Spectacular, engaging and complex. Chaos Rings II is the best of the series, yet. Go grab your sword, because this is proper epic adventuring.
Chaos Rings II Review
by on June 15, 2012
Here we go again. In this third instalment of the Chaos saga (Omega being the prequel to the original Chaos Rings), we’re once more asked to shell out top dollar for another slice of baffling JRPG action. So, is it worth the buttock-clenching price tag? The world is being threatened by the frankly unacceptable behaviour of The Destroyer, whose earthquakes have been releasing monsters into the world.
Unfortunately, there’s only one way to stop this happening – and that’s for The Creator to appoint one Nominator and five Pillars, the latter ultimately having to be sacrificed in order to complete the Rite of Resealing. Bit harsh for them, but luckily, you get to be the Nominator.
It opens a little confusingly, but gradually the plot unfolds and things become clearer; when you begin to see the full epic sweep of the tale you’ll come to grow with the characters and realise what a rich, satisfying, choice-based story it is. It’s great to see that Square Enix has adopted this approach, seeing as Omega was a similar fare to the original. While fundamentally similar to both predecessors, it’s not just the gripping storyline that breathes new life into the series; we have to doff our hats to them finessing the gameplay, too.
It’s a complex beast – easy enough to dive into, but richly layered, nonetheless. As far as the adventuring goes, instead of controlling a fixed pair of characters, Darwin (our hero) hooks up with a succession of warriors, who also come under your control and whose unique attributes can then be used to your advantage. Together they traipse around surreal environments, engage in battles – gaining items and experience along the way – and fight big bad bosses at each chapter’s finale. Sounds formulaic, but it’s executed brilliantly – the environments look epic yet are compactly constructed to keep aimless wandering to a minimum.
The real meat on the bones, though, is the combat, and this is also where it all gets a bit complex. Humans and monsters have a gene-like Sopia, and when you obtain a fallen foe’s Sopia, you can equip it and use it to trigger special attacks. Similarly, by doing well in battle you can fill the new Charge Gauge, which, once full, gives you access to powerful one-off attacks (Awakenings). Also, the Break Gauge returns; this is used to activate turn breaks, making it easier to take down powerful enemies.
Characters gain more abilities as they defeat opponents and steal their Sopia. They can upgrade weapons and armour along the way, and various potions and lotions can be collected that help in combat – whether it be enhancing abilities, or healing the wounded. During combat, you’ll also encounter situations that result in Status Effects, which last as long as the battle and can bestow qualities on the player that are either advantageous, or a royal pain in the arse.
In addition, each character and monster has one of three elements assigned to them – Blaze, Gale, and Aqua. These prove advantageous over one another in combat situations in a rock, paper, scissors fashion, whereby a Blaze-equipped character will have the advantage over the Gale-equipped opponent, who in turn has an advantage over Aqua, who in turn…
While the basic structure of the game remains fundamentally unchanged, the engaging story, exquisite visuals and carefully tweaked and balanced gameplay combine to create an extremely compelling and vital iOS experience. So, all things considered, is it worth the money? It’s a resounding yes from us.
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