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Plagued with inconsistencies

A lot less damage than a sword.

Gameplay: 2.5/5
Battles are pretty run-of-the-mill for RPG Maker 2003 games. There's nothing that stood out about them in the 2 hours I played the game. They start out very fast-paced when you're only controlling the protagonist. At this point, you can kill any enemy with one attack and you can usually get through battles without taking any damage. Early in the game, I found myself thinking that the battles were so easy as to be trivial, but as soon as I fought the first boss, I saw that I was wrong. The problem with the battles is that the difficulty is all over the place.

The first enemies you fight are laughably easy, and then you're thrown against an extremely difficult first boss that had me scrambling to keep my health high enough so as to not be two-shotted by him, leaving me with little time to counterattack. It almost completely busted my item reserves. In the second dungeon, the enemies are all much more difficult (but net roughly the same EXP as the pitiful first dungeon's) and its boss is frustratingly powerful.

Because the difficulty is so all over the place, it's hard to determine what level you should be at in a given area. I found myself mindlessly killing enemies in the first dungeon over and over because it was so trivial a task before getting bored and challenging the boss. I was blown away by how difficult the boss was. I figured that if the regular enemies are far weaker than me, then I must be at about the right level to finish the dungeon.

Another gripe about the battle system is that as soon as you finish the first dungeon, you gain two new party members. Why is this a complaint? Because the battles are very fast-paced...when you're actually doing something, that is. Your ATB bars charge maddeningly slowly, leaving you spending at least three quarters of every battle staring at the crawling gauges as you wait for your turns to come up. Everyone's turn comes up at roughly the same time, which is usually about the same time that the enemies take their turn. As a result, whenever your ATB bar fully charges, you're assaulted by a clusterfuck of animations and numbers, making it hard to figure out exactly what happened and who's suddenly at low health or has a status ailment. After you finish entering your commands, it's back to waiting for the gauges to charge again before anything happens.

From what I played, the game plays rather linearly and there were no sidequests that I encountered. This isn't necessarily a flaw, but a few times I found myself unclear about where I had to go. Even when you're instructed where to go, you're rarely given a more specific direction than "at the very edge of town." The town is pretty well-populated and expansive, so it's eay to get lost wandering the streets and searching for which building you can walk into. After beating the first dungeon, I was told about who I had to meet next, but I don't recall being told where they lived. As a result, I ended up wandering the city for at least 45 minutes trying to find out where I was supposed to go. It was rather frustrating and brought me close to giving up the game.

One more complaint I have is that frequently, a character (usually the protagonist) will say "........", which takes a long time to write on the screen and for some reason, you can never skip it by pressing enter. It's rather annoying.

Story/Writing: 2.5/5
The writing is pretty mediocre. There are a couple minor spelling and grammatical errors, but it's not bad enough to stand out. The characters are all pretty bland and uninteresting. I can't remember any of their names, so I'll refer to them as Cop, Chick, Cousin, and Chief. Cop is your typical protagonist of a police drama, a stoic and bitter guy whose dialog consists of roughly 50% unfunny one-liners and 50% complaining. For some as of yet unexplored reason, he uses a magical sword and can shoot fireballs.

Your sidekicks are a little more interesting. Chick is your partner, the obligatory smart girl who catches onto things faster than you do and wants Cop to take it easy. Cousin is your not-very-intelligent cousin who wears a bright red hat and wants in every girl's pants. These two join you as you pursue the mysterious stalker who appears to have the power to summon demons. Chief is your staple black guy in a police drama, he's your hardass boss who takes no shit and keeps you on your toes.

The story showed a little more promise than the characters. Cop is charged with protecting a jazz singer who has been harrassed by a stalker called Face. After rescuing her from Face, you meet up with a local black gang that Cousin (who is white) is a member of. This gang is a ragtag group of anti-demon freedom fighters who know something about what happened ten years ago, which may tie into the motives of the mysterious Face. In the beginning of the game, there's an intriguing air of mystery surrounding the story, as you're given vague hints about what happened in the past, which left me curious to find out what they were building up to.

Disappointingly, the story turns out to be pretty generic: all-powerful crystals, uniting them bringing about the end of the world, et cetera. The promise of a mature and unique story was what kept me playing in spite of the lackluster combat, so my interest in the game quickly began to wane after it was made clear.

Speaking of a mature story, that reminds me of another complaint I have with the writing. Alcohol and sex jokes do not make your game more mature. They came across as very juvenile and hurt what was otherwise not bad dialog.

Graphics/Level Design: 2.5/5
The tilesets are pretty consistent. They don't look out of place and don't stand out, for better or for worse. Mapping in general is acceptable and functional. The addition of flashing arrows to show which buildings you can enter is a great feature that other games should have. I would've been very frustrated without them, as Complete Chaos sports a large city with many unenterable buildings that look alike.

The facesets are pretty poor. Aside from being pixelated and washed out due to poor color compression, they're also extremely inconsistent. The facesets of the main cast use real people, whereas the people you find in the streets have faces of anime and video game characters.

Sprites are acceptable, although I do have a complaint with the townspeople. In what's otherwise a realistic modern setting, why are there random townspeople with purple hair? Also, I found the presence of recognizable anime characters casually walking around town very jarring. At least twice, I walked past Nappa from Dragonball Z. Also, I'm pretty sure that one of your enemies has an AT-AT in his house.

