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Chaos Rings gives us the Square Enix taste on your iDevice!

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Rocks"

Summary

The Good: Excellent production values, fast paced battles, genes are fun to use, lots of nice little features

The Bad: Repetitive, unbalanced difficulty leads to level grinding, linear, those stupid puzzles

Square Enix has always been known for pushing the boundaries of platforms and the iPhone is no exception. Not only is Chaos Rings one of the best looking games on the iPhone it brings the classic RPG feeling that we've loved from the Final Fantasy series. If you are a fan of Square Enix then Chaos Rings will be a familiar experience for you. You can play as one of two two person parties and play through a story that involves you and other pairs trying to fight through an arena for immortality. You must collect the Chaos Rings to advance to the next stage.

The most obvious part of Rings that you will notice is there's no magic. Instead you get to use a system called Genes. Genes let's you learn abilities from defeated enemies (this has been seen before in FF titles) and then equip them and use them in battle. Also, your HP will regenerate after each battle, but not your MP. Thanks to the portable format you will level up very fast, and everything can be done at anytime, and this includes saving, camping, and you can even turn random battles off!

The enemy design is top notch and so are the characters. The music is fantastic and is just like any Squenix RPG you've played. There are puzzle stages that are set throughout the arenas that act as road blocks and are frustrating and pretty pointless. If these weren't added I would have given the game a higher score. The difficulty is also highly unbalanced and requires level grinding by playing previous stages over again. While everything is unique and beautiful to look at there's not much variety so repetition sets in after a few hours.

Despite the few flaws Chaos Rings plays, sounds, and feels like a classic Squenix game and shouldn't be passed up by any fan, and don't let the steep price steer you away. It's well worth it.





The first game for the iPhone that convinced me that there can be great games in this platform.

9.5

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Immersive"

Summary

Although some can say it gets repetitive it's a great game with a solid story and great graphics. It let's you experience the same story by various perspectives, depending of your characters choice which makes the all experience even better.
It's very similar, both in gameplay as in story, to the Final Fantasy series, so the fans of Final Fantasy will recognize some elements of it in Chaos Rings. For those who are not familiar with Final Fantasy the gameplay will take a moment longer to understand, but it is not hard at all.

Prepare yourself for some plot twists on the story and some comic moments on this great story.

An option to go multiplayer would be interesting and it's a pity it's not explored on this game. In my point of view this is the only critic I have to the game.

I only hope that a sequel is coming out on the near future. Enjoy.




Square Enix has done an amazing job again with creating the most epic RPG the iPod has to offer: Chaos Rings

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Amazing"

Summary

Chaos Rings is yet another turn based sword fighting game perfectly made by the creators of Final Fantasy, Square Enix. If you are looking for a Epic RPG with epic swords fights and storyline that could get anyone hooked this would be the game for you to play,
PROS
 Beautiful detailed graphics
 Epic Story Line
 Simple controls even a toddler could work
 Runs smoothly
 Play as two different couples
 Arena fights are epic
Cons
 Too short
 Way to easy except for the puzzles those are challenging too the point where I had to turn my iPod off and take a break from the game for a little while
 No voice Dialogue when the characters talk
 Personally I like it when you equip different armors and weapons for it to show on the character but this is only a minor con
Those are really the only cons I have for this game, If you are interested in playing this game I would highly recommend it, This game is worth every penny!





A promising for what could be, a new series.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Solid"

Summary

So my first iPhone game (Resident Evil: Degeneration) wasn't a huge success… But I didn't let that knock me out, so it was back to the internet to see if there are any good iPhone games, with the exception of Angry Birds. This is where I hear an awful lot about infinity Blade. How it's supposed to be really good and really beautiful. So I… didn't buy it. No instead, I went with Chaos Rings, a JRPG that is supposed to be really good, even better than Final Fantasy 13. Being surprised over the fact that there's actually a well-reviewed JRPG out there (and FF13 was a disappointment), I dived in to Chaos Rings.

Story
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Chaos Rings follows four couples: Escher & Musiea, Eluca & Zhamo, Ayuta & Princess Mana and Olgar & Vhati (there's also a fifth couple, but they aren't playable). They've all been mysteriously transported to the Ark Arena. Here, they are told by a mysterious being called "The Agent," that they must go out and collect Chaos Rings, then pair the couples against each other in tournament based fights. They aren't doing this for nothing however. The winning couple receives immortality and eternal youth.

The story is told from each couple's perspective, and each couple has their own stories. They aren't intertwined as you might think. Rather the game has you play through the game has each couple, focusing on their story alone. This is a good thing, because it keeps the story from becoming too complicated and confusing. Most of the characters do have some good personalities and some great background stories. That being said though, not all of the characters are likeable, like Escher. The mystery behind the Ark Arena is also pretty intriguing.

