Whenever I get the chance to suggest titles to my fellow gamers, I often mention the Armored Core series. This recommendation always came with at least a minor amount of guilt, as all of the titles up to this point had their share of problems. 4 Answer (like most of the tag lines from Japan seems to be a bit lost in translation) however, has been by a large margin the most enjoyable entry.
The prime point of examination for an Armored Core game would have to be the parts, and this title has the most to tinker with to date. Beyond quantity, the quality is spot on - as the balance between parts has obviously gone through some extensive balancing - and has also seen an online update for balancing which bodes well for the future of the game.
Speaking of balance and updates, the online multiplayer looks to be a well implemented facet of the game. Both ranked and custom matches are in place, though the match making can put you up against someone well above or below your own level. Connectivity has been good in my few matches, and the extremely fast paced movement of the game - miraculously - translated fully without lag.
At the time of this writing, I am only about 30% through the game, and highly impressed with the structure. Upon starting a new game you will chose a faction to be associated with, which has a connection to the parts that will be unlocked as you play through the game. Beyond that, each act of the game allows you to play through... I would say 5 of the 8 available levels, until it progresses you to the next act. These leaving the door wide open for 4 play throughs based on that alone.
Besides the story, there are also "Collared" matches (arena). I've gone through the first 21 opponents, and the differences in AI in correlation with the AC's build - makes it very fun to play through. More credits to be earned, more parts to be unlocked.
As a long time fan of the series, this under the radar release was an absolutely perfect pre-holiday buy.
Don't get me wrong, i love AC games, i've played this entire series. I was really excited with the good changes AC4 made. The fight is better, the weapons are better, the enemeies are tougher, and the graphics are way better. However, AC for answer is basically the same game with new missions and only some new missions/parts. The game is short and lacks depth. At the ended i felt like there had to be more.. but there wasn't. AC4 and for answer both left me confused without answer. I have to get them credit, the game is fun, and you get to blow a lot of stuff up and fly around.