Chaos Code is a 2D fighting game developed by FK Digital that features some of the more bizarre and creative characters in fighting games. Have you ever wanted to duke it out with a chef or an otaku? Or maybe even a psychotic robot? Chaos Code has these, and a few more to boot. There are fourteen characters to choose from in the game and each one is unique to play as.
For the most part, Chaos Code is also super easy to pick up and play for the first time, while still providing an advance level of depth for the fighting game enthusiast.
When I first started playing Chaos Code I had no idea what to expect of the game. Overall, Chaos Code involves simplistic gameplay, a small roster of characters, and native 4:3 screen ratio. The game has a few basic game modes that feel a bit lacking in terms of quality and length. There is a story mode, VS mode, survival mode, and practice mode. However, there is no online play at all, despite the fact that this is a fighting game being released into the market in 2013.
I wasn’t too impressed with the story mode due to the lack of story either. Once you choose your fighter during story mode, you’re given a brief introduction of who that character is, and where they are from. You then play through a total of eight stages which includes two boss fights, and are rewarded with an ending cut-scene at the end. Character endings are presented in the form of images, with text, and music. No voice-overs or animation. However, there are multiple endings depending on how you play during story mode.
VS mode is everything you’d expect it to be—you versus a friend or foe battling it out to see who the better fighter is. In my experience, this mode alone is the reason to play Chaos Code. It’s not everyday that you play a 2D fighter with game mechanics and character designs like this one.
The game features a “Bounce system,” which gives you the option to dash or run by pressing forward twice. The big difference here is that if you choose the option to dash, you can dash-cancel forward by pressing forward twice during a normal attack to add pressure to your opponent during your string of attacks. You are also given a choice of an extra two special attacks when you select your character. There are a total of four extra attacks to add to your command list per character.
Then, there are the jumping mechanics. There is a super jump, which is done by pressing down, then quickly pressing up. The super jump causes you to jump higher and faster than normal and it’s also possible to use it to cancel out of normal attacks, by inputting the command for a super jump during a normal attack animation. You can also double jump by pressing up twice, and you are also given the ability to air dash by pressing forward or backwards twice after a jump. This makes you very mobile indeed.
Furthermore, the game has a roll/dodge system, similar to the one seen in The King of Fighters series, which allows you to pass through enemy attacks. (That said, your opponent can still grab you, even if you use the roll/dodge.) Finally, the Guard Break attack is exactly what it sounds like—a guard break attack. It’s slow, but ensures that you can do damage to your opponent assuming they don’t move out the way. Guard Break attacks use one bar of the Chaos Gauge seen at the bottom-right and bottom-left corners of the screen. Your Chaos Gauge maxes out at three bars, but refills fairly quickly, allowing you to use it often. There’s a reason for this.
There are a lot of applications for the Chaos Gauge in Chaos Code, which is why it refills so quickly. One happens to be the EX Special Attacks, which are variants of normal special attacks. They are done by pressing an additional attack button during the input of a special move. For example; down, forward, light punch gives you a certain special input, but press medium punch at the same time as light punch and you’ll receive the EX variant. EX Special Attacks will consume half of one bar of the Chaos Gauge.
Also included in Chaos Code is the Ultimate Chaos and Destruction Chaos attacks. Ultimate Chaos attacks are essentially super attacks that do a large amount of damage, and are best used at the end of combos. Ultimate Chaos attacks use one bar of the Chaos Gauge. While Destruction Chaos attacks do even more damage and use all three bars of the Chaos Gauge.
Last but not least, there’s Exceed Chaos. Exceed Chaos grants the user the user the ability to use the Chaos Gauge infinitely, gradually restores health, and gives the user the ability to cancel all attacks into another one for a limited time. This uses three bars of the Chaos Gauge, and once the Exceed Chaos gauge timer is up you will not be able to use the Chaos Gauge for a set time limit.
Chaos Code has just about every system mechanic ever put into a fighting game, and then some more of its own on top of that. It blends the old with the new, but still retains an oldschool feel. It’s what I’d consider a “something for everyone” kind of game.
Even with this many system mechanics, Chaos Code is still fairly easy to pick up and play. At first, it does feel a little overwhelming, but it doesn’t take too long to get the basics down. Even if you can’t do any of the technical stuff, basic combos and tactics will still do a good amount of damage. The game is a ton of fun, even more so when played with friends. Despite the lack of game content there is a large amount of replay value to be found in this game.