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Armored Core: Armored Core Preview
Company: Agetec

Ah, Armored Core games have come a long way, through several different changes as the series has matured. Some of the more recent games have had much improved A.I. and deeper missions. The latest offering, Armored Core: Nine Breaker makes a return to the arena-based gameplay with a game that is not just primarily arena fighting, but is almost exclusively arena fighting. If you're an Armored Core fan who prefers missions to arena fighting, you may want to sit this one out. However, if you've been looking for some great arena fighting action, you're Armored Core has arrived.

Before I leave the topic, it's not that the game has no missions. There are actually going to be over 150 training missions. These are not "missions" in the conventional sense, however, but feel very much like you are training when you are playing them.

As for the Arena Fighting, the gameplay is quite enjoyable. The graphics are improved a bit over previous Armored Core games and the action is a bit faster. You'll be happy to see that it's bringing with it over 20 arenas to fight in. In addition, Armored Core: Nine Breaker will support up to two players on one PS2 or up to four players using either i.Link or Network Adapters.

One interesting aspect of Armored Core: Nine Breaker is that you don't have to earn/buy parts. In previous games, this was one of the driving mechanics of the game; you complete missions to earn money to upgrade your mech so that you can succeed at more dangerous missions. In Nine Breaker, you can choose the parts you want and swap things out as much as you please - but you still have to conform to the engineering limitations of each type of mech and part used. If you're big on "tweaking" your mech, then this amounts to instant gratification - something that seems to be rare in tweaking type games. And with over 400 Parts to choose from, you'll have several hours of tweaking ahead of you, even without having to save up the money to buy that part you want.

Armored Core: Nine Breaker is scheduled for release in August 2005.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins
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