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Let the fires burn across Rubicon in [ARMORED CORE] VI

LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
edited August 2023 in Social Entropy++
https://youtu.be/a7_FBFkSU90
https://youtu.be/CbJDSNTMhe0

WELCOME ABOARD, RAVEN
This week, FROM Software’s beloved mecha customization-action series returns from its generation-long hiatus with the sixth numbered entry of the series.

Launching in 1997 with the original Armored Core on the PlayStation, AC introduced players to a world of 3D mecha action combat that allowed a then-to-for unseen level of customization in the hands of players to not only select their load outs, but go so far as to build their own mechs in a way only few mech games, such as Square’s Front Mission tactics RPGs, had allowed.

In producing the original game, FROM Software brought on board longtime veteran anime mechanical designer Shoji Kawamori, who helped the team streamline their approach by introducing the eponymous “Armored Core” itself to build players’ units around. From a 2016 interview conducted by Ollie Barder:
“When the design for Armored Core was requested to me, it was before the original PlayStation was launched. There were quite a lot of unknowns and there were ideas for separate parts, such as arms, feet and weapons and so on. These then had to be combined by the player on their own.”
“However, if you allow a player to create their own mecha it makes it very hard to give it a sense of visual identity. Such as clearly differentiating from other mecha anime and games. I also thought that other games would follow suit when this was released.”

“As I believed that this idea should differentiate this game from the rest of its competition, I proposed the concept of the “armored cores”. Meaning that of the core block with cockpit and engine as well as the joint connectors for head, arm legs, weapons and so on. They adopted the proposal and called it Armored Core as a consequence.”

Players can thus build their mech, choosing from a variety of limb types, including humanoid arms, gun arms, multiple kinds of bipedal legs, quadruped legs, tank tread bases, as well as different engines, boosters, firing control software, CPUs and the like, to build a machine that is uniquely the player’s own. As you play, as well, you’ll earn the credits you need to buy new weapons, parts and equipments, while also risking your own bottom line for the damage you incur to your unit and even the amount of ammo you use throughout your missions

All of these aspects came together to result in a hit title that would go on to produce nearly twenty different entries across five generations of video game development, generating acclaim and love from critics and fans alike for nearly thirty years.


The Previous games have been split into four main continuities:

Original Armored Core Continuity:
- Armored Core
- Armored Core: Project Phantasma
- Armored Core: Master of Arena
- Armored Core 2
- Armored Core 2: Another Age

Second Continuity of Armored Core:
- Armored Core 3
- Silent Line: Armored Core
- Armored Core: Nexus
- Armored Core: Last Raven

Third Continuity of Armored Core:
- Armored Core 4
- Armored Core: For Answer

Fourth Continuity of Armored Core
- Armored Core 5
- Armored Core: Verdict Day

This Third and Fourth sets of Armored Core games would break rank to some degree with the earlier games; AC4 and For Answer both approached the established design ethos of the series by upping the velocity and responsiveness of your units, with For Answer going even wilder than AC4 itself had when it came to pure speed. Whereas AC5 and Verdict Day swing back around to bring their generation of Armored Cores down to a slower speed, with a more simulation-focused, tactical approach that some players have compared to bringing in elements of FROM’s other contemporary PS3/360 generation mech game, Chromehounds, giving the player new options to scout and approach their tasks. It also found an increased focus on managing damage types to add an extra layer to combat. AC’s in AC5 and Verdict Day are also some of the smallest in the franchise, at five meters compared to the 10 or so meters of other AC units, leading to far different relationship between the player and their terrain.

(Side note: while AC5 and VD are supposed to be a reboot, there is a boss at the end of Verdict Day that seems to be a variant of fan favorite AC4-era Unit White Glint)

Additionally, there are two arena-only games, Armored Core: Formula Front and Armored Core: Ninebreaker, which are outside of the above continuities, and are specifically geared around Arena combat.

With that in mind, that brings us to…

ARMORED CORE SIX
https://youtu.be/kKO1s-CUZvY

https://youtu.be/Vs2piSWfofQ

https://youtu.be/6_9PYUXQ9Qw


After a generation of laying quiet, Armored Core returns to the stage with Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. Set on a far off planet in colonized space, players will explore a vast new world, Rubicon 3, plunged into the conspiracy between invading forces and planetary rebels to secure a vital resource known as “Coral.” What awaits you beyond the violence and war once you land planetside, however, only time will tell.
There is a substance called Coral.