Another problem with the story is consistency. For example, in Escher & Musiea's story, she's after Escher because he killed the people at her orphanage. Yet in other stories, they act like there isn't any problem between them at all. Another example is the Ayuta & Princess Mana couple. Here, Olgar & Vhati taunts Ayuta about the "last time", yet in Olgar's story it's completely vice versa. Though it can be somewhat explained, the lack of character consistency is notably weird. There are some interesting twists in some of the stories, but they get resolved in a very clichéd way.

Despite this though, the game does have an enjoyable and satisfying story. It also helps that the game's writing isn't too bad. Okay, it's nothing special or anything, but it does help you get invested in the game's universe. Sure the translation might have one or two iffy moments, but it's still a surprisingly good translation.

8.0

Gameplay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The game is a JRPG, almost in the traditional sense. There's random encounters and turn-based combat. It does try and bring something new to the genre. Firstly, you can fight each battle either solo, where you decide what each person shall do, or as a couple, where you only get one turn, but everything they do is twice as powerful. While the game does encourage using both options, I have a hard time seeing why. Sure if you get attacked as a couple, both characters receive damages. Yet if you also heal as couple, you usually get all your health back, since everything you do as a couple is twice as powerful.

The game also throws in a changing elemental system. Basically, both your characters and the monster change their elemental status, depending on what kind of magic they use. This results in almost constant changes among the elemental strengths and weakness. While I like it, it does require a bit of luck sometimes, as the enemies (whom later on will always have a turn before you) almost does nothing but use different elemental attacks, making it difficult to use their weakness.

The game also has a break meter. Basically the more attacks one of the couples do, the more of an initiative that side have. When someone has the initiative, they deal more damage to the enemy, and have a higher chance of having completely resisting the enemies attack. It actually works really well, and it often makes fights tenser, as each battle can shift completely.
As you proceed through each environment, the game will make you solve different puzzles. These all range about getting from Point A to Point B, though by various and limited means. They aren't that particular clever, and they do slow down the game when they appear, but they do create variety.

Each couple itself should take around 5 hours to complete each. While it seems short, there is an awful lot to unlock in the game. Once you finish the game for the first time, you can reload that save and gain access to an entirely new arena, complete with a new ending. Do this for every character and you unlock yet another part of the game, which also poses its own ending. In short, there are around 8 endings to uncover in the game, and getting to the ultimate ending should take around 25-30 hours.

Surprisingly, the game never got boring, despite the huge amount of times I had to replay the game. Each couple does have some special moments that do things a bit differently from the others. And as said, their personal issues and dramas are good enough to keep you invested into the characters. It might have some weaker things, but it's a game that manages to keep you invested and interested, meaning there's hardly a dull moment in the game.

8.5

Graphics & Sound
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For an iPhone game, it looks stunning. The characters and monster design are great. But it's the art direction that really steals the show. You wouldn't think it would be possible for an iPhone game to render all of this, but it is possible, and by god does it look amazing.

The music sounds similar to many Squaresoft RPG's from the 90's, which isn't a bad thing. Though granted this is a game for a phone, you'll likely end up playing through most of the game, with the sound off. The game added voice acting as part of the later patches (it weren't available originally). The voices are Japanese only, and while the acting isn't the best, it's not bad either. It's kind of impressive to have voice acting for this kind of game on iPhone.

8.0

Overall
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
While I wouldn't say the game is better than Final Fantasy 13 necessarily, it is still a good iPhone game. It's backed up by an interesting concept. It shows promise of a new and interesting RPG series, which I might just become a huge fan of, if it continues to improve from here on. It's not a perfect game, but it's an interesting one never the less.




Don't bother. All bling and no game.

4.0

Poor
Difficulty:
Very Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"All flash, no substance"

Summary

It looks great. But its very easy and basic. Its all graphics and no playability. The first time though was not bad. But once you beat it and realize how little content there is to the game you wish you never did buy the game. The game is hard if your doing it wrong. And once you figure out what they want from you as a player it gets real simple. And when you start a new character you keep all your gold and magic stuff so it gets even easier! I expect MUCH MORE from Square Soft. I think if they just made an emulator to play the old Super Nintendo Final Fantasy games we would have a win! Till then I have deleted the game off my phone and not worried about losing it forever. Oh, and another thing: The game when I got it was something around 250mb or so. In a new update they expanded it to about 650mb. All they added was Japanese voice to the game apparently. HUGE waste of space for us English users!
9.0

Editors' Choice
9.2