Armored Warriors


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9.5

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 8.5

Overall: 8.5

For a company that thrived on rehashes of their most popular games for years (Mega Man, Street Fighter, etc.) Capcom would be the last company you'd expect to pump out an original arcade title like this. Granted the basic gameplay isn't new, but there's some unique ideas that put this one above the mountains of other beat-em-ups from the same era.

In this underrated classic, you're not taking control of the standard human...oh no. You're hopping inside a 25-30 foot tall mech, crushing mere humans beneath your own girth and shattering other mechs, metal against metal. Each of the 4 selectable characters (of course) have their own advantages over the other, varying in speed and strength.

The stages vary between Earth and the fantasy world or Raia. Though the difference is negligible between the two, it does add some minor variety. The storyline is rather unspectacular, but it hardly matters with the constant barrage of action. Outstanding music is constantly blaring and the explosions never seem to stop so your mind is always on the screen, rarely on why you're actually fighting.

Beyond the fact that this is the only mech-beat-em-up in recent memory (maybe even the only one in the history of video games) there's a great design move that adds a ton of playability. Most mechs will leave behind parts which can then be added to your players mech and used against opponents. It's insanely cool to get added firepower and wipe out legions of metal machines. It's not just weapons either. You can get yourself tank treads, spider legs, and new arms. Keep in mind that these can also be knocked off just as easily leaving you with limited offensive options.

Adding the variety are a few shooting and time attack stages. There's a very strict limit in the timed stages so you need to move at a frantic pace to make it through. The shooting stages are ridiculously fast and more than welcome in the game. It's almost a shame that there aren't more of them crammed into the package. Even when things get hectic, you'll never find any slowdown or flicker. It's simply awe-inspiring at times.

The only problems with the game result from the weapon switching feature. Once you pick up a weapon, you're stuck with it until you die or find a replacement. In other words, if you find something you don't want and there are no other parts available, you're stuck. If it only happened a few times, it wouldn't be an issue, but it happens quite often in the heat of the battle and can very easily result in a quick death. Also, the animation is inconsistent; at times gorgeous, other times hardly noticeable.

This is one of Capcom's better brawlers. Don't let the fact that you may not have heard of it turn you off. Final Fight may be more well known, but this is arguably the better overall package. Much like the recently released Mech Assault for the X-Box, this is a Mech game for the masses, released in the days of hundred button sims. Highly recommended gaming for just about anyone.


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Last updated: Sunday, January 30, 2005 05:44 PM