As I booted up Chaos Code for the first time, I was excited. The game comes from the same company which provided Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, two of my favorite fighting game series. Based solely on appearances, I couldn’t help but think that maybe this game was just a port of a now ten-year-old Japanese arcade classic. I was wrong, but I wish I wasn’t.
Chaos Code starts off with an intro video which is not only lacking interesting content, but it’s in 4:3 aspect ratio with nothing on the left or right sides to fill in the negative space. It made me tilt my head and wonder what I was looking at; the menus looked terrible and felt clunky even though they are at least in 16:9 aspect ratio. The UI for the menu felt dated both in terms of graphics and sound. Then we get into the fighting, which again is in 4:3 aspect ratio but does have content on the sides showing each character’s portrait on his/her respective side.
The game’s story is almost non-existent and even where it does exist, you’ll wish it didn’t. Translation issues flood this game and misspellings are all too common. When you start story mode in most fighting games, you usually get a small cinematic at the beginning or constant updates between matches. Not with Chaos Code. You get four sentences that have the vocabulary of a fourth grader and that’s it. It’s more bland than that microwavable chicken sandwich you might see at a small convenience store. Each character has less of a story and more of a “I want money to make me feel better” kind of feel to them.
The music and sounds of Chaos Code are hit and miss in very drastic ways. I absolutely adore the background music which plays on certain stages as they are upbeat and make you feel more in the action. The announcer sounds like his audio was rendered for a Sega Genesis more than an arcade game or Playstation 3. The menu music is absolutely atrocious with it’s constant looping and loud undesirable noises and will make you want to hurry up with your selections right off the bat. The voices of each character are pretty standard when it comes to Japanese fighting arcade games, especially if you’ve played any of Arc System Works’ other fighting titles.
With that being said, the animations in this game are very fluid and look quite nice. The special moves for each character are unique, and even some of the characters standout in their imaginative, and humorous, design. Bravo, my favorite character, is an Italian/Chinese chef who throws tables and slaps people with sausage links. Chaining moves is quite simple and the game is actually pretty easy to pick up even if you aren’t used to 2D fighting games, which came as quite a surprise to me considering that the game is quite frenetic and fast-paced.
All in all, Chaos Code is a good arcade game but it just doesn’t belong in your living room when there are so many other great fighting games available. The user interface and sound design are absolutely terrible with it’s crowded, try-hard style. Considering this game is less than 3 years old, it’s just not forgivable to have this bad of quality UI and audio. If you desire a fun 2D fighter on your Playstation 3, try picking up BlazBlue. It has much more content, better UI and sound, and is just an all-around better experience than what you’ll get out Chaos Code.
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