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ACES CURE PLANES
Oct 21, 2010




Click here to go straight to Another Age!



Welcome to Let's Play Armored Core - The PS2 Years! This LP will be doing the entire Armored Core series that was released on the PlayStation 2. That is to say, these games will be the main focus:



The goal is to play through each game, in release order, playing through all missions, collecting all parts, and doing all the side content. I won't be doing anything crazy like going for S Ranks all the way through, because I'll be focusing on diversity of build and playstyle.



Armored Core is a giant robot third person action series by FromSoftware, with mechanical design by Shoji Kawamori, of Macross fame. The series started out in the PSX era, with the most recent entry being Armored Core: Verdict Day, an expansion of sorts to Armored Core V. The game takes place in a dystopian future where a handful of gigantic corporations have taken over just about all facets of daily life, from basic consumer goods to high tech weapons of war. You play as a mercenary, generally known as a Raven, and take missions from these corporations for profit, ranging from innocuous tasks like disabling a haywire security system to gunning down squatters and workers who have gone on strike. Even working with terrorists! If they have the cash, you're for hire, no questions asked.

This LP will be starting with Armored Core 2, and will be an effective sequel to ArclightBorealis' Armored Core, Project Phantasma, and Master of Arena LPs. And though this LP is mainly focusing on the PS2 games, that's not to say there won't be bonus content down the line.

This LP will be subdivided into a number of parts, due to the complex system mechanics and endless numbers of things to talk about with customization options.



Missions updates will be me and a co-commentator or two playing through a number of missions, back to back, with little to no side content to be seen. I'll be taking a number of different builds and parts along for the ride, so as to show off a wide variety of different weapons and strategies.



Arena updates will be showing off one-on-one Arena combat with enemy ACs for the sake of fun and profit. I'll be joined by various co-commentators and we'll power through a handful of fights in one sitting, with various builds.



ACE's Garage is a building and mechanics-focused update, generally with just me and occasionally Nine-Gear Crow, to talk about building strategies, check out parts in the shop, do test runs, and explain the ins and outs of Armored Core's mechanics. For these episodes, I'll be taking suggestions from the thread as to what parts or builds people want to see, and if I like them, I'll include them in the Missions and Arena updates rotation of ACs. So feel free to chime in on design elements or parts you want to see! I'll try anything!



Mail will be all the e-mails we receive in each mission, typed out for your reading pleasure so you don't have to pause a video every time something comes up on screen.


Music sections will have all the music we've heard in an update, so you can enjoy your techno trance OST free of talking or giant robot noises.

So with that said, let's get into it starting with Armored Core 2!

Oh, and as a general rule, try to avoid spoiling things in advance, plot or otherwise.

ACES CURE PLANES fucked around with this message at Oct 10, 2016 around 16:42

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ACES CURE PLANES
Oct 21, 2010





Episode 1 - Intro and Basic Mechanics
Episode 2 - The Basics of AC Design
Episode 3 - The Arena and Energy
Bonus Update - Human PLUS and Overweight
Episode 4 - Disorder
Episode 5 - Arena 41-30 and Fire Control Systems
Episode 6 - "Armored Core Series: Where everyone is a villain"
Episode 7 - Arena 29-20
Episode 8 - Part 1 - Emeraude are a bunch of gently caress-ups.
Episode 8 - Part 2 - "Special Forces, no!"
Episode 9 - Arena 20-10 - "I have brain problems"
Episode 10 - Death of a Corporation
Episode 11 - Conspiracies
Episode 12 - Nine Breaker
Episode 13 - Part 1 - Leos Klein
Episode 13 - Part 2 - Phobos
Episode 14 - One Hundred Percent & Episode 15 - Arena Wrap-Up and a Cheating rear end in a top hat

ACES CURE PLANES fucked around with this message at May 23, 2016 around 17:04

ACES CURE PLANES
Oct 21, 2010






Armored Core 2, and it's expansion pack, Another Age, is a direct sequel to the PSX Armored Core series. Taking place 67 years after the first series, much of humanity has left Earth, and moved to Mars, hoping to escape the desolate, polluted hellscape of Earth and find a new life away from the old Corporations. Unfortunately, given the struggles of terraforming Mars and the new group of Corporations that have surfaced on the red planet, not much has changed. And so, our Protagonist, having just arrived on Mars, sets out to become a Raven.

So with all that laid out, let's begin:

Episode 1 - Intro and basic mechanics (Commentaryless version coming soon)


Nerves Concord posted:

Welcome Raven
Welcome to Mars.
Here you will perform various missions as a Raven registeredwith the Nerves Concord. We look forward to working with you.

