The recently released screen shot of Silent Line Portable confirms the existence of 2 new parts: the legendary Green Rifle from Project Phantasma, and the BEX-AA00 armor extensions from Another Age. See the complete list of new parts for the upcoming game below:
A Nest for Ravens
Armored Core has always been something of a niche catering to the already-niche genre of mecha simulation. The Armored Core trilogy for the PS1 provided mech fans everywhere with the rare chance to build and battle with their very own customized mechs. As players got to know the game better, their skills improved along with their ability to design ACs. It got to the point where bashing the AI rankers wasn’t enough any more and nothing other than an equally skilled human opponent would suffice for competition. But as most AC players surely realized, finding people to play against, let alone skilled ones, was just as challenging as learning to play Armored Core itself.
One of FROM’s biggest hurdles in converting their PS2 Armored Core titles to the PSP was the control scheme. The inherent difference in the number of buttons on the dual shock and the PSP meant that the controls simply couldn’t be the same. This is evidenced by how FROM’s first portable Armored Core game, Formula Front, was initially an AI arena only. FROM eventually did implement player control, but with automated vertical aiming due to the absence of the L2 and R2 buttons on the PSP. This made for what enthusiasts considered a dumbed down Armored Core experience.
With the release of Armored Core 3 Portable and the announcement of Silent Line Portable, many players wondered how FROM would work around this button handicap. The image below shows how they decided to lay out the default controls.
Recent screenshots of the upcoming Armored Core Silent Line Portable game for the PSP have revealed a variety of new parts to be included in the next AC game as well as some new features.
1. Shortened load time thanks to some of the game data being installed in the memory stick.
2. Data from AC3P can be carried over, though only 1/10 of the credits will be ported over aside from all of the parts.
3. A.I. training seems to be back as well.
On to the new parts:
Long time AC fan Naitoh, who has been an excellent source of information on the Japanese Armored Core scene, has recently uploaded videos of “Matsuri 2″, a Japanese Armored Core 3 tournament held back in January of 2003, on his YouTube account. Sadly, we have no further information regarding the tournament such as its rules and part restrictions. Beyond that, the only information we can confirm for sure is the slight lag with the 2nd player because of the i.Link connection, as mentioned by Naitoh himself, a given problem in the AC3 and SL editions of AC.
After the release of Armored Core 3 Portable for the PSP last July, From’s next entry in its PSP ports series is Armored Core: Silent Line, which is scheduled for a November 19, 2009 release. One of the highlights of this new edition is the reappearance of the legendary Karasawa Mk II first seen in Armored Core 2, and it seems like it retains most of its stats except for the reduced ammo count as seen below:
As seen from this latest Famitsu magazine scan, Armored Core 3: Silent Line and Armored Core: Last Raven are receiving PSP ports soon as well. The listed release dates mark Silent Line due to release November this year, and Last Raven on March 2010. Two Tenchu games are coming out too, with Wrath of Heaven getting the first release this August, and Fatal Shadows on January next year.
Here’s the official launch page for these games. This was previously a countdown page, as what seems to be the norm for teasers these days.
No word on any changes in gameplay for SL or LR, though there is speculation it will take advantage of the PSP’s ability to connect online and play against other players via the internet as seen from AC3P‘s promo video.