Armored Core Project Phantasma Review

#93, October 23rd, 2020
Availible On: PlayStation 1

Gameplay

A direct sequel to Armored Core, Project Phantasma offers a more streamlined version. While there are some new additions to configure your mech, the format is largely the same as the previous title. 

One key addition to the series is the Arena mode which puts you in a tournament of the top 50 Cores. Unlike the first game where you could largely stand in one spot and unload, the mechs found in the Arena are fast and deadly causing you to constantly be on the move and manage your energy. The game still has some of the clunkiness found in the first title and if you get stuck against an enemy, posting up against a wall and unloading takes care of them. 

Sound

Similar to the first game, the game offers minimal soundtrack and voice acting. Overall it is a slight improvement over Armored Core. 

Story/Single Player

Project Phantasma improves on the storytelling over Armored Core as the game moves in a linear fashion with missions given to you by the character Sumika. The game’s story revolves around uncovering the secretive Doomsday Organization intentions. Rumored to be funded by large comglomerates in an effort to build a new weapon known as Phantasma. 

Sumika, a former test subject of Doomsday Organization, is your primary client and occasional partner on missions. Shortly into the game you meet the main villain, Stinger, another Raven like yourself who assists Doomsday Organization. 

While the overall storytelling is improved upon from the first game, it also removes some of the charm. Similar to Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2, the first is largely open and unrefined while the second game improves upon all aspects but loses some of the delight in choosing your path. One benefit of a focused story is the environments are improved over Armored Core. The game mixes stages above and below ground. 

AskingPrice

Project Phantasma took me 9 hours to complete, one more than the first game. While the story is largely cut in half (18 missions versus 50), the Arena mode makes up for in content. Unlike the story mode where you have to manage your income and expenses, this is not the case in the Arena, letting you equip expensive weapons with no drawbacks. 

RecommendationYes/Wait for Sale
DifficultyMedium
Time To Completion9 Hours
Price~$15-25

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