Under the Terraforming Project, the Martian environment is beginning to approximate that of the Earth's. And as Martian society matures, conflicts over control are becoming fierce.

The planet is therefore in a state ofconstant turmoil. For a Raven, it is an ideal setting. The amount ofwork available to you is limited only by your abilities.

Another thing: As on Earth, Arenas for Ravens exist on Mars, and all Ravens must be registered with an Arena. your registration is already complete.

Your current ranking reflects your status as a new Raven. Advancement through the ranks rests solely on your shoulders. We will contact you periodically, so remember to check your Mail. Good luck.

Nell Aulter posted:

New Partner
Hello, Raven.
I am Nell Aulter, a liaison manager for the Nerves Concord.

I'm responsible for your managerial duties, including mission assignments and communicationsupport. How long I will be your manager is up to you,but I look forward to working together.

I've already lined up your first mission assignment. The job is low in rank for a Raven, but it's a good chance to get warmed up. Please complete the mission successfully.

On a parting note... "Some birds can fly, and others cannot." This is the only truth in your existence. I pray you'll have the ability to fly.

Light Seeker posted:

To the New Raven
I want to congratulate you on your entry into the Arena, but life here is hard. Most pilotsdrift through the lower ranks, and then disappear. The ultimate dream is to attain the title "Nine Breaker."

"Werehound." You won't be able to advance as long as he's in the way. Your future in the Arena depends on your ability to defeat him. If you can't, you'll vanish like so many others. Good luck.


RoboComBat
Opinion of the Way
Roundabout

ACES CURE PLANES fucked around with this message at Feb 4, 2016 around 15:57

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!


Good first video. Glad it seems we got some things in common when it comes to these types of games (cluttered mech HUD all the way).

Good luck all the way through, man. You certainly took quite a burden off my back deciding tackle these seven games, but I look forward to your spin on things regarding play styles and AC builds.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird

This is my straight up favorite Armored Core ever. Been looking forward to someone doing this one for a while.

Everything looks great so far.

Gamerofthegame
Oct 27, 2010

Could at least flip one or two, maybe.


Armored Core always made me curious why there aren't other notable mecha games out there. That and Battletech kind of run around, everyone enjoys them despite being incredibly flawed, no one else tries to do it. Heck, Chromehounds was well received until it shut down.

motoh
Oct 16, 2012

The clack of a light autocannon going off is just how you know everything's alright.

I've always skirted around playing the AC games because I don't mesh well with the controls (Which will, as usual, make Aces frown at me) but they'll never stop fascinating me. Hopefully watching someone play them competently will give me the inspiration to try it myself sometime.

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!


Gamerofthegame posted:

Armored Core always made me curious why there aren't other notable mecha games out there. That and Battletech kind of run around, everyone enjoys them despite being incredibly flawed, no one else tries to do it. Heck, Chromehounds was well received until it shut down.
I mean, if this question was posed say 10 to 15 years ago, I think the answer would be that there are plenty of notable mecha games, it's just that most if not all of them are relegated only to Japan because not too many people outside of there are aware or give a poo poo. These days it's just the main staples like you mentioned, in addition to Gundam EXVS, and if you want to make the argument for it Super Robot Wars (Although that's more focused on the strategy element rather than directly piloting a mecha). There's been Virtual-On, Gungriffon, Another Century's Episode, the old Gundam Side Stories games, there were even titles on the PS2 based on other existing mecha anime that did them justice for the first time in the medium (Macross and VOTOMS). Now those concepts are pretty much dead and abandoned, leaving the already well established franchises free to continue because they'll still sell to their audiences.

Of course, there's also the answer of other notable mecha games aren't out there because of how gently caress expensive it is to develop games now. But hey, when has that never been the case for anything in this industry these days?

ACES CURE PLANES
Oct 21, 2010




motoh posted:

I've always skirted around playing the AC games because I don't mesh well with the controls (Which will, as usual, make Aces frown at me) but they'll never stop fascinating me. Hopefully watching someone play them competently will give me the inspiration to try it myself sometime.

Yes but like you said, I frown at you for everything. And as for the controls, I honestly struggle with the base ones too, which is why I go out of my way to change them as soon as possible. Funny how switching the buttons for turning and moving has me going from barely getting by to zipping along effortlessly. I blame Megaman Legends and the glut of PSX era games before analog sticks when camera control was relegated to L1/R1.

Kinda funny that Arc brings up Another Century's Episode, since those games were made by FromSoft too. There might be some bonus material there.

