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iPhone  header logo

Chaos Rings II

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Finely fantastic

Product: Chaos Rings II | Developer: Media.Vision | Publisher: Square Enix | Format: iPhone | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.0
 
Chaos Rings II iPhone, thumbnail 1
Square Enix has built its reputation on sequels. Through the multitudinous Final Fantasy iterations and spin-offs, the company has cemented its reputation as the undisputed king of the JRPG.

That once-glittering accolade has become tarnished of late, though, with the company resting on its laurels and releasing games that are neither as innovative or as exciting as their predecessors.

Chaos Rings II sets out to buck that trend, building on the template set by Chaos Rings and Chaos Rings Omega and layering it with even more spectacular visuals, more compelling characters, and a slightly more focused narrative.

The result is a pocket-sized role-playing game that puts some of its console brethren to shame. And while it clings to some of the stranger decisions of the first two games, it's every bit as exciting and intriguing too.

Evolutionary

Although the two character parties remain, this time around the story isn't focused on couples, but on a single man -Darwin. He's a floppy haired mercenary with a tortured past and some burning secrets, who inadvertently becomes the saviour of the world.

The story revolves around ancient forces who are vying for control over the mortal sphere, and who have stopped time. Darwin and his companions have to traverse this paused world, finding out what's gone wrong and figuring out how to remedy it.

Cue much melancholy introspection, plenty of fighting and adventuring, and a lot of heart-wrenching sacrifice too.

The heat of battle

The core of the game lies in its turn-based battle system, and while it repeats some of the missteps of the original it's still a marvel. Every round, you need to choose whether your two characters should fight alone or as a pair.

Pairing up does more damage, but it also means that if one player gets hit they both do. A gauge lets you see the ebb and flow of the battle, but unfortunately it still doesn't show the turn order.

Spectacular special moves unlock when you've taken enough damage, or control over the battle has skewed entirely in one direction. Each character has his own customisable set of magics (called Sopia) and attacks at his disposal, and an element system makes choosing the right ones essential.

The battles are still random, but the game is built around quick firefights and small, easily explorable maps. As you kill, you become more powerful, as well as unlocking moves and powers from the creatures you've slain.

When you're exploring, a decent floating joystick lets you control Darwin. You can replay areas you've completed at higher levels to push your XP meter onwards, or to search out any items you might have missed the first time around.

A ringing endorsement

As complex and nuanced as the battle system is, it still offers up neatly packaged slices of turn-based violence. The game never seems overwhelming, and the ability to save whenever you want means you can jump in and out with ease.

Square Enix and Media.Vision have built a game that showcases all the bombast and drama of a JRPG, whilst remaining accessible enough for newcomers to enjoy.

The sheer amount of content here will be enough to drag in all but the most fervent JRPG dissenters, but it's the mix of astounding visuals, compelling gameplay, and intriguing story that will keep them coming back for more.

 

 
Chaos Rings II
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 16 March 2012
A brilliant JRPG that builds on the successes of its predecessors. Chaos Rings II isn't quite perfect, but it more than justifies its premium price tag
 
Have Your Say
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Joined:
Sep 2013
Post count:
8
Alexey | 19:28 - 17 September 2013
Man this game is outstanding!!! I like everything in it: story, music, level design, battle system... Everything. Althought pocketgamer is sellout, 9 is fair mark for this game
Joined:
Apr 2012
Post count:
1
cr2 junkie | 19:09 - 3 April 2012
to Klouud
I've been playing this game over the past couple of weeks and it is far better than the original. rather than playing 4 stories, it is one, like in the case of omega. there are 5 characters, and you can choose which ones you want to use, although you must have a specific party for story missions. the battle system has improved to include awakenings, the chaos rings 2 equivalent of limit breaks, and advents, the summons. graphics have improved from CR1, and the entire game just seems like a masterpiece. i would definitely reccommend this game.
Joined:
Apr 2011
Post count:
39
Promiceus | 10:35 - 27 March 2012
I must admit, so far the game is great. It's bigger, more beautiful, more varied, harder - everything is better! It's even finally sharp on iPad 1: CR and CRO definitely where poor ports from the iPhone. I only can complain that Square didn't make a universal app with iCloud saves. For this price tag it's a must...
Joined:
May 2007
Post count:
128
MattyLion | 18:23 - 21 March 2012
Have to agree with klouud, the review tells me nothing I couldn't find out by reading the press release or official website. PG, get someone who's played Chaos Rings, Chaos Rings Omega and maybe a few other RPG's to review this game. As it stands I have no idea whether it's worth that sort of money. Omega was a grind-fest, the storylines in Chaos Rings have become so wacky and the character models, textures, maps and spells have been re-hashed over and over again. You reference Final Fantasy in the review but aside from XIII-2 every new incarnation of Final Fantasy has had a completely different battle and upgrade system, Materia, Draw, Costume, Crystarium etc, Chaos Rings 2 seems like more of the same.

Let's face it, this is Media.Vision's product not Square Enix's.
Joined:
Dec 2008
Post count:
1339
klouud | 13:55 - 17 March 2012
Yeah... i read the whole review. It never really answered my questions. Not to be a jerk... but the review was incredibly superficial and never went into any relevant specifics.
Joined:
Mar 2012
Post count:
1
asdfagasagga | 04:27 - 17 March 2012
Only one I have "Camp" butten crash bug??
Joined:
Mar 2012
Post count:
1
lipstickterrors | 03:40 - 17 March 2012
klouud - all your complaints have been addressed man =] the battle system is similar, but deeper. The skill progression is less random. it appears to be one story like Omega and not four like CR1. Its a much better looking game as well - appears to be much bigger as well. I'd say its worth it :)
Joined:
Mar 2012
Post count:
1
Guy#3 | 18:14 - 16 March 2012
-face palm- klouud we the people deem you unworthy of playing chaos rings II....Have a nice day
Joined:
Mar 2012
Post count:
1
Housewous | 16:11 - 16 March 2012
Did you even read the review?
Joined:
Dec 2008
Post count:
1339
klouud | 15:49 - 16 March 2012
Omega was basically the same game as CR 1. Is this a completely different game or is it just a rehash of the old levels with new characters?

The fighting mechanics were a breath of fresh air in omega and CR1 - are there any variations to the original fighting mechanics?

The biggest drawback for me in CR1 was that in order to get the full story, you had to complete the same game 4x with the only variation being that you used different characters each time - did they keep this or get rid of it?

Is it worth the $17.99 price tag or should we wait for a sale?

thanx

tim
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