“So here’s a compiled review of I, Omega, and II before I start the main dish.”
— awesomecurry in Chaos Rings I + Omega + II Review, December 1, 2014
It’s obvious the era of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII has long past — what is often considered the golden age of JRPGs will never come back in the same form in the world of ever-evolving technology and expectations. Some will go so far to say that JRPGs have stagnated or are dead, and video game sales have reached an all-time low in Japan while the budget required to create a game that matches modern standards is only increasing.
Developed by Square Enix’s new brand Tokyo RPG Factory, promotional material hyped up Setsuna to be “what brings back JRPGs.”
Chaos Rings debuted on mobile devices and boasted impressive production values for its platform at the time. It spawned a prequel, an indirect sequel, and what seems to be a even more indirect third entry recently. I never played them because my phone sucked and was uncomfortable to play games on, but with the release of Chaos Rings III came a compilation of all four games for the Vita. Obviously I bought it for CRIII since that was the game that boasted the most content, but I decided to start from the first game and play in release order. So here’s a compiled review of I, Omega, and II before I start the main dish.
They’re developed by MediaVision, most notable for the Wild Arms series, and published by Square Enix.
When I played this game, I honestly wasn’t expecting much. I haven’t heard anything particularly good about the Star Ocean series, it doesn’t look very unique, and I found it for $8 during my trip to the USA. I gave it to my friend last Christmas because I completely forgot about the holiday and had no presents ready (Please don’t comment on my thoughtfulness in a gift, I receive plenty of complaints in that department in real life.), and I recently got it back to play because I had to go to China and knew I needed more things for my ADD self on the airplane ride. I went in thinking it’d be a mediocre game with overused plot, one-dimensional characters, and very dated combat. What I got was a fun game with overused plot, one-dimensional characters, and very dated combat that I somehow enjoyed. I don’t know what happened here, considering how I was much more indifferent about Grandia and Chrono Trigger, and I actually consider the latter to be a much more polished game (that actually stood against the test of time) than Star Ocean. I guess this is like one of those games that you inexplicably like, despite all its shortcomings.
Here it is, the game that everybody who call themselves an RPG fan and their cats have played, and loved by message boards across the internet. Chrono Trigger is known to be a classic, legendary RPG (at least across several message boards I’ve visited) that remains quality to this day. It’s pretty much considered a kami-ge, a memento from the wonderful 90’s before Square merged with Enix and started screwing things up and the game industry went downhill, etc. If we’re judging by the internet message forums that I’m visiting, then pretty much everything is going downhill and dying. Anyways, whenever there are threads about a specific genre dying, posters will always list old games that are supposedly much, much better than the crap that comes out today, and Chrono Trigger is one such game for the Eastern RPG genre. It’s a highly praised game from the 90’s that, unlike Final Fantasy VII, doesn’t suffer from much backlash at all. Also shockingly, despite having a blog that is at least 50% about RPGs, I haven’t played it until recently. After playing the game, I have to day that I just ain’t seeing the same magic that everyone else saw.
Oh yes, a port of THE original Final Fantasy, the game that put cash into Square’s pockets. The original NES version was released way before I was born, and the remakes thereafter either happened before I was born, or they happened before I started playing RPGs seriously (I had a GBA in elementary school, I lent it to a girl who moved to China the next day, and was never seen again. That happened before I got anything other than the default game it cam with. Maybe this is why I don’t like people touching my systems today and keep a keen eye on them when close friends play for a few minutes). Therefore, this is my first time playing FF1 EVER. I’m reviewing only the PSP version, since I never touched any of the ones before.
Because I have nothing else to say right now.
1) Getting ready for Disgaea 4 by…playing Disgaea 3. I don’t want to just miss 1 game in the series and it cost $20, so I got it. There’s some new classes, but mages, warriors, female archer, female healer, male gunner, thief, and beastmaster have the same sprites from Disgaea 2. New skill system sucks because instead of gaining generic skills through leveling up weapon mastery, you now have to buy them with mana. They also get stronger by upgrading by paying mana. In other words, mage spells don’t become stronger or AoE until you pay up and the class feels extremely nerfed. Other than that, I’m having a blast. I like the cast better than Disgaea 2. Almaz is adorable~! His facial expressions are moe. Raspberyl is also adorable, and then we have our princess Sapphire who tried to open someone’s heart using a chainsaw…