Greetings gentle readers. Today I wanted to talk about the upcoming game Daemon X Machina, releasing on 9/13 for the Nintendo Switch, and why I am personally really excited for it. And to really drive home why I am excited, I need to discuss another series of games from my past: Armored Core.
Growing up, I started with the Sega Master System console back in the 80’s. I didn’t get a regular NES till the SNES released. Then I went to the PC world of gaming and did not have another console at all until the PS1 in like 1998. I mention this because you need to understand that for the longest time the only “Mech” games I had access to were the Mechwarrior and Battletech stuff, which never appealed to me. Not the tabletop games (yes, there are both tabletop RPGs and Miniature wargames) nor the video games in the MechWarrior or Battletech franchises.
I found the large scale mechs to be too clunky and dull for me. I was used to faster action or more story driven stuff from my NES and my PC. I also never really got into the mech designs either, all big, clunky, and chunky. Mind you, today I respect that Battletech / Mechwarrior is a huge deal and I have tried over the years to understand the appeal of the games, but their focus on more simulation styled action and methodical combat has never really gelled with me at all, even now. I suppose part of that is the anime series Gundam Wing, which always showed Mecha with much quicker combat, more flashy moves, and a design that appealed to me so much more (angular, colorful, and humanoid)
I don’t remember exactly when I ran across Armored Core, but at some point I got the very first game in my hands for my PS1. I loaded it up, and found myself looking at Mechs straight outta Anime. As I played, I began to really get into the faster movement, action combat, and most importantly the customization. In Armored Core, I could paint my mechs, design my own emblems to stick en em, name em, change out all the parts (and there were, at the time, a TON of parts) and earn money from doing missions to buy new equipment/parts. It was astonishing to me at the time. I quickly sought out the sequel, Project Phantasm, and then eventually the 3rd game Master of Arena which has always been my favorite of the first three.
What attracted me to them, as I said, was the combat and customization, as well as an interesting storyline. In these games you played a Raven, a mercenary for hire in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by Megacorps. You would spend your time in a garage, modding your mech to your satisfaction, with the ability to have different leg types, torsos, heads, weapons, boosters, ect. You would then choose from a list of missions (both primary story ones and secondary ones) to earn credits and sometimes parts. In Master of Arena, they added an Arena system, which would let you face off against 100 other Mech Pilots for glory, riches, and another storyline. I never could get past Rank 4 (the Rank 3 Mech was BRUTAL). The combat was always a blast, with the ability to boost on the ground for a sprint, to fly, use different weapons (you had 2 shoulder spots, and then a sword and a gun OR weapon arms. Yes, you could have guns as arms haha!), and so on. There was also head to head versus, where your friend, if they had their own save file, could bring THEIR mech into the game to face you. I did this quite a few times with my friends in high school.
Now, after the PS1 I did not own a console again till the GameCube, and then I briefly had a 360 and PS3, but I never had the chance to get any of the Armored Core games that appeared on those systems. The last Armored Core game to release was Armored Core: Verdict Day in 2013….6 years ago. From Software (yes the folks behind Dark Souls) were the original devs of Armored Core and they seemed to have decided it’s not worth their time anymore. It happens, I don’t fault them for it.
Enter Daemon X Machina.
Now I only recently (a few weeks ago now) got a Switch as a gift from my wife’s family and outside of handhelds, this is my first console in like 4 years that I have owned, and the first console I have owned that is being ACTIVELY supported. I tend to be a late adopter of tech ya see. As a note, I have been for the last few years ALSO been trying to find a Mecha game on PC that would scratch the itch I have had for an Armored Core styled game, but have never found one.
So, I went looking at the games coming out and encountered Daemon X Machina, and the instant I watched the trailer my brain went “Its Armored Core….but better!” I decided to pick up the preorder for it then and there (digital, so it’s already sitting on my console all preloaded and snug) along with Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Since then I have been consuming every drop of info I can for the game and have learned quite a bit, and I am super excited for it. Oh, and the reason it feels like Armored Core? The Producer behind the original Armored Core series, Kenichiro Tsukuda, is the producer of Daemon X Machina. Oh and the developers are the team at Marvelous, whose work I loved on the Rune Factory series (RF5 is gonna be hype as well for me just saying)
First, nearly every control option in the game can be customized to fit your playstyle, which is huge for a console game. Additionally, the game describes itself as Armored Core meets Monster Hunter. This is due to the fact that combat (as seen in videos) is very similar to Armored Core (Fast paced, fluid, flight is involved) but now you can also loot parts off dead enemies depending on how they die, which is new. You also get to customize your pilot, there are 4 player Coop online missions (this is exciting and may cause me to get Switch Online to play with readers / patrons, maybe on stream!), there is the full suite of Mech customization, and the art style is perfect for what I personally want (bright and colorful).
Now, there have been negative rumbles due to the demos that were released (these demos are no longer available as far as I can tell). There were issues in those demos, which I have seen mentioned time and again whenever anyone on Reddit mentions the game. However, there was also a video released on Youtube from the devs that shows that they actually listened to the feedback and have made corrections based on the feedback from these demos which is awesome. There is also a recent gameplay video from GameXplain, however its apparently…really bad. Like the player has no idea what they are doing. I haven’t watched to be honest, because I prefer to make my own observations of a game generally based on my own playtime and the trailers / reviews once its released.
I may finally have a game that meets what I have been after all these years since AC Master of Arena, and that excites me. If any game was going to be a system seller for me, it would have been this one. I will also be aiming to do a full written review for the site at some point, but for now I am content to know that I am finally going to get my Anima Mecha Action game again, for the first time in over 10 years for me. And that makes me happy.
I look forward to becoming an “Arsenal” Pilot, creating and customizing my perfect robotic killing machine and pilot, and kicking some ass to some hard heavy metal tunes…maybe with some friends as well. Course, I need to finish Xenoblade 2 before I load it up, but I am working on that!
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a fantastic day! Always remember to Stay Nerdy.
Daemon X Machina can be purchased ($59.99) on Nintendo’s official website right here: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/daemon-x-machina-switch/
EDIT: There is also now a DEMO Available on the main Switch Site linked above, that lets you carry over progress. Everything I am seeing and hearing regarding this new demo is positive, with all the issues fixed from the original, so if you are on the fence about this game PLEASE give the Demo a try, it costs nothing and lets you make your own decision.