Another Century's Episode

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Another Century's Episode
Another Century's Episode Coverart.png
Developer(s) From Software
Publisher(s) Banpresto
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release date(s)
  • JP January 27, 2005
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Another Century's Episode (アナザーセンチュリーズエピソード Anazā Senchurīzu Episōdo?), abbreviated as A.C.E., is a mecha action video game produced by Banpresto and developed by From Software. It was released for the PlayStation 2 on January 27, 2005.

Another Century's Episode is the collaboration of Banpresto, best known for their Super Robot Wars franchise, and From Software, the makers behind the Armored Core series. The game is a fast-paced action title featuring characters, mecha and story elements from nine famous Japanese anime. However, while Super Robot Wars is known for combining super robots, like Mazinger Z, and real robots, like Mobile Suit Gundam, A.C.E. exclusively focuses on real robots (later games, however, have include 1-2 Super Robot series in their casts).

Plot[edit]

In the future, mankind has reached the stars, with colonies orbiting Earth and even Mars. However, political and economical strife have led to a recession that has affected the colonies the hardest. In order to deal with these issues, the multitude of Earth governments have united under the banner of the United Community of Earth (UCE). The UCE's existence has done nothing to prevent the organization of such rebel groups as White Fang and the Lunar Empire of Giganos. To that end, the UCE creates a special taskforce to quell such rebellions.

In order to deal with the energy crisis affecting the Earth Sphere, the UCE develops a new energy source called E2. Though powerful, E2 is also highly volatile, and many groups seek to steal it for their own purposes. Though most of the anime series' plots are followed faithfully, the most notable change is to Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack. When Quattro Bajeena realizes how corrupt and self-serving the UCE government is, he leaves the taskforce. Later on, he resurfaces in his Char's Counterattack form, piloting the MSN-04 Sazabi, and leading an attack on Jaburo. Later, he attempts to ram the giant asteroid Axis through A Baoa Qu (as was done in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam), but the attempt fails, and the two asteroids become stuck together. Unfazed, Char steals a large supply of E2 and sends it to Earth in a civilian shuttle. If the shuttle reaches Earth, it will cause an even greater cataclysm than Axis' impact would have intended. Char had the shuttle sent to Earth, along with a fleet of refugee ships sent under the auspices of Relena Peacecraft. Running low on time and realizing that their situation was grim either way, the heroes attacked the shuttles in an attempt to stop Char's E2 bomb. Though they succeeded in stopping the bomb, the incident caused the heroes to be labelled as traitors, and they were forced to go into hiding.

Playable Units[edit]

Though the game focuses on the nine featured anime, it also includes a number of original machines made exclusively for the game. Unlike Super Robot Wars, however, the original enemies are not the central villains. In addition, the first units that the player receives are original machines representing the two companies: Banpresto's machine is the Gespenst Mark II Mass Production Type from Super Robot Wars, while From Software's is a Mass Production Cloud Breaker, based on the machines from the Xbox game, Murakumo: Renegade Mech Pursuit.

Original Machines

  • RPT-007 Gespenst Mark II Mass Production Type (Pilot: Player)
  • Cloud Breaker Mass Production Type (Pilot: Player)

Non-Playable

  • WAT-62 Main Battle Tank
  • H-41B Battle Helicopter
  • Risnil
  • Shutea
  • Barlar

Aura Battler Dunbine

  • Dunbine (Pilot: Sho Zama)
  • Bilbine (Pilot: Sho Zama)
  • Bilbine Camouflage Colors (Pilot: Sho Zama)
  • Zwarth (Pilot: Black Knight)

Non-Playable

  • Tungy
  • Wryneck
  • Galava (Pilot: Black Knight)
  • Leprechaun

Martian Successor Nadesico: The Motion Picture – Prince of Darkness

  • Black Selena (Pilot: Akito Tenkawa)
  • Aestivalis Custom (Pilot: Ryoko Subaru)
  • Alstroemeria (Pilot: Genichiro Tsukiomi)

Non-Playable

  • Grasshopper
  • Mudzura
  • Yatenkou (Pilot: Hokushin)

Blue Comet SPT Layzner

  • Layzner (Pilot: Eiji Asuka)
  • Zakarl (Pilot: Ru Kain)

Non-Playable

  • Bloodykaiser
  • Grimkaiser
  • Dimarge

Brain Powerd

  • Yuu Brain (Pilot: Yuu Isami)
  • Hime Brain (Pilot: Hime Utsumiya)
  • Nelly Brain (Pilot: Yuu Isami)
  • Baronz (Pilot: Jonathan Glenn)

Non-Playable

  • Grand Char
  • Jonathan Grand Char (Pilot: Jonathan Glenn)

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

Non-Playable

Metal Armor Dragonar

  • XDFU-01 Dragonar-1 Lifter/XC-00 Cavalier-00 (Pilot: Kaine Wakaba)
  • XDFU-02 Dragonar-2 Lifter (Pilot: Tapp Oceano)
  • XDFU-03 Dragonar-3 Lifter (Pilot: Light Newman)
  • YGMA-14 Gilgazamune (Pilot: Gun Jim)

Non-Playable

  • AMA-03B Gebaye
  • FMA-04A Dyne
  • MAFFU-08 Gelf MAFFU
  • MAFFU-08 Jagd Gelf MAFFU
  • MAFFU-08C Reb Gelf MAFFU
  • MAFFU-09 Falguen MAFFU (Pilot: Meio Plato)

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam

Non-Playable

Heavy Metal L-Gaim

  • L-Gaim (Pilot: Daba Mylord)
  • L-Gaim Mk-II (Pilot: Daba Mylord)
  • Ashura Temple (Pilot: Gavlet Gablae)
  • Novel D.Sserd (Pilot: Gaw Ha Leccee)
  • Amon Duule "Stack" (Pilot: Daba Mylord)
  • Auge (Pilot: Oldna Poseidal)

Non-Playable

  • Lista
  • Graia
  • Batshuu
  • A.Taul
  • Blood Temple

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack

Non-Playable

Music[edit]

A.C.E.'s soundtrack consists mostly of original songs, but each of the featured anime gets one or two remixed tracks, typically the series' opening theme, and a piece of incidental, battle-appropriate music. The game's opening theme is "Garnet Moon", performed by Hitomi Shimatani; an instrumental version also plays during the game. The closing theme is "inori", also by Shimatani.

Critical response[edit]

Since A.C.E. was only released in Japan, it was not reviewed by American magazines. However, response from the players was positive. The gameplay was highly similar to the popular Zone of the Enders games, but used Banpresto's usual attention to detail and accuracy, as seen in the Super Robot Wars series. While past 3D mecha games tended to make all the units play the same, A.C.E. was popular because the companies did their best to have each unit move and act like it did in its anime. For example, each unit gets a unique set of melee attacks, such as L-Gaim being able to perform a shield punch and the Gundam Heavyarms having its spinning knife attack. A.C.E. also paid attention to a particular detail rarely given notice to in mecha crossover games: accurate size. As opposed to all the mecha being the same size, every robot is depicted at its proper scale. Aura Battlers for instance, are far smaller than any other unit while SPTs and Mobile Suits are all of varying middle scale. The Heavy Metals of L-Gaim in comparison are quite large.

Sequels[edit]

Released in Japan on March 30, 2006.
Released in Japan on September 6, 2007.
Released in Japan on August 19, 2010.
Released in Japan on January 13, 2011.

External links[edit]