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|Mechs Games, Armored Core Series
Armored Core pushes mecli gomes to the limit wilt its beautifully staged levels and sharp graphics. Right from the start, players are thrown into a giant room where there appears to be no enemies...until you start getting blasted from places you can't see normally (mainly up). Controlling the movement of your mecli its viewing area and weapon systems simultaneously is not exactly easy, but can be used effectively with some practice. There are also targeting squares and lock-ons for the player to use at his/her disposal while trying to defeat the fast-moving and bounding enemies that are much more than merely fall-down foes.
- MANUFACTURER - SCEA
- THEME - Action/Adventure
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
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What's up with the fascination with mechs lately? It's no surprise really, considering we're talking about hulking robots with cool armor and huge weapons that can take out buildings in one shot-there are few things cooler.
The mission-based, Virtua On-style action game allows players to assemble a mech from scratch. By choosing various grades of body parts, players can take care of the enemy in no time flat. Of course, the process isn't as easy as it sounds for more than one reason.
First, players must accept contacts from corporations and then finish missions to increase their available moneys. At first, as one would think, the upgrades are fairly inexpensive. Once the missions start getting a little tricky though, and new weapons are necessary to beat them, things change. A new set of limbs or an enhanced cannon may have a price tag that's a bit much. Because in Armored Core, they don't take kindly to wimpy mechs, and they don't take American Express...or any other credit card for that matter-just cold, hard cash.
The missions take players on a variety of different runs. Everything from guarding aircraft to destroying organisms that have taken over a city await the gamer. Don't look for dinky level sizes either (although some scenarios have you on a smaller playing field than others). Some missions take you deep underground while players sit there wondering if the mission is actually going to end. To beat all these different missions, it will take lots of skill, and the ability to outmaneuver the enemy.
The control was an issue while playing the first mission, but like any game with complex control, a few missions remedy this and players become masters of their Armored Core. The type of Armored Core you have also affects control (i.e.. one with humanoid legs will be faster than one with metal crab-like legs).
Since it's similar to Virtua-On, you may be wondering if Armored Core has some of the things that are so necessary in a mech-on-mech action title (namely two-player split-screen action) and yes. Armored Core features that. There is the standard Split-screen Mode, but there's also a Link Cable Option (for those of you with two TVs. two PlayStations and two copies of Armored Core).
Armored Core also has a garage and shop for upgrading your mech and an "e-mail" system so you can get readouts from your various clients.
That's right! Not only does Armored Core feature cool mechs the game also allows players to keep cool with air-conditioning. Actually AC stands for Armored Core (in case you didn't already guess). The Armored Core in the game is the chest sections of the mech. the "core" of the robot where the guts lay. But that's not the only thing that makes up the whole robot. Players can buy and fix every part of the body from arms to tags and everything in between (including weapons of course) as long as they have enough green saved up from completing missions.
In Armored Core, giant robots go to war and push PlayStation mech-fighting to the max at the same time. Many features of this mission-based mech combat game are familiar, but one noteworthy factor could tie them all together into outstanding metal-blasting fun--speed! Unlike many mecn battle games, the fighting action in the preview version of Core moved fast and furious. The mechs react almost as quickly as the characters in a fighting game, banging out sharp dashes, fast side-to-side strafing, and short-range but speedy airborne jumps. The single-player mode dishes out 50 missions of WarHawk-style battles, while the two-player versus mode uses a vertically sliced, split-screen view for straight-ahead one-on-one combat. The mech design feature is also impressively extensive: Players can customize 12 basic 'bot designs by choosing from a dizzying assortment of heads, bodies, legs, arms, front and back weapons, engines, CPUs, body colorations, and more. You can even create a logo with a built-in drawing tool. Armored Core could finally provide the hardcore mech action that PlayStation fans have been missing.
Armored Core's metal-mashing mechancal mayhem blasts you into a far-flung future where mercenaries and their robot soldiers rule. The bot fighting is similar to Virtual On's, but Core has mission-based action/adventure as well as two-player splitscreen fighting.
The missions offer 45 shoot-n-shop hit jobs where you whack enemy mechs to earn cash for hardware upgrades. The challenges vary from the simple zapping of worker droids run amok to knockdown-dragout robot warfare as you battle through slick indoor and outdoor 3D environments. Between missions, robot mechanics will have a great time shopping through the detailed onscreen catalogs and fine-tuning their killing machines. The chinks in Core's gameplay armor are flighty controls and clunky action. The slow-turning robots and the sharp-shooting A.I. make it tough to avoid enemy shots, which reduces most battles to toe-to-toe heavy-metal slugfests.
Despite these drawbacks, if you're a hardcore robot fighting fan, you'll like Armored Core's balance of 'bot building and combat.
- Even if you have negative cash flow, you can still buy and sell weapons.
- In the early stages, keep the left amt equipped with a Laserblade. It's deadly during close-up combat.
- If you earn A.C. parts as payment, like the legs from Murakumo, compare their value at the shop before the next mission. You might want to just cash 'em in.
- The radar reveals enemies hiding behind structures, but you'll need a clear shot to hit 'em with homing missiles.
The animation works well during combat, and the homing missile effects are especially cool. The mechs feature a sharp, high-tech look, and you can customize them by designing your own logo, painting, and camouflaging.
The effects are the pi stars of the audio show with great blasts and clanking metal body parts. The fusion music tries hard but quickly gets repetitive.
The controls will tie up your fingers during intense inside combat, which can require you to press all four R and L buttons. It's especially tough to turn around and draw a bead on mobile bad guys attacking from close behind you.
There's something here for fast-fingered brawlers and robot mechanics alike. The mission-based mode and fighting mode both offer high-quality games.