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Video Game Nostalgia #3: Armored Core Series

One of my favorite series as a kid was the mecha series Armored Core, which was on the PS1 and PS2 before finally landing on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 with Armored Core 4. The combat's a mix of fast arcade action and simulator-esque realism, the latter because of the deep customization and gritty graphics. Most of the games had both a mission mode and an arena mode, each with their different criteria and situations. And of course, the reward money would go toward either more head-to-head arena battles or buying more parts for your mech. Looking back to the series as I'm older, some games hold up extremely well and some don't. The first three games (and the second game's spin- off, Another Age) were all fantastic because of the mission mode's strength, but games like Last Raven and Nine Breaker are pretty lackluster, particularly the latter because of its low replay value. I do enjoy the PS3/360 games though, due to the rail shooter-like speed and a return to enjoyable missions where the stakes are higher. Overall, still a great series if you're into mech games or games with deep customization options.
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