Anyways, what's the point of asking people to suggest parts and builds when people don't know what parts or builds are in the game? So expect an update tonight or early tomorrow on just what kind of parts we have available to us from the start with our first ACE's Garage section.

I knew I should've set a basic thread tag instead of expecting the process to get another forum's thread tag to be a quick one.

RoboChrist 9000
Dec 14, 2006

mater dolorosa

Aww yeah. These were some of my favorite games. So looking forward to this.
Nexus was my favorite. Never got around to playing Last Raven, although I think I own it, so looking forward to seeing that too.

EponymousMrYar
Jan 4, 2015

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.


I love me some Armored Core. I want to say Silent Line was my biggest 'oh man I understand this series now!' game. Or that might be the Last Raven.

Either way, endlessly circle strafing in a hover mech until out of ammo and then sword arming stuff to death to make mad bucks is what I remember most.
Also having to escape a sinking ship.

Lache
Dec 17, 2006
Why yes, your suffering does feed me

Been on the lookout for this since it was mentioned in the Ace Combat Zero thread. I was entirely addicted to AC3 up through Ninebreaker, but didn't ever play Last Raven. Years later when I picked up For Answer in the bargain I flat out couldn't play it due to the muscle memory built up from the PS2 game controls, not to mention the huge difficulty spike. Even the AC test AI in that seemed more vicious than the top tier Arena foes in any of the PS2 games.

Krysmphoenix
Jul 29, 2010

Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.


Grimey Drawer

Huh. Decided to pop this in and give it a spin since I remember playing the heck out of AC2 over a few rentals. Either this game a lot harder than I remember, or coming to the controls after so many years of dual-stick movement is awkward.

ZenVulgarity
Oct 9, 2012

I made the hat by transforming my zen



Krysmphoenix posted:

Huh. Decided to pop this in and give it a spin since I remember playing the heck out of AC2 over a few rentals. Either this game a lot harder than I remember, or coming to the controls after so many years of dual-stick movement is awkward.

The controls are buttcheeks to get back into

Man I loved these games a lot

Zanzibar Ham
Mar 17, 2009

You giving me the cold shoulder? How cruel.



Grimey Drawer

I played AC2 a ton as a kid, but as almost always happened, I got distracted by new games before I finished it. Will be cool to see what I missed, what I remember, and what I don't.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Doctor Rope

AC2 is the best goddamn mecha game I've ever played.

Also gently caress Werehound.

ModeWondershot
Dec 30, 2014

Portu-geezer


I often tell my friends that, despite the risk of sounding like a hipster, From Software was also awesome before Demons'/Dark Souls. Will look forward to more!

Also, if this does indeed turn into the Armored Core Megathread for the PS2 era, would you be up for contributions or co-commentary from other AC players like ArclightBorealis or myself?

ACES CURE PLANES
Oct 21, 2010




I'm definitely going to have co-commentary on episodes, mainly because I'm pretty terrible at carrying an episode myself (the commentary for the opening video took like 8 rerecordings and I had to eventually split my commentary into four parts ).

Working on an update right now, because what's the point of asking for people to suggest parts they want to see without showing what kind of selection there is? The post is written up, just gotta do the video part.

It's just the post is 15000 characters long. Before any pictures.

IthilionTheBrave
Sep 5, 2013


Armored Core has a lot of parts, and the parts have a lot of stats. First time I booted up AC3 and looked at the detailed stats for a random bit on my AC I just kinda blanked out at all the terms and numbers and stared for a moment before trying to figure out what they all did.

And this is a bit pre-emptive, but rather than suggesting specific parts to use I would like to suggest the use of machine guns. For some reason I always have a soft spot for rapid-fire weapons/attacks, even in games where they're impractical.

ACES CURE PLANES
Oct 21, 2010




That's totally fine, weapon type suggestions are welcome just as much or more.

Basically, what you'll be seeing later is a video with me and Nine-Gear Crow talking about weapon and part categories, and I'll have an offsite SSLP Test Post page showing all the parts and weapons we have available to us as of now, and explaining all the different stats. So if your interests lie in building giant robots, look forward to later.

Zanzibar Ham
Mar 17, 2009

You giving me the cold shoulder? How cruel.



Grimey Drawer

IIRC I loved missiles and explosives in general. Big robots + big explosions, what's not to love?

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!


Missiles in Armored Core 2 are particularly useful, if not broken to a certain extent. Like, multi missiles in the first game were pretty economical already, but between support missile extensions and the heat system being introduced in this game, letting big targets and ACs take a dozen missiles to the face is more devastating than they ever were in the series prior.

