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Armored Core 2 (Any %) (Single Segment)

Decision: Reject

Reason: I feel that LCC's recommendations for both planning as well as the overall execution push this towards "needs more work"

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Run Information

Armored Core 2 (Any %) (Single Segment)

Verification Files

Please refer to the Verification Guidelines before posting. Verifications are due by March 18, 2014.

Please post your opinions about the run and be certain to conclude your post with a verdict (Accept/Reject). This is not a contest where the majority wins - I will judge each verification on its content. Please keep your verification brief unless you have a good reason otherwise.

After 2 weeks I will read all of the verifications and move this thread to the main verification board and post my verdict.
What's that gemma?

I'd like someone more versed in video recording to weigh in here.  Straight lines aren't straight but instead checkerboard-esque and crawling, particularly noticeable on vertical lines in the HUD. The horizontal lines of the HUD are also bad when objects move underneath them.  Is this an artifact from encoding, or a recording problem?

Some of the mission aborts have significant, painful-to-watch jumping in the image.  See for instance 2:55 to 3:05.  That might be graphical glitches from the game itself, though; I am unable to check.

There's also a white flash right after the credits start - were the credits spliced onto the end of a video that had not originally recorded them? If so, that process should be re-done better (or the credits could be ditched altogether).


I am unable to judge his Core loadout and mission selection choices, as I do not own this game; my prior exposure to the game is playing it multiplayer with a friend of mine.

The total amount of time the runner obviously loses is not very high, but I'm inclined to be more picky than what a ~40 minute run would ordinarily warrant because so little of the run involves actually doing anything.

In particular, I feel like he consistently starts his booster more than a second later than he should when going through doors.  In a run with so few chances to gain or lose time, this really bothers me.

As he mentions in his notes, there are some missions where he loses significant amounts of time to missing with his shots.

Altogether, I'm not impressed by this run.  A fair amount of time was obviously spent optimizing his decisions, but as far as execution goes, in a game where the only things to do are move and shoot, and where you only have to actually do that for about 10 minutes total, his motion and his shooting seem just alright rather than good or great.
Edit history:
ktwo: 2014-03-18 11:38:16 am
I've never played this game.

A/V: Some things looked a bit weird as noted above. I don't know enough about video quality to say more personally though.

Gameplay: I can't say much about the strats being used, but it looks like the runner knew what they were doing and overall I thought this looked pretty good. The runner notes down a few big time sinks (2x 15 seconds), but it's stuff like the game deciding to target the wrong enemies or trying to chase a boss that moves like a deer with a robot that is about as agile as a ww2 tank. I'm more lenient to this kind of stuff than the verifier above me (but then again, Crow has more experience with the game than me...). The whole time between 3:00 and 14:00, the runner just selects and then immediately aborts missions in order to arrive at the missions that actually need to be completed. It obviously sucks more to reset 14 minutes into a run than 3 minutes into a run (even if the 11 minutes were spent with no action), so that also makes it more understandable for me that everything is not perfect. In summary, I recommend an


Edit: It seems like there are a bunch of people having played this game giving comments now. I prefer to step out of the discussion and change my recommendation to neutral. I still leave my comments up though.
#1 butz fan
I love this game.

A/V looks fine to me. It’s worth noting that the slowdown inside the STAI battleship is normal. Too many MTs and projectiles on screen for a launch PS2 game.

The runner doesn’t farm any extra missions for money, and instead uses the high damage, medium velocity, low ammo cannons and rockets. This is the best routing choice in my opinion, but it’s difficult to play consistently, especially with the manual aim heavy rockets.

There are seconds worth of improvements I could identify: a couple of missed shots in Murakumo, unfortunate stun lock versus Klein, and a couple of missed shots in Phobos. Overall though this was a really solid route and run.

As someone who has played a lot of Armored Core games, I can say the routing is pretty good overall. Armored Core 2 I believe is one of the games with a straight time progression as far as what missions you can take, so this kind of approach of just purposefully failing missions is pretty obviously going to be the best approach. Unfortunately, this means this is a 40 minute run with a 15 minute ticket for entry and then 10 more minutes of dead time. This kind of scewed playtime vs runtime factor is something that would potentially hurt in a lot of Armored Core games, but for this particular game it kind of allows some more errors in my mind simply because of how time consuming making attempts would be.

