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ups: Massive 30 vs 30 battles
downs: lack of tutorial, unaccessible gameplay, unoriginal story

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Generation of Chaos Review
game: Generation of Chaos
two star
posted by: Matt James
publisher: NIS America/ Idea Factory
developer: Hyper-Devbox/ Neverland Company
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ESRB rating: T (Teen)
date posted: 08:21 AM Thu Apr 20th, 2006
last revision: 03:08 PM Thu Apr 20th, 2006

Click to read.Before I could even get my hands on Generation of Chaos my little brother and my fiance\' had both taken a shot.

In my household you better be quick if you want the RPG first. All three of us are nuts for the genre and we each have a little soft spot for tactics-style RPGs. Generation of Chaos was like a lamb to the wolves at my house, and somehow I ended up being the wolf waiting around to pick up the scraps.

Then a strange thing happened: I didn\'t have to wait very long.

\"I don\'t get it.\"

They both said it, but not at the same time. Like a wacky sitcom. But each of them, after a turn with Generation of Chaos, said, \"I don\'t get it.\" I didn\'t think much of it at the time. I\'m the alpha male in this pack. I was sure when I got my turn it wouldn\'t be that hard for me to \"get it\". So, without worry, perhaps even a little cocky, I sat down with my PSP and my copy of Generation of Chaos and proceeded to show them how it was done.

Generation of Chaos is daunting. It is like a little Everest of menus and acronyms. You have lots of options to choose from right at the beginning. I had little idea what it all meant. It has been a long time since I had to consult the manual to a video game, but Generation of Chaos brought me to my knees.

Typically games are either designed in such a way that they are intuitive or you can find what you need either in in-game help or through tutorials. There isn\'t any of this in Generation of Chaos. You are thrown right in, sending even the most experienced gamer running and screaming back to the manual for guidance.

The game touts its expansiveness. Massive 30 vs. 30 combat, 10 different kingdoms, real time battles and the like. Create, grow, and govern your own Kingdom! That would all be great if I was given any idea on how to even begin to do that. In the beginning, Generation of Chaos\' expansiveness is part of its weakness. It is just that much more that a person won\'t get. It is just that much more that is thrown at you while you are still reeling from the massive menus filled with acronyms that you don\'t understand.

Not in front of the pack, mind you, I padded back to the manual, tail between legs, looking for some help discerning all of these numbers and letters presented to me. To be honest, I would have given up on any other game at this juncture. I don\'t have a lot of patience for games that are designed so unintuitive that even the most hard core RPGer has trouble figuring it out. With as much as most RPGs have going on I expect not to fully understand every nook and cranny of each game right away but I expect to understand the basics. Alas, Generation of Chaos I had to write a review for. Giving up was not an option, yet. So I sat down with the manual and sifted through the lists of acronyms. Finally I was able to start playing.

Generations of Chaos kind of looks like your favorite anime assimilated by your favorite board game. No, not Cowboy Bebop Monopoly (which I\'d trade my Star Wars episode one Monopoly for in a heart beat). More like Escaflowne meets Risk. You move your little anime like characters across a tiled board. People familiar with tactics games, like Final Fantasy Tactics, have a good idea of how it basically plays out. The manual describes the gameplay in phases. Strategy phase is first, in which you build your kingdom and expand your territory. Battle phase is next and is pretty self explanatory. Your turn ends there and then it is the Enemy phase in which the computer takes its turn. Then the whole thing starts over again. The Enemy phase seems excruciatingly long at times. I guess that is just the trade off for having massive 30 on 30 batttles.

The story isn\'t really all that exciting. It might have been, 20 years ago before we had heard it all before, repeatedly. Once again, A group of ambiguously gendered characters living in a magical kingdom must fight to...oh who cares. Is it really that much to ask that developers come up with something new and original for the stories in these games? What used to be RPGs biggest selling point for me, the story, has now become its\' biggest hindrance. Nine times out of ten I just skip through the story. Frankly, that sucks. They don\'t all have to be The Lord of the Rings but it would be nice if there was a least a little something to sink your teeth into. Now that other genres are doing better jobs with their stories why do the RPGs express only a total lack of imagination? Dig Dug games for the DS have more complex characters than a lot of these Japanese RPGs.

You can expect all the old trademarks. You\'ll gain experience, use magic, got to shops, and so on and so on. It all feels really generic. It didn\'t do anything to quench my desire for a good RPG on my little PSP. In fact, it just made it worse by offering a glimmer of a hope and then destroying them. In many ways Generation of Chaos left me angry at the state of RPGs in general right now. (As much as I love Elders Scrolls: Oblivion all the glitches are really starting to hamper my enjoyment. I can\'t even finish my Fighter\'s Guild quest line because of a glitch that won\'t allow me to open a gate!) It is hard to see my favorite genre slip further and further down the slope while most other genres get more refined.

I don\'t get it. There are a lot of good ideas that went into G0C. Why didn\'t they take the extra little steps to make Generation of Chaos a good game? Why not create a story to drive the gameplay? Why not make the gameplay accessible? I\'m sorry, If you give me a menu with a dozen acronyms I am gonna just stare blankly at them and then walk away. Hopefully you walk away from Generation of Chaos before you spend any money on it. Another disappointing title for the PSP.

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