Armored Core 2
System: Playstation 2
Developer: From Software
Released: October 27, 2000 (PS2 Launch Title)
Capabilities: PS2 I-Link Cable Compatible, Memory Card Compatible
You know its funny how I managed to pick up a copy of this game. Me and my brother-in-law were at Premier Video, and were looking for a game to rent, and we saw Kengo, some 3-D fighting game that looked interesting, so we rented it, but unfortunately the game had soda stains all over the back of the cd and it wouldnt load, so we took it back for a refund, but the manager said due to policy we gotta replace it with a different game, and all the other PS2 games for rent looked really crappy, so we picked one to rent at random, and we got Armored Core 2, some 3-D mech warrior game. Now my brother, Shawn Haines, said this game is most likely gonna suck. Will it live up to our predictions? Lets get onto the review and find out.
According to this game, the year is 223, and the planet Earth is getting too populated so theyre sending 30-40% of its population over to Mars. Now during this time, for no reason whatsoever mentioned in the game, were at war with other mechs (called ravens in this game). Kill all the bad ravens and make new world peace.
Well, Ill give the game its due. The graphics are marvelous, indeed. Everything looks nicely polished off and textured with no jaggy graphics visible at all, which is really surprising considering the low amount of VRAM the PS2 has. The Mechs in this game all look superb, with high amounts of detail, and lots of variation. I couldnt believe the number of weapons, and robot parts their were in the game, and everything looks just prima! The games environments are also another thing to gaze at, especially the single player environments, which can be anything from a sinking boat, to an underground subway. And everything looks just so lifelike, it kind of makes you feel like youre in the game. The multi player arenas in the game, although small, arent all that shabby. The games menus have one of those futuristic looks to them; kind of remind me of the menus of Dead or Alive 2 for some weird reason. The only problem I have with the visuals is that the camera can kind of be a pain in the butt at times, whenever you press one of the shoulder buttons, it tilts the camera for your customization, which is really cool and all, but there has been lots of times where I pressed it by accident, and it really screws up in the middle of playing.
You got one of those sci-fi tunes for your background music. I really didnt like it all that much; it just didnt tend to mix in with the game play right. The sound effects are decent, like explosions and gunfire and stomps all sounding proper like they sound in the movies. The thing that I like the most about the audio here is the voice acting. I mean, the guys who they hired to do this sound like people who came right out of a movie. They make cheesy lines like, You fail, You Die actually sound threatening, of course if you dont prefer voice acting you can always disable it and go for captions instead.
Ok, this is where things start to get pretty bad. The controls are just unbearable. You can only move around with the control pad, and you fire beams and missiles with square, and change between them with triangle, now the X button makes your guy jumps, and the only thing the shoulder buttons do is change the camera and strafe. And you think you would move around in free 3-D with the control stick, right? Wrong, all that happens is when you push down on the two analog pads is that you see a world map, or yo get a jet boost to speed up your Raven temporarily. But they had to include customizable control at the very least? you ask, but unfortunately, the developers didnt include that in here either, so you gotta take hours adapting to this miserable default control style.
For game modes we have single player missions, where you battle other Ravens and meet certain objectives to past levels, although most of the objectives are just killing off other boss Ravens. We next got a shop where we can buy a whole bunch of extra robot parts like weapons, armor, and all that junk for your ravens. We next got the split screen vs. mode where you go against a friend in a battle. But this mode isnt all that fun as I thought it would be. You got to go through the long, boring process of customizing your Raven, which takes forever. And the fighting really isnt all that fun. You Mech gets 8000 hit points and you slowly wear and tear it down, and you move so slow in the arenas that it just gets plain out annoying. The last mode is linked vs. mode where you use two PS2's, two copies of Armored Core 2, two controllers, and one PS2 Link Cable, oh plus two televisions also, and you go against each other in vs. mode, but just with bigger screens, sounds cool and all, but I really dont think most people have the $1000-$1500 to afford it.
Well, the missions are kind of fun, but most of them are just beating up other boss Ravens with no main objective. The multi player was fun for a while, like an hour before me and Shawn got board to death with it. And I guess its kind of cool its one of those few games compatible with that link cable for bigger multi player screens, but I doubt most people can afford playing it like that.
+: Excellent Graphics, Superb Voice Acting, I-Link Cable Compatible
-: Missions are mostly the same, Vs. mode isnt fun, Really terrible controls
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 3.2
Replay Value: 1.7
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 5
Ok, so maybe fans of the series will eat this up. But I hated it from the start. If you are a fan of the mech games, I strongly suggest renting it first, and only recommend buying it if youre a fan of the Armored Core games. Otherwise, this game is just an average shooter, and there really isnt much here to keep you stuck to the game to warrant a purchase.