Armored Core Review

Armored Core

Platform:  PSX
Format: Disc
Developer: From Software
Publisher: SCEA
Cost: Like $5

Alright, let’s talk about Mechs.

I enjoyed my time with Armored Core.  The vast majority of it is a well designed game.  There are flaws.  From Software has a pattern of needlessly complicating their brilliant worlds, and Armored Core is more convoluted than most.  If the email function was supposed to explain something to me… Well, I can’t even remember a single message.

The positives:  There’s still a lot to love about the game, things I wished were still implemented in games today.  The difficulty curve is about perfect.  When you die you feel it’s your fault.  It’ll cost you, but you can usually bypass levels you’ve failed (preventing the fatigue that sets in from playing a single level over and over).  Dig yourself into too deep of a hole, and the game lets you start over with your current mech and an “alteration”.  Very clever design.  The graphics are even charming in a blocky way (like when you set square shaped white robot bugs free).

The negatives:  So all is going great until the last level.  Then, because it’s a 32 bit game, they give you the obligatory jumping level.  And the jumping sucks, think Turok.  But this isn’t some random level, it’s the last level, and right before you fight the end boss.  Die against him, which you will, and you get to do it all over again.  You waste so much time your guilt starts thinking of productive things you should be doings. Those dishes could be washed…

It should be a four star game, but they choked at the end.  And the ending, what the hell was that?  Well let’s push on…

Rating: 3 stars
Memory:  Nine-Ball