|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Idea Factory||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: O3 Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 3, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Graphics in Chaos Wars are sub-par, even for a last-gen console. Characters are represented in battle scenes as sprites and during story scenes as inanimate drawings. The whole thing looks like it should have been a handheld title and just doesn't look good. Battle environments look incredibly similar, and the whole game lacks any sort of graphical polish.
Even though the graphics rest pretty firmly in the poor category, the sound in this game is just deplorable. The English voice track has to have the worst voice acting in any localized title. Young kids sound like they're middle aged, and most characters sound disingenuous or even worse, bored. Aside from the actual voice acting, the quality of the recorded track is very poor and sounds very low budget and grainy.
Yet another issue I have with the English voice track is it was only translated half-way. All the dialogue that takes place during battles is still in Japanese, and it's a little weird getting used to a character sounding like one voice, just to have another voice replace it during battles. Not to mention the fact that it is in Japanese, and as such, will be incomprehensible to the average American gamer. It's a real shame the localization went so wrong here because the opening music is rather good, and the background music is not too shabby either.
Like most RPGs, Chaos Wars doesn't offer much beyond the one-player story experience. However, the story mode is quite long, which is great for those who might be interested in this title. For the niche JRPG fans, Chaos Wars holds a lot of promise, especially for those who have played or imported most of the games this title draws from. I am always a fan of mash-up games, and I really respect what Chaos Wars set out to do as a nearly fans-only title.
It's really great when you get a game you feel is created specifically for your fan community, and I'm sure, to some extent, fans will appreciate this title. But I wish more effort was put into making Chaos Wars the quintessential JRPG fan game. If the game could have been more discretionary with the implementation of all the characters from the other RPGs, improved the visuals, and severely upgraded the dubbing, this might have been a game die-hard JRPG fans could look forward to. As it stands now, Chaos Wars is just a missed opportunity.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer