Review by kaekar

"Some flaws, but it's still a good game"

While I myself am a huge fan of the Armored Core series, I like to review games from a neutral point, so I'll try to stay that way for this review.

Armored Core: Master of Arena was the first Armored Core game I played, and that was over at a friend's house. since then, I currently own all of them, but AC: MoA holds a special place in my heart. While the graphics aren't exactly wondrous, that's to be expected from a Playstation One game. The game itself is fairly simple. Point and shoot. It's the kind of game that you sit down to, hoping to kill something. While you can go on missions, or Sorties, as they're called in game, you can also play an AI multilayer version called the Arena. The missions themselves are normally fairly strait forward, you receive clear instructions on what to do, then you go do it, weather it's kill an enemy, protect a building or a political figure, or whatever. the Arena was my favorite part, because the higher you went in rank, the harder it became to defeat your opponent. The sale and purchase of weaponry and body parts was cool, as you could not go over a strict weight limit, and you had to try and cram every little weapon and part to get your AP(Armor Points, AKA- your HP) up as high as you could. The Arena is divided into classes, separated by leg types- Humanoid legs(Standard jointed human leg types), Reverse Jointed Legs, Tread Bottoms(A base that looks like something of a tank), and Hover Bottoms(A hovercraft, instead of legs). One of the flaws I found in the game was that, while the AI of the opponents in the Arena got better as you did, the AI of the missions did not. The enemies were harder, because the AI was changed to suit the difficulty of the mission, but that was it. Perhaps it was a glitch in the game I own now, but the Arena's 'baddies' got skilled as I did, started using my own tactics against me, reacted to what I did in different and new ways. That's why I like this game, because I had to change my style of play every time I faced a new enemy.

One of the other flaws I found while playing this game was the credit system. While you gain credits(The games monetary system) for completing missions and defeating opponents in the Arena, you had to pay for your armor damage and your ammunition spent. While this is cool and all, sometimes you just can't get enough credits for that one weapon you need to finish that new mission, or kill that next rank in the Area. For every mission you fail, you lose credits, for every shell you empty, you lose credits, for every hit you take, you lose credits. That's one of it's flaws. While it is realistic in that aspect, it is just too realistic. This is a Science Fiction game where you fight with huge robotic battle suits. You're not supposed to concentrate on the amount of ammunition you spend.

Another flaw I found was the length of the missions. Ultimately, they were simple, to the point, and basic. While this is good for a short game, this was not good for this game. Sure, long missions can get tedious, and you're just tempted to use your overdrive to propel your AC over the side of that cliff, simply to end the god forsaken mission and get back to base, that would use up credits, and you would get a fee for failing the mission. Some of the short missions were fun, some of the enemies were cool, and I liked how you could use your weapons to get hidden items in some of the missions, but ultimately, the game needs a few missions that are more time consuming then, "Well, here's the enemy. Wait, I killed him and that's it?"

Ultimately, my review is this:
Graphics: 6/10
While the graphics weren't the best thing in the world, the graphics engine of the game and the platform weren't exactly the most advanced of things.
Story: 3/10
There was almost no story to it, so it lacks in this aspect.
Gameplay: 4/10, 8/10, 9/10
For this, I have three rating. the first is for the missions, which I found poorly made. the second is for the AI multi player, also known as the Arena. I found this great and wonderous. The third is the PVP multi player, where you pit yourself against a friend and his AC. While this was somewhat poorly designed, I found it awesome. Your friend could bring his memory card and show you his decked out AC, then slaughter you with it.

All in all, I would give this an overall score of 7/10. It's got some flaws, but it's Arena makes it worth the money.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 10/31/08

Game Release: Armored Core: Master of Arena (US, 02/29/00)

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