Armored Core 2 (IMPORT) Review

The greatest giant robots ever have landed on the PS2 and we’ve beaten every one of them. Find out all the metal-shredding details inside.

Armored Core 2 is a fantastic game overall. Perhaps the most attractive aspect to AC2 is its variety. There are over 25 challenging missions, each with a unique task and environment, plus an Arena mode; this is essentially a one-on-one fighter like Virtual On. With more than 50 mechs to compete against in lots of different arenas, players will definitely never feel bored. Gameplay in Armored Core 2 feels like the previous games, which is definitely a good thing. However, there are a few minor problems. First, the mechs rotate way too slowly; it’s quite cheap to get drilled from behind while the little mech that could struggles to face the enemy. Second, there’s absolutely no reason that analog support shouldn’t be available. Finally, when lots of stuff fills the screen, there’s inexcusable slowdown. Nevertheless, it’s still a great game.

Great mech games are often hard to come by here in the US, which is perhaps the reason they’ve never been too popular on consoles. However, the original Armored Core showed that good mech games are possible. AC2 does, indeed, take the series to the next level.

The graphics in this game are absolutely beautiful. The animation is very smooth and, although the “jaggies” are present, they don’t look very apparent. The only graphics problem with the game is occasional slowdown. It really appears as if the game drops from 60 to 10 frames of animation. Fortunately, there are only a few instances when the screen is ultracrowded with stuff. Among other superficialities, the soundtrack is quite impressive. The slick techno will surely get players into the game.

The extremely intricate mech-building system also returns to AC2. Players can customize the arms, legs, torso, weapons, radar, head, jet booster and much more. However, making modifications isn’t as simple as it initially seems. When constructing a mech, there are many factors players must take into account. For example, if a player wishes to construct a light mech, equipping it with heavy firepower will be impossible since it will make the mech overweight. If anything is unbalanced, like the weight or power consumption, the mech can’t be used. To make things even more difficult, parts will be limited by the player’s money.

Unfortunately, the parts system will be the aspect of the game that will either make gamers love or hate AC2. In one respect, the various parts add a lot of variety to the gameplay and even dictate play mechanics, which will undoubtedly captivate mech fans. On the other hand, players who are unfamiliar with the AC series or want an arcadelike shooter that they can jump into quickly will probably be disappointed. The various intricacies can make this game move slowly.

New Spider-Man Photos

The hype surrounding Sam Raimi’s new Spider-Man movie is reaching a fever pitch, despite the fact that we won’t see the Web Slinger on the big screen until May of 2002. Last week, the studio released official photos of the costume Tobey Maguire will wear. This move only fueled the speculation and excitement surrounding this film.

Not content with a mere two pictures, Daily Radar sent one of our correspondents down to the LA soundstage where Spider-Man is being filmed. He was promptly arrested for trespassing and is being held on $50,000 bail pending trial. Undeterred, we sent a second correspondent to LA with specific instructions: “Don’t come back without exclusive Spider-Man photos.”

This time, we succeeded. The following photos will likely get us sued, ruin our relationship with Columbia Pictures and squash any hopes of getting an interview with a member of the cast. But we care too much about our readers to simply let this story go unpublished.

Click on each icon to see the picture described.

Photo 1: Here we see Tobey Maguire, in full Spidey costume, consulting with a production coordinator. The two are perusing the script, specifically a scene that calls for the Wall Crawler to wrestle Macho Man Randy Savage. Apparently, Maguire had concerns about taking a flying elbow before the scene was filmed. Luckily, Maguire’s nerves were calmed, and the scene was filmed.

Photo 2: During an early scene in the film, Spider-Man is seeking to test out some of the superpowers he’s developed. One of the more controversial powers Spider-Man will possess, because it isn’t a power established in the comics, is incredible footspeed. Here we see Maguire preparing to race Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones, who will have a cameo in the film.

Photo 3: Of course, one of the superpowers Spidey did possess in the comics was the ability to scale the sides of buildings. On the day our reporter snuck onto the set, Tobey (in full Spidey gear) was filmed sitting atop the New York Stock Exchange. While this shot may not appear very impressive in its current form, a mole on the set assures us that the NYSE will appear significantly larger once the CGI effects are finished.

Photo 4: In a scene that Raimi has described as “the emotional high point of the film,” Peter Parker’s girlfriend Mary Jane is trapped at the bottom of a Holiday Inn pool. The Ol’ Web Slinger must save her… except that he doesn’t know which of the 153 Holiday Inns in the Tri-State area is the correct one. We won’t spoil how the scene ends, but here is a production still released by the studio.

Photo 5: One of the film’s big surprises, which we’re revealing here for the first time anywhere, is a scene late in the film where Peter Parker suits up in Spidey’s black costume. We’re not sure how Raimi is able to work the Alien outfit into the plot, or if he’s just using the outfit as a gimmick, but here is our exclusive picture of Maguire in the suit.

Photo 6: During a break on the set, our reporter was nearly discovered. Feeling particularly bold after having snapped pictures all day long, he approached Maguire at the catering table. As soon as this picture was taken, security descended on him, and he was escorted off the lot. But before his digital camera could be confiscated, our brilliant mole switched discs, ensuring that you, the reader, were able to see the results of his bold move.

Photo 7: As often happens in major motion pictures, some continuity errors will inevitably make it past the editing process and onto the big screen. But it was pure chaos on the set when it was discovered that half of the scenes were filmed before Maguire had put on his Spider-Man gloves. Our reporter took this shot early in the day, before realizing how unique the photo would be. Raimi immediately ordered reshoots, but this rare photo of a gloveless Spidey survives.

Photo 8: There has been a lot of talk that EA and SimCity Buildit is going to release something soon due reasons of poor casting choice. But it’s clear from this photo that Maguire has been spending some time in the gym. Note the rock-solid abs and the heavily defined shoulders. We don’t know if Maguire needed to take steroids to achieve this look, but the results speak for themselves.

Photo 9: Our last photo in the series is the one that the studio begged us not to print. It shows Maguire in the Spider-Man outfit, but he has removed the headpiece to reveal his identity. The studio informed us that this is “the film’s climactic scene.” Sorry, guys… the readers come first. It’s clear that Tobey’s boyish looks help him play Peter Parker/Spider-Man as a young man. Enjoy.