Discovered on the remote developing planet Rubicon 3, it was supposed to be an energy resource for a new era that would bring about a quantum leap in human society.

One day, however, the Coral caused a catastrophe, and the flames and storms engulfed the surrounding star systems, leaving behind a deadly contamination.

Since then, the area has been under strict surveillance. The planet Rubicon 3 has become blockaded. The survivors of the catastrophe were holding on to their fragile lives.

Are you ready, Raven? What awaits you down there, as Handler Walter’s newest Hound?




For those interested, Bandai Namco also hosted a 2+ hour long Showcase, which showed a portion of the first mission of the game, along with a couple of boss fights.

https://www.youtu.be/0Tk5YA4WRrg

What may entice more, however, is the last hour, which they devoted to showing off 3v3 and 1v1 battles in…

TAKE IT TO THE ARENA
While Single player campaigns are the bread and butter of most games, starting with the second game, Project Phantasma, FROM Software introduced the Arena mode, where players can engage in combat directly against other AC units. This feature expands to a multiplayer versus mode as well, and in AC 6 you can find yourself competing either in Solo or Squad matches with teams of up to three players per squad.


ARMORED CORE ALIKES

The last generation saw FROM Software focus away from the Armored Core series for a bit for the first time since the franchise’s launch. But that provided room for new developers to step into making their own attempts at recreating the formula.

Daemon X Machina
https://youtu.be/G3_dAuEqGJo
The best known, and currently released, of these days would be First Studio and Marvelous’ 2019 release Daemon X Machina, a fast paced mech action game developed by produced by Kenichiro Tsukuda, who previously worked on the PS2 era of AC (2, Another Age, 3, Silent Line and Nexus). Like Armored Core, Daemon X Machina had players design mechs, called Arsenals, out of a series of parts and weapons that allowed users to craft a machine uniquely suited to their playstyle, with the limitation that it lacked the tread and quad-leg designed beloved by many AC veterans, opting for only biped leg designs. Players could further augment their parts and weapons with various enhancement slots. In a deviation from the design path forged by Armored Core, players could also exit their Arsenals and engage in combat outside of their unit, with the ability to upgrade their character to be a more viable solo fighter in those cases where their unit is disabled.

Indies
In the past couple of years, some games in the Japanese indie space have been popping up seeking to explore the space that Armored Core paved over the generations. One of these is Vulture: Unlimited Frontier

https://www.pcgamer.com/this-japanese-indie-mech-screams-with-the-sounds-of-90s-anime/
The game is currently under development, with a promised 2024 release date, and currently features a demo on steam that players can try out now. Recent updates on the developers twitter account shows that Vulture will, of course, feature unit customization:



In addition, there’s the upcoming Project Six. A pre-alpha demo is currently out, and they’re apparently a recipient of Epic’s “Epic MegaGrant” program. The game looks fairly influenced by AC4 and For Answer when it comes to speed, and features unit customization as well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bCwvypHro4

Also, you’ll be getting some hefty firepower it seems:



ARMORED CORE: Not FROM’s Only Mecha Games!
The Armored Core series hasn’t been FROM Software’s only foray into mech-themed video gaming, while it is their most popular and enduring. Over the years, FROM has produced different explorations of mech action, including the Dreamcast fighter Frame Gride, the cult hit PlayStation Mecha crossover series Another Century’s Episode, beloved cult classic Chromehounds, the Patriotic Mecha Action of Metal Wolf Chaos, or the immersive mecha simulator Steel Battalion.


Frame Gride
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60omThrQVs4
Another game produced by FROM and First Studio’s Tsukuda, Frame Gride for the Dreamcast may be lesser known that Sega’s own Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram or even Capcom’s Tech Romancer, but carries a a distinct FROM-style sensibility that separates it from it’s better known genre contemporaries. With its action taking place in a fully 3D field, Armored Core fans will find themselves well at home with the combat system wherein you pilot large, fantasy-style mechs against one another in combat, running, dashing and boosting around to hit and evade your dueling opponent. Indeed, Frame Gride could be described as a fantasy take on the arena-focused AC side-entries, but with a bit more streamlining in your builds.

Because, like Armored Core, Frame Gride brings FROM’s classic customizability to the fore as the centerpiece of your play experience. When you begin, the game presents you with three different kinds of Frames, each with the own specs, to form the base of your machine. From there, you can choose from a limited number of parts to further augment your play style, furthered by each battle you win will awarding you gems for crafting up to 108 different parts, allowing you a wide array of potential customizations.

