Thursday, 18 June 2015

Armored Warriors - Arcade


4 way mecha melee chaos coming up.


Capcom has shown time and time again that they're more than capable of creating some very influential games, particularly in the brawler genre of gaming. Regarding Armored Warriors, it seems Capcom may and may not have topped their own lofty achievements of Final Fight.

From the off, it's chaotic and action-packed with an overblown scale

Armored Warriors takes the giant mech approach to brawling. You're a captain/pilot of a giant mech of your choosing from one of four setups. Each setup has its own advantages and disadvantages including different combat and weaponry while focusing on melee combat, strength, speed and stamina, (all of this will make sense shortly) and all have the standard, Attack, Jump and Support Weapon functions to be used within game. Like a lot of other brawlers you can also run, run and attack, switch attack by pressing forwards THEN attack quickly for an alternative attack, leaping running attacks and so on and so forth which is something Capcom seemed to bring to the table during the mid 90s with a lot of its games.

The obligatory bonus levels

However, the novelty of the approach of this game is that certain enemies are equipped differently than your mech is, which means you can break them apart and steal their components. Aside from the core body part, you can replace your legs, your weapon and your support weapon from any dropped component, resulting in a veritably high combination of results and customisation for your mechs. Multiple different arms carry weapons including fists, drills, laser swords, claws, lightning rods and so on. Tracks and treads for the mechs range from standard legs to tank treads, hover boosters, spider legs while support weapons are the largest in variation including machinegun types, bombs, rockets, missiles, flame throwers and more. There's something for everyone but if you die, you drop the lot and have to reacquire it. Annoying but that's the price of upgrading to awesome.

And of course, the bosses are even bigger.

Despite the concept and the possibilities, there's still the core of the game of Armored Warriors in that it's a brawler game, where you and several friends (possibly, if you have those) can march through nine missions of mech-blowing-up-ness (it's a word now) which range from walk right and blow up stuff, run right and blow up stuff, blow up stuff quickly before you die and blow up stuff THEN move right and blow up more stuff.

Some times MUCH bigger

Armored Warriors does have some context to the situation and certainly a lot more than Final Fight did with its constant walking and fighting. In this game however, there's regular points where plot is revealed, discussions are made between key characters regarding the wars between two worlds and progression is shown on a map of both planets as to which side is conquering the other fastest. While it can add to the sense of the game and enhance it as an experience, it'll like be ignored in favour of players wanting to get back to the action of blowing up mechs.

Customisation and powerups a plenty here

That said, the game is nothing short of bright and colourful and by comparison to the appalling idea of today's games decisions to brown-out almost everything to be gritty and realistic, this comes across as a light hearted comic book when put next to games of this day. Some may dislike that but I say it adds to the appeal and atmosphere of the game, it's not overly serious and doesn't take itself to be that when 50ft tall mechs are slamming each other around and firing more rockets than could possibly fit on screen rather than in the mech itself. It's bright and bold and it shouldn't be any other way for this game. The mechs themselves are well designed and follow on from the anime-esque style they take the origins from, bosses and bigger constructs look stunning and it's evident there's a lot of focus and attention on everything from the smallest mechs up to the final boss.

And of course, the compulsory, repeating boss fight

The audio, there isn't much there that sings out within the music as anything particularly memorable but there is an attempt to do synthesised voices and have a sort of commentary running with every item you pick up to replace parts on your mech, while also the characters shout, scream and yell when doing special moves or getting killed. But all of this is overshadowed by the explosions and metallic clangs and clashes of skyscraper sized robots duking it out, it adds to the feel of the game and is highly entertaining but it does mask the other sounds that one might want to hear, leaving them a little redundant in that regard.

WRYYYYYYYYYYYYY

As a game, Armored Warriors does have a lot of replay factor. There's different ways occasionally to beat specific levels, there's the huge combinations of weapons and items to pick up and use and you can almost guarantee that it'll take a few play-throughs before you start to get repeated sets of weaponry. But then there's also the option to try something different and see whether it's more or less effective than the previous setup for the upcoming boss you know you'll have to fight. Trial and improvement it may be but learning and using all of the attacks and power moves accompanying those items will leave you always questioning if the next upgrade is better.

It's a good game, but gets a little overcrowded at times and for those that explore the mechanics behind the engine of the game, a deep brawling system with lots of potential.