can win, with the right mech. Problem is, this is definitely the preferred gameplay style, since it's actually very difficult to control your AC with the PSP controls.
Second, you need to build the right mech, otherwise your AI won't really mean a hill of beans. However, you get all of the parts up front, taking out any strategy behind buying new parts that should improve your performance. Plus, without a human behind the stick, you can't rely on your own superior fighting ability to make it through a match.
Graphically, this game is second to none I've tried for the PSP. Actually better looking than the PS1 versions of the AC games, I was really happy with how nice Formula Front looked. The audio was less impressive, what with just some reused sound effects and fairly banal background music.
Unfortunately, the real shame came in terms of the replayability of the game. There's no story mode that you need to go through, and for good reason. You'll work up through a ladder of ranked matches, defeating all of your opponents; occasionally dealing with rematches from surpasses rivals. Sadly, with a well tuned AI and mech, the matches are approximately 10 seconds long. I speak the truth when I say that I had seen all that this game had to offer in two hours. There's a wireless multiplayer mode, and presumably an online lobby, but I couldn't find a single game to join, so I'm not even certain that the game has online multiplayer.
That said, I did enjoy Formula Front, but mostly because I am a fan of the series. This is definitely a very weak fans only, as in the end, you'll play through this game once, and boom, you're done. There's a PS2 version of this game rumored, which supposedly will have connectability options, like some Gamecube titles, but as of right now, this isn't what I'd call a great purchase.