Frame Gride, as you can probably guess, hasn’t been revisited by FROM in the decades since its release, but if you can get ahold of a copy, it’s an interesting variation of the kind of arena battles that are so popular in Armored Core.


Another Century’s Episode
https://youtu.be/fIkitpXurVE

If one were to describe Armored Core as a mech series that embraces a more simulation-aspect approach to gameplay, then FROM Software and Banpresto’s Another Century’s Episode is assuredly FROM taking a more pure action approach to mech action games. Similar to Banpresto’s long running Super Robot Wars tactical RPG franchise, the ACE series takes classic Mecha anime series and mashes them up into a combined setting where your favorite characters and machines all meet up, but this time as a third person action title, with each represented machine and series bringing their own unique twist to the core action play.

https://youtu.be/5bzkgOAItII
https://youtu.be/KzgE01Y_pkQ

The series found its home primarily on the PlayStation 2 for the first three games, with Another Century’s Episode Portable releasing on the PSP and Another Century’s Episode R releasing on the PS3. Sadly, as was the case with SRW until the release of SRW30 a few years ago, licensing issues made releasing these games in the West a difficult proposition. Nevertheless, they remain cult classics.

Metal Wolf Chaos
https://youtu.be/yG1HahKYZzc
Originally released on Xbox, Metal Wolf Chaos is a cult classic where you play as deposed President of the United States Michael Wilson, who narrowly escapes assassination by his duplicitous Vice President turned Dictator Richard Hawk in a suit of heavily armed power armor. The game sends Wilson across the United States liberating city after city from Hawk’s forces, culminating in a final, space-bound nuclear showdown between the two leaders. The game is currently available on most platforms in remastered form as Metal Wolf Chaos XD.

Chromehounds
https://youtu.be/PinvyUUwVwk
Perhaps one of FROM’s most beloved mech games next to the Armored Core franchise, Chromehounds was a Sega-published real time, tactical action game whose multiplayer mode factored in continuous world state progress as players and their factions competed in the game. Players would engage in multiplayer matches composed of squads, with each member of the squad taking up specific roles in order to gain and secure territory. While the game did have a single player campaign, it was this Multiplayer mode where Chromehounds truly shined and found acclaimed by a fan base that beloves it to this day.



Bonus: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
https://youtu.be/mrljhByfyaI
https://youtu.be/iCvGOLaaaoE
That’s right FROM Software also developed a game based on the Sunrise OVA series Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. Adapting events from the first three episodes of the limited series, players take control of characters throughout the series, often switching between opposing characters and sides mid battle as the story develops. An action game that focuses heavily on Zero-G space Combat, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn is an interesting exploration both in both adaptation and working narrative and gameplay together in unorthodox ways.


And remember Ravens: There is Always Someone Moving on the Surface
https://youtu.be/lf6vg4jMvhY


EDIT: correction, it’s the Kinect sequel Steel Battalion that FROM developed, not the original; section removed accordingly

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Lanz on
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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    [space reserved]

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    DidgeridooDidgeridoo Flighty Dame Registered User regular
    Ooh, I forgot this was coming out! Excellent timing, just need to wrap up my current Baldur's Gate playthrough. Perfect distraction while I wait for a few more patches and mods to come out before a second run

    I'm eating good this year videogame-wise, dang

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    Johnny ChopsockyJohnny Chopsocky Scootaloo! We have to cook! Grillin' HaysenburgersRegistered User regular
    https://youtu.be/poV2mZuVOjI

    Why yes, I do dig giant robots.

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    Steam ID XBL: JohnnyChopsocky PSN:Stud_Beefpile WiiU:JohnnyChopsocky
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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    damn now THAT'S a high effort OP lanz

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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    Thanks!

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    Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to. Philosophy: Stoicism. Politics: Democratic SocialistRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Jesus Christ that's this week

    Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but dies in the process.
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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    One note as well: no confirmation of Cross platform play for Arena matches, so for folks who are interested, it might be prudent to figure out where folks are going to be playing. Lack of a viable windows PC and Xbox both mean I’ll be over on PSN for anyone else who’s there

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    NaphtaliNaphtali Hazy + Flow SeaRegistered User regular
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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    it'll be PC for me

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    VeldrinVeldrin Sham bam bamina Registered User regular
    God I can't wait to be so bad at this game holy shit I'm so pumped fuck yes

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    MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    PS5 for me

    Saw a cool pile bunker weapon in one of Vaati's videos, and the fact that you can ram into enemies to break their stability, and now I've decided I need to make Alteisen

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiaFUUiH46M

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    it's weird how huge a fan of the armored core series I am when I've only ever played armored core 1 (demo disc and a couple rentals) and last raven (the only one I ever saw on the store shelf when I actually had a console that could play one)

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    Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to. Philosophy: Stoicism. Politics: Democratic SocialistRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Pick yourself up, Raven.

