As the 1980s turned to the 90s and gaming technology crept out of the 8-bit days of the NES, the one thing that the consumer base did not really have – and seemingly could not have – was the sort of mech-fighting action, which was so prominent in the animation of the period.
Surely we had some offerings which did all they could with the technology available, such as Assault Suit Valken, Mechwarrior, and Metal Storm, but you’d have to be very generous to suggest that they reflected even a glimmer of the glory to be found on the screen, and in the minds of those who sought that particular Grail.
Yes, I know… All very dramatic and hyperbolic, especially as all gamers might say the same thing about their own favourite genres.
However, there was always something a little special about the Mech genre which screamed for technology which did not exist to create environments which could not be constructed.
At least till the Playstation and Sega Saturn came upon the scene.
The 32-bit 5th gen machines finally offered the sort of 3D environments that mech fans had lusted for, yet the titles just did not follow. Bandai dropped the ball on Gundam, and very few games really hit the mark. Perhaps with key titles being so bound to their franchises that they were ‘produced’ into the ground by overly concerned companies more interested in the franchise than the gameplay….
In 1996/97 that ended though, when games like Gungriffon and the likes surfaced on the Saturn and FromSoftware released the first Armored Core game on the PS, birthing a legend that continues to this day.
Hard Core Metal
Lifting from a variety of sources, this ‘generic’ mech game hit all the right beats, with graphics which were – for the time – smooth and solid enough for it to be lapped up by fans who wanted to replicate some Virtual On action at home.
The full story can be found here.
I’ve always had a high regard for Kotobukiya’s designs and production, but have never made one of the VI kits before and, on receiving the box, I was impressed at the size….
I had imagined something in the same range as the Dougram kits, but I had not considered just how bulky the Armored Cores actually were – nor, for that matter how spikey…
The mechs in the game from which the Stasis is taken, Armored Core: For Answer take a great deal of their design philosophy from the sort of mechs with which Nagano mamoru populated his Five Star Stories Worlds.
You either love them or you do not. to some folks, mechs should not be this slender and frail looking. As someone who has not played the game as consistently as some, this represents something of a departure from the Original Universe game I knew in time past, but as a fan of FSS (even the newer, even more wraithlike Gothicmade retconned stuff) I find the image rather appealing – if a little drab (and fans of the game will just have to forgive me for not letting this lovely kit stay like that).
Packed to the rafters, with 13 sprues – and some very find parts. How this can be a snap together, I’ll never know…..
I have excluded a few duplicates from the parts review, but one still gets a clear idea of the detail and the quality from the above images.
Apologies for the lighting.
There’s a complexity here that I like… and an aesthetic which really screams to me.
Over the years, part of the success of armored Core seems to have been in its rather ‘generic’ approach to mech fighting games. This is not meant as a criticism, simply that its design team – which does not seem to have been dominated by a single guiding hand – has been able to refine its approach as each generation of platform has come and gone; and part of that certainly is down to the mechs themselves, which are always interesting, and very ably recreated, it seems by Kotobukiya.
However, this will be a new one on me, and I am both pensive and intrigued……