Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Armored Core 4

Developer: From Software
Publisher: Sega
Release date: March 20, 2007
System: PS3 (reviewed), Xbox 360

In a nutshell: Mech-on-mech violence.

0:01 Quick, straightforward tutorial that seems to be set inside Tron.
0:02 Tutorial #2 asks me to jump without telling me how. I figure it out eventually.
0:03 "Firing weapons expends ammunition." Really? How intriguing. Tell me more.
0:05 The weapons are mapped to the face buttons, meaning no aiming and shooting at the same time. Thank god for auto-aim.
0:08 The enemies blend in well with the background in the tutorial, which is annoying. It's lots of fun turboing around, though.
0:10 The story so far, as I hear it: "Blah blah blah blah Gryphon blah"
0:11 I like the zoomed in, picture-in-picture view that shows if you're actually hitting a far off enemy.
0:13 The "boss" of mission one kind of jumps up and down and stands in place. Good training, but not very convincing as an enemy.
0:14 "You did brilliantly. Emil is ecstatic." That's great. Who's Emil?
0:16 I like gliding on the water in mission 2. Much more fun than lumbering on land.
0:17 I'm all for realistic graphics and all, but it's near impossible to see enemies until you're right on top of them. Everything kind of melds into a dark, gray blob.
0:20 You know what's fun? Getting knocked back and damaged by a huge cannon from a far-off enemy and then getting hit again and again before I can recover. Fun!
0:23 The lighting on the water is really beautiful, but it makes it impossible to see what's happening. I don't even know where my aiming reticle is half the time.
0:28 Most of the time my main attack is a single shot. Occasionally it changes into a barrage of missiles. I haven't the foggiest idea why.
0:30 After being walloped by these freakin' death cannons five times straight, I try another mission.
0:31 I don't understand a good half the word's in the mission intro. Not because I have a small vocabulary. Because they are made up.
0:40 With the enemy jumping around the field like a Mexican bean, I can't tell if I've targeted him or not. Other things I can't tell: How much damage he has left, what weapon I'm about to fire, why I'm still playing.
0:50 I somehow win this time by staying in close. Still can't tell what's going on most of the time.
I get a C ranking... OK.
0:54 I finally figure out how to avoid the death cannon by getting in close. Still die though.
0:57 If the long range cannons don't get me the short range guns do. I'm at my wits end.

Would I buy this game based on the demo? No
Why? Beautiful graphics, but a mess of an interface and overly-complicated controls.


Mr.Bubbles said...

From my experience with the Armored Core series, the game only gets fun after you've done alot of customization to your AC and get very comfortable with the odd control scheme. The first hour(s) can be rather painful, as you discovered.

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Anonymous said...

AC4 was an easy affair for me. I don't know why you had so much trouble with seeing enemies, knowing when you're locked, or even knowing what weapon you're firing. Even if the game doesn't tell you (I don't think it does now that I mull it over) you can catch on quick enough through trial and error. I still can't believe you couldn't tell if you were locked on.

I thought AC4 was a lot simpler than the previous games, too. I don't like the garage, though. It's a mess, though I imagine it works just fine in Japanese.

FUNNYMAN said...

AC for the PlayStation and PS2 were all dreadful games. I was never happy with any AC games.

B-Raz said...

As a fan of the original Armored Core from the playstation 1, I felt obligated to pick up the latest in the series for the 360. So I ran to blockbuster and rented Armored Core 4. I threw it into my 360 and booted the game, I played through the tutorials (not impressed at all, by graphics nor gameplay) but stayed optimistic, thinking...(scratch that) Knowing! it was going to get better! After a few hours of playing, I came to a sudden realization..."This game sucks!" The targeting system seemed flawed, even the basic controls like changing a weapon seemed hard to do (sometimes I found myself repeatedly pressing the button to switch weapons whilst having no effect what so ever). I suppose this is one of those games that you just need to say "Oh, well..." and be glad you didn't purchase it.