Friday, January 02, 2009

Co-op Request & General Game Ramble

I know a lot of you aren't PS3 fans, and probably not Armored Core fans, but I thought I'd see who among my readers have a PS3 and Armored Core: For Answer. (Why didn't the localization team make it 'For an Answer' or something to de-Engrish it?)

For Answer has, according the the back of the case, more than 30 co-op missions, which seems to indicate that From Software is finally putting some effort into multiplayer enjoyment. And I'd like to try going through all of them with someone here.

My PSN ID is, appropriately, BronzeDog. My favorite AC right now is one I made named Aria, a light-midweight with emphasis on long and mid range combat. I'm going to be making a lot more designs, now that I've unlocked almost everything. So far:

Aria (Orange): Light-mid weight sniper.
Waltz (White): Light dual laser blader. (I still need blade practice)
Duet (Green): Generalized, mission oriented midweight. Might use this instead of Aria.
Overture (Red): Missile boat on a light tank frame.
Static (Gray): Heavy tank with dual chain guns.

Still in conception:

Dirge (Black): Kojima weapon emphasis. (Environmentally unfriendly)
Rondo (Brown): Bazooka/Grenade-wielding heavy.
Jitterbug (Cyan): Ultralight with shotguns or machine guns.
Nocturne (Purple): Test model for ECM and other supposedly sneaky stuff.

More suggestions will be appreciated, especially if you can tie it to a song type to name it after.

Now, you've heard me ramble about what I'd like to do with the game, I guess I should put in a quick review of Armored Core: For Answer (PS3 version). I don't know if the Lexapro might be doing some of the talking, but I've been loving this game with a passion I haven't had for Armored Core for a while. The game starts out a bit frustrating because you spend the beginning of the game without anything in the shop. You have to complete a fair number of missions before the store variety builds up enough. I had to cheese my way out of some missions, but things were going quite well in variety by the time I beat the game with the Collared ending. When I started over (with parts and such intact) and started on the ORCA path, it just got better.

Aside from the early frustration of being stuck on my choice of starter AC, my only other notable complaints at this point are:

1) The stupidity of the AI. A few too many opponents are willing to waste their ammo (especially missiles) at long range. But since online play is available, you can probably find some smart humans. Which, in AC's way, is pretty much what the game is about. Usually, missions and AIs amount to training for the bigger game.

2) The lock on can be annoying on missions. It's tighter than usual, and if you're a long range person like me, sometimes you can get occasionally get stuck on something off in the distance.

On less notable complaints, I feel like complaining about reverse joint legs getting shafted, possibly by 1.20 regulations. They've got low turning speed in general, and in AC tradition, RJs are supposed to have high turning speeds. Oh well. Fiona Jarnefeldt has a sexy pair of legs... Er, on her partner's AC. So I'm using them myself.


King of Ferrets said...

I want a PS3. =(

Anonymous said...

I may have to pick that game up now.

Those are completly awesome names. Are they made by Dr. Light by any chance?

Bronze Dog said...

Nope. I made 'em myself.

So, any previous experience with AC, DJ? I should warn you it's a bit of a niche game for people who love designing mecha.

Anonymous said...

As a complete novice on all things Armoured Core, is the mech design kinda like that found in the old Heavy Gear games? Because I quite liked that system, even though I don't remember all the details of it.

I've also gone through a number of reviews which give the game average ratings, mostly citing that it is very similar to AC4. Because that doesn't apply to me, would you recommend this as a good title for someone to enter the series into?

Apparently it is out in NZ, so based on your endorsement, I might finally add a game to my PS3 library that isn't a fighter or rpg (or LittleBigPlanet, which I love).

Bronze Dog said...

I find a number of reviewers tend to be unfair towards Armored Core in general, often making contradictory complaints. Once saw one bash the control schemes even though they're not much different from a typical FPS.

I think For Answer would make for a good point to jump on, if you can get past the starting hurdle where you're stuck with one mech for a while.

Overall, one of the annoying things about AC as a series is that there's a decent share of repetition (though with varying mind screw plots). I tend to view new games as steady refinement of the concept.

Now onto mech customization.

Frame: Head, Core (Torso), Legs, Arms.

Head: Contributes slightly to defense. Contributes to stability, and has cameras that help in lock-on.

Core: Biggest part of your defense.

Legs: Key part in maneuverability. Determines how much load you can have. Decent chunk of defense, too.

Arms: Arm maneuverability is how quickly they can move to aim. Firing stability keeps them still for rapid fire weapons, and aim precision is for sniping. Another chunk of defense.

Internals: Generator, Fire Control System.

Generator has 3 main stats: Output (how fast it fills up your energy bar), Capacity (size of the bar), and KP: Kojima Particle generation (How fast it refills your Primal Armor).

Boosters: Main, Side, Back, and Over. Main determines your vertical thrust as well as forward. Overboost is a very fast forward boost that also consumes your Primal Armor (PA).

Weapons: Left and Right Arm (I'm so, so glad they dropped the L/R distinction.), Left and Right Back, Shoulders, Left and Right Hangar.

You have a left and a right weapon selected at a time. Shoulder weapons have their own button, and tend to include 'relation missiles' which fire in addition to another missile weapon.

Hangar weapons are stored in your legs, and are pulled out when your starting arm weapons run out. Most legs can only store small weapons listed as storable. Tank legs can hangar any arm weapon of any size.

General recommendations: Favor ballistics defense and weapons over energy defense and weapons. If you go lightweight, Primal Armor's going to be pretty important.

King of Ferrets said...

Quick question: Do you ever actually use Overboost? I haven't played AC games much, but I found very little use for it.

Bronze Dog said...

I didn't use it much in the AC2 or 3 blocks, but in 4 and For Answer, I found it's handy for sniping (getting away from your opponent), avoiding missiles, and missions where you need to get close to something before it blows you away with a big cannon.

King of Ferrets said...

Ah. So it does have a use.

Anonymous said...

Cool, thanks for the breakdown. I'll keep an eye out for it in the stores and get back to you if I ever get any good at it.