Another Century's Episode
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|Another Century's Episode|
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 developed by FromSoftware and published by Banpresto. It was released for the PlayStation 2 in Japan on January 27, 2005.
Another Century's Episode 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, Another Century's Episode exclusively focuses on real robots (later games, however, have included one to two Super Robot series in their casts).
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 United Lunar Empire Gigano. To that end, the UCE creates a special taskforce, the Londo Bell team, 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 Londo Bell. 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 unmanned shuttles disguised as refugee ships. In order to stop the E2 shuttle, the Londo Bell destroys the shuttle fleet, allowing the UCE government to frame them as mass murderers.
Undeterred, the Londo Bell team pursues Char to Mars, and after a lengthy battle, defeats him and destroys his last E2 supply. However, using the refugee ship incident, hardliner Duke Dermail seizes power within the UCE government, replacing the pacifist Relena Peacecraft, foreshadowing the coming of a new war.
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.
- Official website (in Japanese)