As far as the missed shots go, one important thing to realize about the Armored Core series is that, outside of manual aim stuff such as the rockets he used, weapons automatically target and aim within a region, but they don't aim perfectly. They tend to lead shots as if the target is continuing to move in the direction they are already moving, and then they have some variability based on the combination of arms and weapons you are using. More stable arms and lighter weapons with less recoil leads to more accurate aiming. The grenade arms combine those factors and have somewhat spotty aiming in most of the games they are in. That said, they also have really, REALLY high damage output for the limited shells they have, which means that relying on them as heavily as this run does can be risky.

So for all that, I'll say the most important thing when aiming is knowing when the computer can and will change velocity rather than actually aiming. Even then, you are at the mercy of the general inaccuracies built into the game. Because of that fact, I'm more than willing to overlook the errors in this run. That and the fact that the game is a MUCH bigger time investment than the amount of time in the run would justify, leads me to say this is an

I actually signed up as a verifier, so I guess I should weigh in here.

Similar to Murph, I have a decent amount of experience with this series in general.
While it's difficult to follow it in game, the weapon choices he makes are probably the best ones, albeit being a bit risky. Grande Arms have VERY high damage potential...if they hit. The fact that you can only turn so fast, and most bosses you have to tale out are significantly more agile than you makes aiming them a chore. Add in what Murph mentioned about how aiming works internally, and I'm more than willing to be a bit lenient on the missed shots (especially in the Stop the Surface Weapon mission...targeting stuff that's behind a wall is a pretty fantastic piece of programming...)

As for the video stuff the first verifier mentioned - it's nothing reject worthy. I didn't even notice any of it until I read his comments, then went and rewatched it (except the white flash at the credits, but again, nothing reject worthy).

Edit history:
LCC: 2014-03-17 10:30:59 pm
I have played all of the PS2 Armored Core games extensively, mainly for pvp competitive play. I know everything you can possibly know about the parts in this game, though not a lot about single player missions. I have done some playtesting myself with this route.

AV: Everything looked normal to me from what i've seen in game. The only thing i'm unsure of is that credits "snow" that appears briefly.

There is a mechanic in this game that gives you infinite energy temporarily and then gives you no energy to use for a long time during a recovery period. The time it lasts is dependant on the Core part used. This could have been utilised in the run multiple times to make things faster. Generally it would be used towards the end of certain missions so you don't have to deal with the recovery.

Intro mission: This could have gone way faster. Air blading deals more damage (1shot kill) compared to ground blading, so the best way to approach this mission is to overboost and air blade the first MTs and use limit release towards the end when you're out of energy. After that you can position yourself behind the spawn position of the boss MT before killing the final grunt. This confuses his AI and you can air blade him easy for the win.

I disagree with the build choice given the long fights resulting from the ND lockbox. It works in theory, but the time suffered on some of the later fights simply by not being able to get shots off. You can actually sell the starter head/legs and buy GARD head as well as 1001 RJ legs. This results in GAINING money and get more stability to reduce stun. That being said, it's probably not worth the extra menuing time and simply dodging well is the best way to prevent stun. An alternate weapon arms choice is the T9 arms, which deals damage extremely quickly while having a WS lock type to increase the size of the lock box greatly. Limit release prevents your energy from bottoming out since it's an energy weapon. This would make the boss fights later very consistent and fast at the same time. It also costs less money so you can afford a faster booster. Adding the BE++ optional part (increased energy weapon damage) later would probably help time too.

Stop the Surface weapon: Overboosting at the start to attack the back train would be faster. He stood far away from the trains which caused stun from the missiles and machinegun turret. Using larg rockets first or attack at an angle prevents locking on to the reverse side targets.

Abort the Missiles Launch:  The movement here could be improved a lot. More use of overboost would save a good chunk of time.

Overall I feel like there is a lot of obvious ways to improve so i'll go with rejecting it.


PS: Accuracy in this game is based entirely on the FCS's Precision stat and the weapon's hidden accuracy stat. Nothing else.

Decision posted.