And also there's the fact that many missiles being fired are the primary cause of slowdown in this game, which I hope ACES will show at some point just how many ballistics you can cram on screen at once.. It's impressive to watch, though, considering all the contrails weaving in a way that would make a Macross fan proud.

ACES CURE PLANES posted:

I'm definitely going to have co-commentary on episodes, mainly because I'm pretty terrible at carrying an episode myself (the commentary for the opening video took like 8 rerecordings and I had to eventually split my commentary into four parts ).
Glad to know I wasn't the only one that had this issue. Made me drop that idea and just stick to subtitling the Metal Wolf Chaos LP, but I'd say you did a good job all things considered. Certainly had more guts than I did.

ACES CURE PLANES
Oct 21, 2010






And welcome to ACE's Garage, where I build, show off, and test out various AC parts and designs that you poor folks want to see.

Or rather that's how it normally works, but first we need to see what we have available from the start, don't we? So I enlisted nine-gear crow to help me talk about the basics of AC parts, since we have a lot to go over.

Episode 2 - The Basics of AC Design

If there's anything you've seen that looks interesting and you want to see in action, post in the thread, and I'll show it off. I'll try to satiate everyone, even if it means making some sort of horrible abomination of clusterfuck AC design.

Similarly, we still haven't gotten a name for our main AC. Not that I mind riding Dongs, of course. In our next update, our first Arena update, we'll take whatever horrible abominations people want to see out for a spin, alongside our garbage low tier AC. So look forward to that.

ACES CURE PLANES fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2016 around 16:05

Zanzibar Ham
Mar 17, 2009

You giving me the cold shoulder? How cruel.



Grimey Drawer

Wow, I actually remembered many of those parts! I think my final AC had either quad legs or hover "legs". I remember really liking quad-leg designs on mechs at the time.

As for AC designs/names, here's mine - no energy weapons, shell weapons with big stopping power, maybe also those missiles that shoot up, then down at the enemy on a shoulder or two. Color it red, white and blue and call it the Open Carry (or if you want a really old joke, the Never Forget ).

A Pleasant Hug
Dec 30, 2007

...It's the thought that counts, right?

ACES CURE PLANES posted:

All seven PS2-era Armored Core games LP
That is an absolutely massive undertaking, but these games deserve it. Looking forward to all the love & care you put into this, and while I could manage to write-up some massive text-walls about the PSX generation, I sure can't do that about this one. In a surprise twist, Armored Core 2 + Another Age were the last of the Armored Core games I got to enjoy, so my experience and general knowledge of parts, mechanics, and tactics are lacking here.

Of course, I love talking about these stupid stompy giant robot games so I'm all over this thread and will be barfing some design suggestions at you. Some of them will make you hate life. Some of them demand a high-level of control. Some of them are super-easy. But they'll all be fun!

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird

Zanzibar Ham posted:

As for AC designs/names, here's mine - no energy weapons, shell weapons with big stopping power, maybe also those missiles that shoot up, then down at the enemy on a shoulder or two. Color it red, white and blue and call it the Open Carry (or if you want a really old joke, the Never Forget ).

Return from whence you came, please.

Zanzibar Ham
Mar 17, 2009

You giving me the cold shoulder? How cruel.



Grimey Drawer


Oh, you're right. I wasn't thinking when I posted that one.

Alright, then do what I'm sure I did at some point as a kid - tons of missiles, and call it the Mad Cat.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Armored Core 2 is a huge loving part of my childhood. I was 8 when it came out, so I got it and Another Age in middle school and only managed to beat them with the aid of an Action Replay cheat device. The first like, half of AC2 is permanently burned into my brain.

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006


AC2 was the first in the series I really sat down and played. I had the AC1 demo but never found an actual copy of the game til years later. I remember crashing it one time with 2 missile boats in versus. Silent Line remains the best game in the series, but 2 was a great place to start.

You should show off how broken the EWR-L24 is if you can aim it. I setup proper right analog aiming in PCSX2 last year and just shredded everything with it. Also the EWX-VLS241, the only missiles anyone ever needs unless the map has really low ceilings.

Get a bomb dispenser and kill someone in the arena by making GBS threads on them.

Maybe try to avoid leaning too hard on God's One True Handed-Down-On-The-Mountain FCS: the LODD-BLAZER.

The flamethrower is neither the worst weapon, nor is its damage bad. It's the highest dps by a wide margin and isn't nearly as hard to hit with as the bomb dispensers.

dis astranagant fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2016 around 13:10

IthilionTheBrave
Sep 5, 2013


Clearly you should load up grenade launchers and rockets on as light a frame as possible and zip around missing everything.

