Armored Core: Project Phantasma Review

Armored Core:  Project Phantasma

Platform:  PSX
Distribution: Disc
Company: From Software
Publisher: ASCII
Cost: AC1 + $5


Project Phantasma- gibberish title, that sounds even worse when you say it out-loud.  If you want to see the graphics for the game, just look at AC1, they’re the exact same.

Positives:  There’s a more complete story this time, with actual characters and dialogue.  The voice acting is still a joke, but it sets the stage for more interesting missions, like kidnapping VIPs.  It’s a testament to the mission design, that very few missions have the typical “destroy all enemies” objective.  There also is an arena, as they realized one of the best parts of the first game was squaring off against other Ravens.

Negatives: But the Arena also upsets the balance of the game by offering more access to cash early on, allowing a player to plow through early levels with a top-of-the-line AC.  It’s also a short game, much shorter than the first Armored Core.  And the story, while appreciated, is amateurish.  There is the feeling of a quick turnaround throughout the repackaging.  For example, AC1 had the occasional FMV, while Phantasma renders everything with in-game graphics.

The end result is a game that’s clearly a cash-in, but in many ways is better and more enjoyable than the original.  It’s a gradual step, but nearly everything is an improvement.

Rating:  3 stars
Memory: Your ally pilots a pink AC

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Owen is a writer based out of Denver and currently preparing his first novel PUSH PULL for publication. In the meantime, feel free to explore his meandering thoughts, movie and videogame op-eds and situational playlists. If you know him from another life, this is a chance for exposure to his creative endeavors.

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