Everything but net.
Early in their programming career, FK Digital’s directors Michael and Mickey Lin have always allowed their passions and appreciation for the art of fighting games to drive their creativity. Case in point -Super Cosplay War Ultra - a free-to-play quirky 2D fighter released in 2009, was such a hit in Eastern territories, the team was inspired to take their vision to the next level.
Two years later, Chaos Code made its entry on the arcade scene and earned its notoriety based upon its comical style of whimsical characters and smooth gameplay that perfectly captured the spirits of the contemporary 2D fighters that existed during the 1990s.
While lacking a diverse selection of content, players are sure to fall in love with the entire cast who exude more charm and personality compared to contemporary titles with rosters twice its size. Avid anime enthusiasts who are accustomed to vibrant, eccentric characters should feel right at home as the cast draws its influences based upon some of the bizarre anime culture. Notable mentions include a passionate chef who goes to battle with a cooking wok, an otaku, and a “trap” (no, not Ackbar) that relishes dressing up as various comic book characters.
Clearly, Chaos Code isn’t trying to take itself seriously, and quite frankly, neither should you.
Before the action gets underway, players can choose from four specialized attacks which complement the cast’s standard signature set of moves. In addition, you can choose between the ability to “run” or “step”, depending on your preferred style to play technical or adopt a more offensive approach. These options create an added layer of depth; allowing players to experiment and adjust their selections based upon character matchups and player aptitude. I am talking about local competition of course. The AI isn’t too much of a challenge as you advance through the arcade ladder (at least until you approach the final two characters in which the difficulty seems to scale past 9000, leaving me swimming in salt coupled by a few choice words that I won’t bother reiterating here.)
The gameplay is quite extensive, featuring a variety of different offensive/defensive mechanics including ex moves, counter hits, super moves. There’s also what I consider to be the equivalent of the desperation move that only becomes accessible when myour character’s health bar is on life-support. Despite numerous situations when this could have come in handy when I desperately needed it against Kudlak (the final boss character), my limited knowledge left me an easy target. Not that it really mattered; he’s a pain in the ass on all fronts, haha.
Chaos Code is a lot easier to jump into compared to say Marvel vs. Capcom 3 or Guilty Gear, in which both games require a relatively sharp degree of dexterity to master the deceptively rich combo system. Chain combos can be executed by simply pressing buttons in a linear fashion (i.e. 1-2-3-4), which is a contrast from the conventional diamond-ism format commonly featured in Capcom’s crossover series. FK Digital assigned each button to represent a specific action and the button correspond respectively to left button, right kick, followed by a right punch and kick. The end result leads to a seamless and smooth motion that makes it easy to pull of various combos with ease.
The lack of online multiplayer by far, is the biggest issue that hurts Chaos Code from maintaining any long-term value with early adopters (or potential newcomers) who desire playing new challengers beyond their competitive circles. The directors have expressed interest in potentially using GGPO as the ideal middleware to drive the online gaming experience, or develop their own netcode in-house.
For $11, there’s little reason why anyone with a PlayStation 3 should be passing this game up. Sure we could all spend time grumbling over the absence of multiplayer (hopefully the wait won’t be too long), but think of it as the perfect excuse to get a few friends together, talk smack and level up as a unit.