Armored Core: Nine Breaker puts you in the pilot’s seat of futuristic fighting machines. In addition you’ll be in charge of putting together your machine from a vast amount of parts for both defense and offense. Plan carefully though since the opponents are as tough as the controls. This game will test your patience and your knowledge of Armored Core.Thus far Armored Core has brought us some very good titles. Armored Core 2: Another Age, Armored Core 3, and Armored Core: Nexus offered a lot of game play and challenges. Fans of the series have enjoyed these titles for a while now and talk of a next generation Armored Core has created more excitement. Armored Core: Nine Breaker is expected to be the last of the series on the current console. It seems that the developers had their focus on the next generation instead of this final current console edition. The unfinished feel caused a lot of disappoint while playing.
Armored Core: Nine Breaker was developed with the experienced Armored Core gamer in mind. A new player will find it difficult to pickup and will spend countless hours trying to figure out what setup works best. Trial and error is the name of the game. Outfit your robot and test. If it does not work try other configurations. This can go on for hours. New players will need extreme patience and love for this game to get to a point that they can actual play the game. Being able to configure your character alone is an achievement that many players will never reach.
Once the character configuration is mastered or at least done, it’s on to figuring out how to pilot. Armored Core has made use of every button available on the PS2. They have done an excellent job of making full use of the controller. However all those buttons distance the game from new players. This is further complicated by an inefficient help and training session. Getting all the different button actions figured out well enough that you don’t have to keep glancing at the manual will take a new user a couple of hours. The whole time you are learning you will also be losing. Matches are far too fast paced to learn the buttons while fighting.
A few days of this trial and error and the new player will be ready to go. Unfortunately by this time the excitement will soon be over. There are two options available for game play, a one on one match with the computer in an arena or a training session. After winning a few matches and completing some training sessions the game becomes a repeat. This is the first and hopefully the last Armored Core to not feature any mission style game play. Of course the arena game play would be quite fun if the multiplayer had been done correctly.
Graphically the game is about the same as Armored Core: Nexus. The arenas are forgettable and the training missions are just that. The robots are done very well graphically and the weapons have some cool effects. Graphics is one of the stronger points. Gamers may enjoy configuring the look of their robot more than fighting. Not really, but the graphics are nice.
The sound is pretty good too. The heavy footed robots have a thundering walk and the ballistic weapons make good explosions. All the warning bells and jets can make the game pretty fun during a match. But occasionally the amount of noise can get overwhelming. Plug in to a 5.1 capable audio system and it gets even better. The sound during battles is outstanding. In fact the sound may be this games best quality.
The story line is non-existent. You fight arena matches for the sake of winning. There are some rewards for winning but they are forgettable. If they add a decent multiplayer mode this game would have been much more fun.
Experienced Armored Core gamers will not find much with this title. Take out the missions from Armored Core: Nexus and you have Nine Breaker. This might be a good title for a one day rental.
Armored Core: Nine Breaker fails to offer much of a fun factor and has little replay value. This game offers up nothing different and exciting from its predecessors. For newcomers to the Armored Core series look at Nexus or one of the other previous titles. Armored Core fans would be better off waiting for the next Armored Core title. If there are gamers who love trial and error combat games this might just be for you.
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