On a more serious note, All the Dakka. Chaingun on one of the shoulders, tank treads, machinegun of your choice, and your pick of whatever for the remaining back unit (as I'm sure a second chaingun would be more than a little absurd) and left arm. Not going to suggest any more specific parts because I've been up for 19 hours and I don't want to try making sure the weight will work.

I'm pretty confident I've tried a similar build in AC3, at least. Likely out of some ill-conceived notion that being super tanky would adequately compensate for my clumsy and inept piloting. I know the chaingun can trivialize a lot of the earlier arena matches. Pity it doesn't really teach you how to actually fight once the opponents start getting too smart to fall to just immediately kneeling and spraying bullets until one of you is dead.

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006


In AC3 all you need to trivialize basically every match is a chaingun and flamer in the Parking Garage. The AI is too stupid to not back itself into a corner and get in a damage race that's 100% impossible to win.

dis astranagant fucked around with this message at Feb 8, 2016 around 02:26

IthilionTheBrave
Sep 5, 2013


I wouldn't be surprised, but I am astoundingly incompetent at AC games, despite thinking they're really neat and awesome. The only one I consider myself "vaguely okay" at would be AC5, which is a whole different beast from the PS2 era.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird

Just a quick PSA: ArclightBorealis's runs through Project Phantasma and Master of Arena are now up on the LP Archive, for anyone who might have missed them.

ACES CURE PLANES
Oct 21, 2010




So, I've got a question for you guys, considering I'm kinda still learning as I go along on what you guys like/what to see - Since the Gigantic Offsite Spergwall was a just a teensy bit inaccessible to all but the most dedicated, and stuff like the first Garage video was a bit too long, would you guys be a bit more receptive to a shorter, more digestable snippets at the end of videos explaining mechanics a bit more 'firsthand', so to speak? At the expense of having to listen to me drone on solo over a bunch of clips, of course.

Or, alternatively, would you prefer I just skip the mechanics chat, maybe post some images of new parts every now and again, and get on with the shooty bits?

Either way, I should have some shooty bits for you anyways by the end of the day, assuming nothing explodes.

The Jumpoff
May 4, 2011
Your dad's in the Russian Mafia, that's the jumpoff!

I remember this was one of the first PS2 games i owned, and I loved the hell out of it, but I never completed it because I was 10 and dumb. I'm excited to see it completed.

Zanzibar Ham
Mar 17, 2009

You giving me the cold shoulder? How cruel.



Grimey Drawer

ACES CURE PLANES posted:

So, I've got a question for you guys, considering I'm kinda still learning as I go along on what you guys like/what to see - Since the Gigantic Offsite Spergwall was a just a teensy bit inaccessible to all but the most dedicated, and stuff like the first Garage video was a bit too long, would you guys be a bit more receptive to a shorter, more digestable snippets at the end of videos explaining mechanics a bit more 'firsthand', so to speak? At the expense of having to listen to me drone on solo over a bunch of clips, of course.

Or, alternatively, would you prefer I just skip the mechanics chat, maybe post some images of new parts every now and again, and get on with the shooty bits?

I watched the garage video with no problems, but didn't look at the parts list. Hope that helps.

ACES CURE PLANES posted:

Either way, I should have some shooty bits for you anyways by the end of the day, assuming nothing explodes.

Everything better explode.

Haerc
Jan 2, 2011


Zanzibar Ham posted:

I watched the garage video with no problems, but didn't look at the parts list. Hope that helps.

Same.

sleepy.eyes
Sep 14, 2007

Like a pig in a chute.


I'm down with mechanics chat.

IthilionTheBrave
Sep 5, 2013


Little snippets at the end of videos going into greater detail on some of the part stats and whatnot sounds like an awesome idea. Reading about it all is one thing, being able to see examples of some of the differences is another.

And I watched the video and also skimmed other the parts list. Doing the snippets does add a lot of work for you (and this is a daunting project to begin with), but I think it'd make for a more complete experience. Anyone who's not interested in the mechanics and just wants giant robots shooting each other and just skip them.

I mean for me, when it comes to suggestions for parts and the like I'm more interested in wanting to see a general playstyle rather than really hankering to see an EHD-ONE-NT slapped on top of a ZCH-GR/1. This is largely because I don't want to burden you with a particularly awful combination of parts, partly because I want to know what you would consider an effective setup for certain playstyles and learn more about effective AC assembly in case I decide to try playing again someday.

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Danakir
Feb 10, 2014


Snippets at the end of videos sound great to me.

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