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.


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