9.4

This is what ARMORED CORE ON THE PSP should have been!

Excellent mech-customization battle-adventure shoot'emup! Only out in Japan but I played thru the 'kana and tho i dont understand the menus the game is easy to recognize what it wants you to do.

You dont play as a huge robot that blasts everything, you play as a mansized robot that blasts everything from tanks, other bigger mechs, flamethrowing helghast wannabes, rocketlaunchers, chaingunners, so on... Before each stage you get to choose between 2 mechs; (1) with more ammo and slower to turn, (2) with higher damage per shot and faster movement, both have a single stage boost but you get to upgrade the mech stats and gun stats after every stage with credits you earn from how cleanly you play the stage. There's a short cutscene before each stage starts showing you where the objective is so you know what to "seek and destroy" as the subtitle of the game's name states :)

You can even replay the stage after autosaving to increase your creditline but you just might do worse. It can be tricky circling the opposition to avoid fire while lining them up for your shot.

GRAPHICS : it looks like one of the better ps2 games, explosions look great even when you're in the middle of one. Dust effects, debris and smoke cloud up your vision like you would expect and it apparently clouds up your opponents sights too. Best part is when your mech reloads whatever gun it has; each one cocks a different way :) no glitches or seaming is seen so it looks great!

SOUND : everything sounds like it should and there are sound effects for everything here. Music isn't anything special but not wrong for the genre. There arent any voiceovers then again I appreciate it cuz it would detract from enjoying how the game caters to an international audience. Maybe the game-makers considered the importer's audience and made the game international friendly and not another "classic but only for japan" title.

GAMEPLAY : aaaahhhh.... Finally someone shot the mech game for the psp out of the park. Wonderful controls. You'll have to trial-and-error it until you figure them out but they are very intuitive and work well to bring down the big mechs you come across. You get to carry your main gun and pickup and switch between different secondary guns. The dual pistol idea is great, especially if you pickup and use the dual shotguns or dual grenade launchers. Again the reloading animation in the midst of a firefight alone is worth the price of admission :)

All in this title rocks! A resounding 10/10! I wish the armored core guys would've done things this way but they had their shot. I can't wait for a sequel to come out soon enough. So go buy this title if you can find it, and if you can figure the wifi multiplayer to work I'll see you online dual semiautos waiting!

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