From Software



Armored Core: Master Of Arena Review

By: Dave Mitchell

Since the Mechwarrior series was created, quite a few game companies started to use these giant robots in games. And why not? Its quite a rush piloting these huge mechs around, annihilating everything that dares get in your way. But how does this game stack up?


For starters, the graphics look very nice. They look quite realistic, and the levels, vehicles, and backgrounds all look great. I was especially impressed by the explosions; they are extremely bright and capture your attention, and make destroying the enemies a pleasure. Overall, the graphics have a very dark, serious quality that suits the game perfectly.

The music in the game is almost all industrial, which is an ideal fit for this type of game. The songs are very well done, and can really put you into the game. The sound effects live up to the same high standards set by the music, with excellent sounds of weapons firing, explosions, and other sounds of mass destruction. The voices are cool too, and definitely aren't overused like in some games.

The control in this game uses almost all the buttons on the joypad, which may sound like it would take a while to learn, but in reality you can get used to the control very quickly. There's really nothing to complain about in terms of control, except the lack of analogue stick support. I would have liked to use the analog control, because I thought it would be ideal for this type of game, but it was strangely absent. But overall the control is excellent.

In terms of the gameplay, first of all I have to admit that I am a huge mech fan, and from the day I saw Mechwarrior on the computer I loved the idea of gigantic robots causing mass carnage. In Armored Core: Master of Arena, the main game involves you going to various levels to complete objectives, and upon successful completion of a level, you get a certain amount of money for purchasing mech parts, new mechs, and other items. The ability to completely customise nearly every part of your mech is a great feature. You can also enter a battle arena against a single mech controlled by the computer to compete for more cash. A definite plus is there is a great variety of cool weapons you can use, moves your mech can perform, and so many options available, which definitely adds variety to the game.

Overall, the game offers a great deal of challenge. It can sustain your attention for a while, because of the great variety of modes for one and two players. But one extremely annoying part of the one player mode is that its extremely easy to get lost in levels because almost every corridor looks the same, so you can go the wrong way for a long time, and get lost, and not find your way for a while. This is probably my biggest gripe with the game, because the fact that you can get lost so easily in the corridors gets annoying after a while. But this aside, playing the one player mode will keep you entertained for a long time.

The two player mode is a lot of fun too. I mean who can resist blowing your friends to pieces with ultra-powerful robots? There are a large amount of options for two player combat, which adds a lot of variety. And there isn't very much slowdown and the graphics don't get all blurry when you add a second player, which is definitely a plus. Having a great multiplayer mode definitely adds to the replay value of a game (I mean, GoldenEye is still played in my house!), and this game definitely has it.

Overall, other than a few minor gripes, this is an excellent title, loaded with challenge, fun, and replay value. It is great for both one and two players, and will probably keep you busy for a while. I would say its definitely worth a rental, and should be seriously considered for a purchase.






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