    You've got work to do.

    Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but dies in the process.
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    JokermanJokerman Everything EverywhereRegistered User regular
    We used to do Armored core tournaments when I was in high school. I could never compete once things went online though

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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    it's weird how huge a fan of the armored core series I am when I've only ever played armored core 1 (demo disc and a couple rentals) and last raven (the only one I ever saw on the store shelf when I actually had a console that could play one)

    For me It was the demo on an old PS1 demo disc a bunch of times but never quite clicking with it, then years later grabbing Verdict Day and For Answer; I can’t remember if I ever had rental access to the PS2 games or if any of the blockbusters just eschewed them for less niche titles

    Also: grabbing that figure Kaiyodo put out of the Geo matrix ZCL-XA / 2

    lq3zo2dlz3m0.jpeg

    Sadly being kaiyodo it’s fragile as hell and the foot broke off it’s ball joint years ago; I need to see if I can maybe repair it with pin vise, metal dowel and glue

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    jungleroomxjungleroomx It's never too many graves, it's always not enough shovels Registered User regular
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    MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    I played a shitload of the first Armored Core, and considerably less of the rest of the series, but man this is a series where I always wanted to like the games more than I did

    The controls were always bad

    The videos I have watched so far for this one make it seem rad though

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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    Fun bit: it may not be a Steel Battalion rig, but playing AC2 with the old PlayStation Analog Joystick:

    https://youtu.be/_D6i6nNNtaw

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    Lanz wrote: »
    it's weird how huge a fan of the armored core series I am when I've only ever played armored core 1 (demo disc and a couple rentals) and last raven (the only one I ever saw on the store shelf when I actually had a console that could play one)

    For me It was the demo on an old PS1 demo disc a bunch of times but never quite clicking with it, then years later grabbing Verdict Day and For Answer; I can’t remember if I ever had rental access to the PS2 games or if any of the blockbusters just eschewed them for less niche titles

    Also: grabbing that figure Kaiyodo put out of the Geo matrix ZCL-XA / 2

    lq3zo2dlz3m0.jpeg

    Sadly being kaiyodo it’s fragile as hell and the foot broke off it’s ball joint years ago; I need to see if I can maybe repair it with pin vise, metal dowel and glue

    I HAD THAT FIGURE
    I missed that generation of games but I got that figure from the playstation store at the metreon mall in san francisco
    it broke from fiddling with it too much :(

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2023
    by some strange coincidence I have one of the missile launchers on my desk still though!
    nkit71437mwr.jpg

    apologies large picture

    BahamutZERO on
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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    The various accessories are scattered around my home; I should see I I can dig them out of whatever hiding spaces they’ve found themselves in over the decades

    Also the whole “fix the damn foot” thing. Really hoping that whole idea for drilling out the foot and joint with a pin Vice and then gluing it with a dowel to act as a support for the new repair will work

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    The feet on mine both broke, as well as at least one of the side armor skirt dangles, and possibly an arm broke somewhere

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    DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    wait this comes out on friday? fuck yeah

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    JokermanJokerman Everything EverywhereRegistered User regular
    wait this comes out on friday? fuck yeah

    Which platform u at bb?

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    UrielUriel Registered User regular
    Got this game preordered

    On Series X... I sure hope it has crossplay! I didn't realize it even had multiplayer stuff.

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    AvalonGuardAvalonGuard Registered User regular
    No crossplay, I think I remember hearing, but it is just kinda typical boilerplate competitive MP, from what I understand, so unless you are REALLY into that, you're not missing anything.

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    3cl1ps33cl1ps3 I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    I still have so much BG3 to play aaaaaaaa

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    LasbrookLasbrook It takes a lot to make a stew When it comes to me and youRegistered User regular
    edited August 2023


    Shit, I really fucked up my prep for this game. I have an AC, and have played an assassin’s creed and that animal crossing but like a fool I played Armored Core 1,2 and part of 3.

