Armored Core: Nine Breaker
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|Armored Core: Nine Breaker|
|Genre(s)||Action, third-person shooter|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
During a rare lull in the usually incessant infighting between corporate giants, the world is experiencing its first taste of relative peace in many years. This is not to say that the corporations have discontinued plotting or carrying out attacks against one another, but the occurrence of such acts are much less frequent. With the exception of one clandestine organization, the world as a whole is grateful for the recent climate change. The organization in question does not advocate a return to the days of wanton violence and destruction, but is concerned that the sudden shift from a constant "conflict ready" state to one of seeming peace will cause many to let their guards down. Specifically, they do not want the Ravens who will man the front lines in the event of a future emergency to grow complacent. In an effort to prevent this from happening, the organization has recruited some of the world's top AC pilots to take part in a rigorous training program. The goal of the program is twofold: further hone the skills of the best, and ensure a sufficient and capable force is at hand should the need for their services arise ("Last Raven" proves this ideal wise).
In a some-what controversial move, developer FromSoftware remodelled some of the basic elements of the Armored Core formula for Armored Core: Nine Breaker. Removed altogether are the storyline-based missions and instead 'training missions' have been added into the game, intending to develop a player's skill at piloting an AC. The game was divided into two modes, Training Mode and Arena Mode.
Training Mode put players' skills to the test by having them compete in various trials. These trials are broken down by category; Attack, Defense, Move, Technic, Special and Overall; and in each of these categories are five separate tests. Each test has five different difficulty levels and the test parameters are increased with every level making it more and more difficult for a player to complete the test. Depending on how well a player does they are awarded gold, silver, bronze or fail status for the test. Getting consistent gold results unlock additional features like hidden parts or more trial missions.
Arena Mode consist of arena battles. Starting from the very bottom of the arena ladder the player can compete in arena matches against a wide array of other Ravens (nearly 200) and collect points for each win they score. When enough points are gained a player earns the right to challenge higher up opponents and move further up in the arena. When certain requirements are met new AC parts are unlocked.
Attempts to loosen the restriction of the heat element introduced in "Nexus" have been made in the game. Heat seems somewhat more tolerable to players overall, but some feel not enough.
The tuning system of "Nexus" has been fixed in Nine Breaker. No longer does tuning cost credits and you can freely tune and untune parts capable of being tuned.
The lack of missions and the existence of the training program have made the existence of a shop feature pointless. You no longer deal with credits at all in Nine Breaker and your achievements grant you access to parts.
Attempts to increase mobility have been made in addition to the attempts to loosen heat restrictions. Maneuvers feel moderately quicker versus the considerably sluggish feeling that "Nexus" gave players.
Nine Breaker has been the most widely criticized of all the AC games due to its lack of a storyline, its difficulty, the repetitiveness of its training and arena missions and its lack of any real accomplishment. It has garnered some of the lowest reviews yet out of all previous AC games, averaging less than 5 out of 10 on most official gaming magazine and website review scales. GameSpot's collective average of 31 separate web and print-based reviews is 6.0 out of 10, a "fair" grade. Some reviewers, such as the ones at GameSpot scored the follow-up Last Raven lower, though they cited a general frustration with the "stagnant" nature of the series and its resistance to change. Players however appear to be of the consensus that Last Raven is the superior game when compared to its predecessor.
- Official website (in Japanese)