Review by CrimsonScythe

"Conquer The Arena and Make Yourself The Master"

The third installation of the Armored Core series is one to be remembered. This is the only one to feature two discs, one for the story and one solely for arena battles! Armored Core fans will definitely be pleased with this game, even today many regard it as the best for the Playstation.

Story: 8/10

It follows the same basic storylines of the previous Armored Cores, but with something different this time. You’re a Raven with a personal vendetta of revenge against the one who destroyed your city and family: Nine Ball. You accept various missions in your pursuit of your prey. You have a “helper” this time, Lana Nielsen acts as your mission manager, you’ll only hear from her through the emails she sends every so often. This time you learn the secrets behind the Raven’s Nest and the corporations in this stunning conclusion!

Gamplay: 10/10

Just as good as ever. All the controls are the same as in the previous two games so if you’ve played the first ones, you’ll have no trouble playing this one. But in this one, not all the action takes place out on a mission. There is also an Arena. In this Arena, you can battle against other Ravens to compete for money and rank, and if you lose, you don’t lose anything. So there’s no risk in it. To even be able to enter the Arena, you need a sponsor, one will come along eventually so all you have to do is wait. The first disc contains the story, and two Arenas; the Sub-Arena, for lower rank AC’s, think of it as practice. And the Arena, which connects with the story.

The second disc is all Arena battles. There are somewhere around 150 AC’s for you to face and about 9 or so Arenas, including one you can custom make yourself through the use of the “Ranker MK”. The Arenas include four leg-type Arenas, meaning that you must use a specific leg type to compete in them. The others have AC’s made by the creators of the game, Japanese ones that won in AC competitions etc. These Arena’s aren’t easy though, as you’ll find yourself constantly changing and adjusting your strategy to defeat many of the opponents. This gives the game a great deal of replay value.

Graphics and Sound: 8/10

Pretty much the same as the other two, there’s a little difference, though. The AC’s look a little more touched up as well as the environments. The weapons and their shots are the same as before, no complaints here.

The sound effects are also the same, the new parts sound like the other ones of their type, but I particularly like the laser shots. They have a really nice sound that fits so well to their energy weapons. The voices are really good in my opinion, Lana and the other AC pilots. Nine Ball sounds like, how should I put this… an evil cowboy. Well, you’d have to hear it for yourself, maybe “desperado” would fit better. The final boss has one of the freakiest and most frightening voices I’ve heard, worthy of a sinister boss such as that.

Replayability: 9/10

One of the biggest points in this game is the replay value it possesses. The missions are very enjoyable, there are 22 battle stages, 10 new fighting arenas. You can also use your old AC’s from the other Armored Cores, not to mention the two-player mode. The 150 Ravens to battle alone are enough to keep you playing for a long time to come.

Overall: 9/10

One of the greatest mech games to grace the Playstation.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/15/01, Updated 08/15/01

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