    Also, there’s a new launch trailer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQJb8He0pYA

    Lasbrook on
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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    As part of mine I finally finished Daemon X Machina last week after picking it up, playing it at launch, then falling off after a while

    Going back into it, DXM thoughts:

    Jesus fuck it needs the hard lock on that AC6 is doing because you literally cannot keep up with other Arsenals at times, as in “keep it visibly on screen”

    Two: that last boss fight is bullshit and I do not regret cheesing it with fucking the fuckin’ Deadly Drive disco ball-ass multi-laser array mounted on my shoulder slot. Otherwise I’d just run out of ammo every time.

    Also Murakumo plus chain attack upgrades are useful for closing you in on his docked funnels and then letting you basically nestle in to just throw disco ball lasers at his core

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    OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? the foot of mt fujiRegistered User regular
    I tried to play and enjoy Daemon x Machina but I dunno maybe I was just in a bad headspace for it but holy shit I found that whole story irritating. I was skipping dialogue and cutscenes from basically mission two onward, and only managed to get through a handful before I went “I’m not really enjoying this!”

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    PSN ID : DetectiveOlivaw | TWITTER | STEAM ID | NEVER FORGET
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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2023
    tvfgl2ezcl6c.jpg

    Unlock looks like the same time worldwide on PC, varies on console so that it's midnight locally on the 25th most places. For north america, though, it's Thursday the 24th at 9 PM Pacific on console and 3 PM Pacific on PC.

    BahamutZERO on
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    Fig-DFig-D Tustin, CA, USRegistered User regular
    I'm torn. On one hand, I love From's Souls games. I loved Bloodborne, I loved Sekiro, and I loved Elden Ring.

    On the other hand, I've bounced off of Armored Core both times I tried the series. Granted, both attempts were in the PS2 and From's game design has evolved over the past 20+ years. I wish there was a public demo based on the press demos so I could go hands on with it.

    SteamID - Fig-D :: PSN - Fig-D
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    never dienever die Registered User regular
    I'm curious, do you have an avatar you design outside of your mech (a la Daemon X Machina) or are you only designing your mech?

    Does not change if I'm getting the game or not, just curious.

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    Johnny ChopsockyJohnny Chopsocky Scootaloo! We have to cook! Grillin' HaysenburgersRegistered User regular
    edited August 2023
    Fig-D wrote: »
    I'm torn. On one hand, I love From's Souls games. I loved Bloodborne, I loved Sekiro, and I loved Elden Ring.

    On the other hand, I've bounced off of Armored Core both times I tried the series. Granted, both attempts were in the PS2 and From's game design has evolved over the past 20+ years. I wish there was a public demo based on the press demos so I could go hands on with it.

    This is why I buy physical copies on games I feel have a chance of a bounce-off. Not vibing? Trade it in.

    Like, I've got big hopes for this, but it happens.

    Johnny Chopsocky on
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    Steam ID XBL: JohnnyChopsocky PSN:Stud_Beefpile WiiU:JohnnyChopsocky
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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    there is no outside avatar, just mech design, painting the mech, and you can make a custom emblem I believe.

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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    never die wrote: »
    I'm curious, do you have an avatar you design outside of your mech (a la Daemon X Machina) or are you only designing your mech?

    Does not change if I'm getting the game or not, just curious.

    Just the AC itself

    Given the stuff in the trailers all signs point to the player’s character basically being a near-corpse that’s been chucked full of cybernetics and is probably getting nearly wired directly into the cockpit

    This is presumably us:
    2r978amcj4z5.jpeg

    Lanz on
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    Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    glad to see those release times. I'm traveling back home Friday for a week and taking my gaming laptop with me, glad to see I'll have time to download it Thursday before I go instead of relying on my slow-ass podunk ISP when I get there

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    GR_ZombieGR_Zombie Krillin It Registered User regular
    Lanz wrote: »
    never die wrote: »
    I'm curious, do you have an avatar you design outside of your mech (a la Daemon X Machina) or are you only designing your mech?

    Does not change if I'm getting the game or not, just curious.

    Just the AC itself

    Given the stuff in the trailers all signs point to the player’s character basically being a near-corpse that’s been chucked full of cybernetics and is probably getting nearly wired directly into the cockpit

    This is presumably us:
    2r978amcj4z5.jpeg

    Love to play as my favorite Iron Blooded Orphans dweeb

    04xkcuvaav19.png
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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    Lanz on
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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
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