From Software



Armored Core 2 Review

By: John Doe

I expected a lot from Armored Core 2, and it let me down. Aside from being a better looking version then it's PSX brethren, there's nothing here to usher in a new generation. It's great to have a plethora of titles at launch time, but now we are playing the repercussions of that pressure. Give me a solid two titles like Mario 64 and Pilot Wings like the N64 had; games that redefined gameplay. Titles like Armored Core 2 do nothing to elevate the bar of next generation gameplay, it only exists to say, "Look how much better I look on this machine? Aren't you glad you bought a PS2, now that I look so pretty?" No, I'm not glad. I'm actually more than getting a little PO'd at the mediocre titles that the PS2 launched with. The quality of the DC launch titles was miles ahead of what I've been playing on this thing. In fact, I've almost having more fun playing enhanced versions of old PSX games and watching DVD's than I am playing some of these new titles. And that's gotta tell you something right there folks. Hype is hype.


First off, From Software, you are working with a powerful machine like the PS2 and have been given what many consider to be the ultimate controller to design for; the Dual Shock 2. Tell me then why there isn't even analog control present in this game? That's ludicrous. I'm stupified. I can't imagine how ingenious the control could have been with an analog control scheme. As it is, the turning radius is to slow with the digital pad, making firefights a little too hard to retreat from.

If you've ever played an Armored Core game, you know that the big draw is the customization of the Mechs. In that case, AC2 doesn't fail. There is a ton of available options that will have you mixing and matching for weeks, like a harried fashion designer. The problem is however, is that on some missions, if you don't customize your mech to suit the event, you'll never be able to finish the level. Talk about frustrating. As a mercenary mech, you'll get paid pending completion of your mission, which you can then use to customize your Iron Man outfit, which will hopefully enable you to make more money doing harder missions. The concept is cool. But it was cool almost 4 years ago.

Graphically the game looks good, but as in the past, the sort of ugly textures rear their ugly head. The game suffers from the "jaggies" here and there and just isn't as polished as I would have thought. It basically looks identical to when I played it at E3 and surely they could have spruced up the visuals since then. But alas, no.

I'm not saying this game is bad. It isn't. It's just not quite what I had expected, whether that's in part due to the hype surrounding the PS2 in general or whatever. I guess when I see Sony quoting George Lucas saying that the PS2 is more powerful than the equipment he used to generate the effects in Phantom Menace, and that the US was going to classify the PS2 as a super computer, my expectations tend to run a little high. Can you blame me? At this point, the PS2 is doing exactly what the N64 did; reliving old glory days and slopping some paint on old ideas and hoping that people go, "It's exactly like playing the PSX, only better looking and way more expensive." We all know what that ideology did for the Big N. Sony and the third parties better get their head's out of their butts, and quick. We payed for the ultimate gaming machine, so where the #$%@ is it?






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