It’s time for the lastest game in this marathon to come from the CAPCOM Beat ‘Em Up Bundle, and also another game to not have a “Then” category, as yes, me and my friend played this for the first time just earlier this year. Armoured Warriors turned out to be a great mix of Mech combat and beat ‘em up that I’m really glad to have ended up playing rather than it just slip into the background of the 1001 other Arcade games I’ve never heard of that are probably good… Anyway, let’s take a look!
I’m pretty sure there was an enemy in front of us at this point, we weren’t just shooting the ground for no reason…
Armoured Warriors (or “Armored Warriors”, but I just can’t get into the habit of missing out the ‘u’, sorry Americans!) was released in Arcades in October 1994 and became a small hit, being listed sixth in Japan’s top Arcade units that year. Despite this success it never saw any kind of home port until the previously mentioned CAPCOM Beat ‘Em Up Bundle released digitally in September 2018.
The fighting game Cyberbots was actually a sequel to this game, despite the change in genre, and that at least saw some home ports… but that’s another story (that given I’ve never played it, is a story that might not ever be told here, so… yeah. Sorry about that.)
Ah, a drill arm! Don’t mind if I do!
While at its core it’s the same old solid CAPCOM engine, including an attack button, jump button and throws, the big and really fun part of Armoured Warriors is the fact that not only are you in a Mech, but you can change parts of the Mech by salvaging the wrecks of enemies you defeat. Just destroyed an enemy with a big drill arm? Pick it up and slap it on your Mech and now you can use it! Had your legs damaged? Oh well, steal some tank-like treads instead! It’s a really fun and unique system, and when paired with the great Arcade-y metal clanking and exploding sounds it’s a really great time overall.
Beyond that admittedly big new feature the game doesn’t add anything else new, not that needed too. I do like the Mech designs, both playable characters and bosses, which adds to the appeal even more. As for genre clichés? Well, obviously, all the enemies being Mechs means most of them are off the table, and the setting and size of the “characters” means very little in traditional level design too. It’s not a bad thing though, really…
Graphics and Sound:
Now THERE’S an intimidating boss!
The graphics are nice big chunky sprites that are well animated, which is especially impressive given how makeshift your Mech can end up looking throughout the stages. The backgrounds and explosions are all nice as well. It’s a very pleasing package.
The sound is great as well. The soundtrack is catchy and suited to the mood, while the soundeffects are really impactful and have that lovely Arcade echo to them. Top marks.
… Cybersleezes? Really…?
The year is 2281 the war between Earth’s The United Earth Government and the people of the planet known as Principalities of Raia had been over for a whole year before war breaks out again, but this time within Raia’s Capital at the hands of an unknown army. Earth sends a force to Raia to help free their old enemies from this mysterious group… but in reality it’s all a plan to conquer Raia and finally establish UEG dominance on the planet.
Four top soldiers of the UEG that are a part of the team to “save” Raia are 1st Lt. Jeff Perkins, Captain Ray Turner, Major Glenn Reed and 2nd Lt. Sarah White (in other words, the four playable characters). In the end the “mysterious force” is defeated and… yep, Earth officially takes control of Raia. Oh well! A … sort of happy ending?
Bringing out the big guns! … and big mechs too!
Armoured Warriors is a great scrolling beat ‘em up that deserves far more praise and recognition than it gets. Not only is the gameplay extremely satisfying but the addition of Mechs and being able to salvage various parts to add on to your character really adds something unique and extremely fun to the mix. Highly recommended.