Audio: 2.5/5
The audio is pretty average. The music and sound effects are what you'd expect from an RPG Maker game and nothing stands out as particularly good or bad. There's not much else to say about it.
-Get rid of the facesets or make them more consistent. Also, use a program like Photoshop or the GIMP to make sure that you don't end up with washed out colors when you compress the images.
-Make the difficulty more consistent or at least give the player some indicator about how strong they should be to fight bosses.
-The time it takes to get through a door after pressing enter is too long. Shorten the animation.
-Give the player a map of the city with key locations indicated.
-Spread out the turns in the battle system so that you don't wait forever doing nothing and then give commands for all your party members at once.
-Don't use sprites or faces of recognizable people or characters.
-Shorten the "............" messages to just "..." or make them skippable.

Bottom Line:
Complete Chaos offers a modern setting which is a breath of fresh air, but it still can't escape overdone cliches which hamper the enjoyment of an otherwise intriguing and mysterious story. In spite of its fast-paced battles, the game takes patience and trial and error due to the unpredictable difficuly of the enemies you encounter.


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I completely and utterly disagree with absolutely all of this, but I appreciate your opinion nonetheless.

Me personally -- and this include commercial games -- I wouldn't judge a game completely until I was at least halfway through it -- because at least at that point you'll have a fairly good idea of what to expect from then on, but like I said in the thread, if it failed to keep your interest I take full responsibility for it and won't make excuses. I don't think you got far enough to accurately judge it, but nonetheless, thank you for playing.

CC has it's first negative comment. <3
I stopped playing this game at the middle, but I guess I played it more than Sailerius.

And I also disagree with most of this review.

First, writing is not mediocre. Dialogs were mostly amusing and characters were far from bland. I was not very attracted to the plot, but it didn't bother me either.
I don't think alcohol and sex jokes were intended to make the game more mature, they just helped creating the settings of the game.

I do agree with battles being unbalanced (and excessive, IMO), and I was not fond ot the faceset mess either (I would stick will photos-only).

I was curious to read a review of this game, but reading one from someone who played it less than me and tried getting into the game less than me doesn't help me much.
Be thankful he played 2 hours. I have a 1.5 review on mine from someone who played half an hour of it (although I suspect it was even less than that, judging from what was said).
Other points:

1) Eric's sword and his powers were given to him by the voice he was speaking to after he was knocked unconscious. There's a precise reason for it, but that isn't relieved until a little later.

2) The difficulty spike. In retrospect, perhaps I should've made the 2nd dungeon a little easier -- but really, you can one-hit-kill 95% of the monsters in that dungeon with your skills (Phoebe and Eric will both have a couple -- Blaze doesn't get his first one until two levels later). Granted, they consume a lot of your magic points, but there are many healing crystals around so you won't have to backtrack too much. In short: the game absolutely forces you to use your skills/techniques, as well as think about which enemies to kill first. Perhaps it was a good idea in theory, but needed better execution. Or maybe you just sucked at it -- who knows (just kidding).

The first dungeon is dumb-downed because it's the first dungeon, and I didn't want the difficulty to completely scare away players. However, after that point, each dungeon gets progressively more challenging (and of course there are some dungeons that are more easier/harder than others). They may seem harder at first, but after you gain around two-three levels (I'd like to believe that the game is fairly generous when it comes to "experience points") they become easy again, and then the cycle repeats -- to varying degrees. Perhaps I should not have set it up that way, but I didn't want to make the game TOO easy, but I don't think I made it impossible either (which I don't think it is).

Lastly, about the gun/sword thing. The sword deals slightly more damage than the gun, but gun-techniques inflict status abnormalities on the enemies and many of them are weak against Shot-based skills, so it balances out.

Also, the game does come with a guide, so if you're ever confused about what level you think should be at when fighting a boss -- it exists for that reason. I know players generally don't like using guides, but they're there to be used as a reference.

3) At that point, yes, there is one optional quest. Before leaving Eric's apartment building after Blaze and Phoebe join, there is an optional scene on the first floor on the left side. There are a group of kids hanging around and if you beat them up, you'll get a weapon called the "Mega Gust," which is really powerful at that point and can carry you throughout the entire first act.

4) Locations. Rodger City is the largest city in the game, but I still don't think it's long enough to get lost, especially for 45 minutes (0.0)! The "very edge of the town" description was probably referring to the "Concert Hall" but.............shockingly, that's exactly where it is. At the very edge of the town (maybe I should've have said at the "at the very edge to the far right side of town?"). But perhaps my choice of words were off and the way that I interpret certain words and phrases may not be how others interpreted said phrases, so I should've taken that into account. But even if you had absolutely no idea where to go, following the gold arrows should've saved you some heart ache. If you see an color by a door: that means you can enter. If you don't see an arrow by the door: that means you can't enter it. Perhaps I should've been a bit more clearer about that.

Be thankful he played 2 hours. I have a 1.5 review on mine from someone who played half an hour of it (although I suspect it was even less than that, judging from what was said).

Yeah, personally I don't think people should bother writing reviews for games that they -- essentially -- didn't really make much of an effort to play through. It doesn't really help anyone but the reviewer him/herself. I could understand if they lasted about 45-55% of the game, but 30 minutes? Seriously? Unless the game is irredeemably awful and looks like NO effort was put into it, I don't think he/she should have left a review for your game.

But to each his own. We all got opinions. What appeals to some, may not appeal to others and vise versa.
Yeaster, when you sense someone doesn't like your game, you really shouldn't have the trouble of explaining that much. Just take whatever is useful to you from that review... and be happy. :D
Oh, I am happy =)

I just don't know when to STFU. That's a problem I have in real life.
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