Airmech Arena - Games Weekly

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Airmech Arena

It’s gundam tricky at first, but eventually you’ll mech giant strides
There can be very few baptisms of fire in gaming more devastating than being dropped into your first online battle in AirMech Arena. Despite the pleasantly brief but detailed tutorial, nothing can prepare you for the shock of having your rump handed to you with all the efficiency of a cuban boxer.

that was the fate that befell me when i first took my mech online. i’d already played a few of the game’s solo skirmishes and was confident that my relatively easy victories there would bode well for the online battlefield: maybe i was just naturally great at this game?

spoilers: no.

AirMech Arena’s online options are relatively few, but it obviously prefers to play to its strengths rather than throwing in a bunch of underused variations that will only separate the userbase further.after opting for a 1-vs-1 ranked match and having my bases taken from me in a manner not unlike a tiger squaring off against a wildebeest, i decided a 3-vs-3 match may be a bit more forgiving.
“Playing in teams greatly increases the variety of tactical options open to you”
sure enough, being paired with two other players gave me more security, as any time my mech was blown up (it takes 10-15 seconds to respawn) i knew there were others continuing to fight.Playing in teams also greatly increases the variety of tactical options open to you. 1-vs-1 matches are intense, but slightly fiddly controls mean that juggling different tasks ordering and spawning new units, attempting to capture enemy bases, switching to a ground mech to attack enemy units, taking on the other player’s mech itself can become a bit too much to bear, especially early on.


instead, with three on each side, you can work together on different tasks. one player can stay back at a base, building units and dumping them around the base so their team-mates can come back and grab them whenever they’re needed.

another player preferably the most skilled one, as i found out to my detriment might want to wander around in their mech’s on-foot mode, taking out enemy units as and when the opponent spawns and places them, thus preventing them from taking over
your bases.

it’s when you play in team battles that the game really comes into its own, especially when you have a team willing to communicate with each other via voice chat. Just as long as you don’t get lumbered with the joker i got, who kept making rubbish tank puns over and over again, as if he was the first person in the world to come up with ‘tanks very much’ or ‘tanks for the memories’. but that’s less AirMech Arena’s fault, and more that of society itself.

the only major annoyance that is the game’s fault is its consistent badgering to chuck some money at it, either for new items or to fast-track your progress by increasing the xP you earn after every battle. Do your best to resist it and you’ll have a great time without spending a penny.

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