I have a funny history of sorts with the Armored Core series. Even though I love the daylights out of the games now, I actually didn’t care for it too much at first. I was kind of going through a phase where I was more into the Super Robot sub genre (like say, Voltron and Gaogaigar), and while I liked the tabletop version of Battletech, the Mechwarrior games felt too clunky and restrictive for my tastes. Basically, I went in hoping for something more “anime” and threw together something that looked “cool” but was horribly overweight and couldn’t do anything without depleting its energy meter and get shot to pieces. Years later, I found myself jonesing for more robot combat and gave Armored Core 4 a shot, but still wasn’t impressed, in this case it was more a fault of mission design than skewed expectations.Continue reading Let’s Talk About Mechs, Baby
At least I hope so anyway… cough, cough.
I warn people sometimes about the dangers of getting me started on Armored Core. Possibly the hardest thing for me to not ramble on forever about is when someone actually gets interested in what I’m talking about and asks what game is the best to begin with- I mean in all honesty, most games I love to death are kind of niche, and I don’t want to turn someone off to the series on the whole by suggesting wrong. So that usually segues into a lengthy diatribe about which installment does what best, since AC (mostly) reboots itself with each numbered installment then follows it with direct sequels in the same timeline, so “Just start from the first one” isn’t the best advice.
Anyway, after digging out my collection to take a picture for a stupid Tumblr project, I got to looking at my copy of Nexus again, and even though the game itself isn’t my favorite, I love what they did with its release.
In addition to the ‘real’ game, Nexus also includes a bonus disc containing remade classic missions from earlier games with more unlockable parts. And if that wasn’t enough, the bonus disc also offers alternate versions of missions, playing for the opposing force from the original, or in a harder setting.
The crazy thing is it seems to have been just thrown together “just because.” It doesn’t seem to be tied to an anniversary event or anything. It wasn’t the first game on the PS2 by a long shot, and it doesn’t advertise itself on the packaging as anything other than a chance to relive classic (mostly PS1 era) Armored Core-ness in their newly overhauled engine.
Wouldn’t it be great if more series could take a hint like this? Sure, we get HD Remaster collections sometimes, but that’s not exactly the same thing as being handed a bonus disc of pure fan service as thanks for picking up the new installment.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love drawing in sharpie markers? I like to practice with them since there’s no guidelines, erasing, or even really build-up of tones. It’s just INK or NOT INK, and I feel like it kind of forces me to think a little more before I commit to a stroke, and when I do it’s so smooth and slidey and mmmm…
no this has nothing to do with the fumes seriously
I’ve been on a massive Armored Core 3 kick after a friend sold me his Vita cheap and I installed it from the PSN without bothering to transfer the saves through the PC. I’m shooting for 100% completion this time and hit 92% today! Pursuing this has taught me the importance of a lot of parts I’d never actually bothered with in other runs, like the CROW stealth extensions, ECM pods and the “cheat part,” OP-INTENSIFY.
After playing the rest of the series, sans PS1 installments, AC3 and its followups feel even more like the ‘sweet spot’ of the franchise than before. I love games where equipment has real benefits and weaknesses beyond just a steady march of incremental upgrades to make stats go up. Missions have LOADS more variety in both environment and goals, too.
(I may post something else later on if I get to doodling during Gotham, but Mondays are probably going to largely be “meh” days on here while I’m doing this daily thing since I wind down early for a power nap before the night shift.)