My Year of JRPGs: Chaos Rings

I got an iPad a couple weeks ago — can you guess what one of the first games I got for it was? Obviously I got Chaos Rings, Square Enix’s JRPG for iOS. I was pumped, but I don’t really know why; it was probably just because I got an iPad.

So, this game. Most games made for the iPad don’t really work the same way they would on a traditional platform, and that’s to be expected all things considered. But Chos Rings is a menu-based, turn-based JRPG, and it works exactly like a similar console game would, except you select options with your finger instead of a stick. It even emulates console games to the point where it has a “press start” screen — except it awkwardly says “please touch” — which no other iPad games I’ve played have. What I’m saying is that Chaos Rings is very accessible game for those familiar with the genre.

Chaos Rings (IPhone [Reviewed], IPad)
Developer: Independent
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: January 01, 2011
MSRP: $0

In short, the game is what you would expect from a Square Enix  JRPG. You’ll walk your characters through dungeons full of random encounters. It’s poorly translated. You won’t have to put a lot of thought into it.

The story follows each of a quartet of pairs of warriors who have been kidnapped and taken to something called the Ark Arena, where they will be pitted against each other in a combat tournament. The winners get eternal life. The pairs are opposite-sex couples; some know each other and some don’t. The story is pretty bare, and only gets interesting at the very end, so I won’t waste any more time on it.

As I said, the story follows four couples, but only one at a time — you choose which pair to play as for your runthrough. The game is exactly the same for each pair aside from unique buills–t character bulls–t. And the character stuff is definitely bulls–t — I’ve mentioned the poor translation, but aside from that it feels very amateurish anyway. It’s pretty unmemorable, though; I’m trying to think of a non-spoiler example of the bad writing, but nothing is coming up.

Thankfully, it’s short. Each pair has a story that lasts somewhere north of five hours, depending on how much you grind. It’s basically a compressed JRPG; you’ll level up like every ten minutes. It’s sorta startling how bare the story is considering the short length. It’s 95% grinding and 5% — you have to really be trying to put that little effort into your JRPG.

But, hey, it’s on iOS, right? It’s supposed to be a baby game. Unfortunately, it’s the most expensive game I will probably ever buy for my iPad at $16.99, so maybe it’s fair to expect something more engaging than, say, Robotek. Chaos Rings doesn’t even have the decency to be obscenely long so I could properly hate it. I mean, I guess I hate it because it cost $16.99 and had no fun with it, but I didn’t get my money’s worth of no fun like I did with Final Fantasy XIII.

I am legitimately tired of talking about this game. It sucks. Don’t buy it.

Final Score: 25/100

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