Initial Impressions of Chaos Wars

By Louise Yang . May 30, 2008 . 10:54am


On the surface, Chaos Wars may look like your typical SRPG.  Non- battle scenes are filled with stills of cute anime characters and ridiculous facial expressions while battle scenes are filled with over-the-top attacks and silly looking monsters.  Even the English dubbing is bad, which seems to be the norm for most games of this genre.


cw2.jpgWhat surprised me was that even though the battlefield looks like it was made from a grid-like pattern like your typical SRPG, movement actually takes place outside of a grid.  Movement and attacks revolve around circles.  A large circle around one character represents that character's movement range.  Attacks also relate to how close an enemy is within a character's circle.  This type of orientation is new to me, so I had to develop different strategies to ensure maximum damage.


Another thing that stood out was that characters constantly regenerate HP and SP during battles.  The SP I can understand since every attack uses some amount of SP.  But the HP was hard for me to deal with at first because it seemed to make battles long and drawn out because the enemy that you would think is close to death in one round will regenerate enough health to last two more hits the next round.  This was annoying, but I conquered it by having my teammates gang up and use group attacks on single characters to wipe them out in only a few turns.


cw3.jpgThe game doesn't just stop at customizing what your team members can equip.  It also lets you assign skills (which can be picked up as a spoil of battle) to different team members, which is a nice change from specific characters or classes always getting the same set of skills.  I haven't gone that far into the game, but the fact that skills can also evolve seems to open up lots of variety in terms of character building.


The story is your typical anime story and I got annoyed by the tired banter between characters, but I realized I was just eager to try out the new battle mechanics.  It takes a bit getting used to, but the circle-movement system is a welcome change for people tired of the grid system.


When I first started playing Chaos Wars, I thought that it would be strictly linear: a cut scene, a battle, another cut scene, another battle, and so on until the entire story is told.  That sounds pretty boring, so fortunately the game isn't like that.


cw4.jpgThe story is done through main story missions that can be chosen in the headquarters computer-like thing.  You can find keys to other worlds in battles and other events and with those keys, you can use the computer to open gates to those other worlds. The other worlds contain main story missions as well as side-missions.


This isn't a new concept at all and the game is still linear, but it's a welcome change to just playing story missions all the way through.


On an unrelated note, I got a little careless while playing the game and started haphazardly equipping my characters with other weapons solely based on how much of an attack bonus the weapon had.  I found out the hard way, when I was trying to fight some enemies in the next mission, that characters' skills depend on weapon type.  If a character only has ax skills but is using a rusty pole, he's pretty much screwed for the battle. Oops, don't make the same mistake I did.


Images courtesy of O3 Entertainment.

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  • jeffx

    Damn it, English dub? IGN said O3 kept the original Japanese voices. Tell me there’s an option.

  • Well I’m not sure about the retail copy, but my review copy had Japanese voices.

  • jeffx

    OK… sooo why did you say anything about English dubbing then?

    Either way, thanks. I can’t wait to get this next week.

  • TheTimelyHoward

    I believe Louise meant that the game had Japanese voices in addition to the poorly dubbed English ones. You might get to choose.

  • boycott gamestop

    Looks killer.

  • Aoshi00

    Looking at the Shinsengumi chars (Okita and Hijikata) always reminds me of the Gunraw-den game that I haven’t finished, that game was pretty boring but I was hooked by the Watsuki designed chars.

    Not a huge fan of SRPGs, I think the Shadow Hearts chars would make me buy this game though.

  • laharsama

    are those Karin Koenig & Gepetto the puppet master from Shadow hearts:Covenant?

  • G



  • My mistake. There is English dubbing as well as Japanese voices, and yes, you do get a choice.

  • wario4ever

    hey Louise! how bad is the text Translation? said it was reaaal bad

  • @wario4ever: Not knowing any Japanese, I can’t speak for how accurate the translation is to the original script. But as for quality, it’s not that bad if you’re used to cliched and overdone dialog ;)

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