#94, October 27th 2020
Availible On: PlayStation 1
Master of the Arena is the third and final game of the PlayStation 1 trilogy. Following Armored Core & Project Phantasma, Master of the Arena uses the same structure as the previous titles while greatly improving the feel of the game. The Core, mech you control, feels heavy making sharp maneuvers in the first two games difficult. Master of the Arena speeds up the Cores movement and feels fantastic to control even with the lack of analog stick option.
This is the biggest adjustment to the series as not only does it change how you interact with the game, but also how other mechs fight you. During the first two games, a valid strategy was posting up shop in a corner and unloading everything in front of you. Enemies, unable to move from side to side easily, are smothered with bullets. Mobility is key in Master of the Arena and enemies easily dodge what you throw at them. This forced me to break a number of bad habits I had acquired from previous titles but led to some tense gameplay.
Keeping in line with the series, it brings the general tunes you have become familiar with. The menu screen between missions, the hard pumping track during arena battles. There are also a few different voice actors in the game. In terms of sound there is nothing to be blown away with.
Following the events of Project Phantasma, corporations are fighting for supremacy and hiring out Ravens to destroy the competition. You play as the only survivor of one of these attacks carried out by the top rank Raven, Hustler One. Fans of the series will instantly recognize Hustler One, and Master of the Arena does a great job moving the plot forward with the minimal story that led to this point.
The main campaign is similar in length to Project Phantasma. The real content in Master of the Arena lies in the arena mode. Besides the standard arena, the second disc provides a wealth of content with arenas based on Core requirements such as four legs as well as going against the developers mechs! Overall this is the best game in the trilogy but is hard to recommend jumping into at this time. WIth COVID-19 inflation on used games, Master of the Arena is fairly expensive at the moment, with no digital version on PSN currently. If you can hold out until prices begin to level out again, this would jump to an easy recommendation.
|Recommendation||Wait for Sale (Covid price spike to drop)|
|Time To Completion||8 Hours|