Anime Fighter #57134.
It’s no secret that I’ve played a lot of fighting games over the years. Blazblue, Guilty Gear, Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Tekken, Soul Calibur, UNIEL, P4A- the list goes on and on.
Given my love for the genre, I always tend to pick and choose one or two to play at a time and attempt to get to my usual “above average” skill level. When it comes to picking the ones that I’ll stick with, I look at a two very important factors.
First is, of course, how much I enjoy playing the game and how the overall mechanics feel in practice. The second is the community and whether or not I can easily find matches online to play when the mood strikes.
While Chaos Code – New Sign of Catastrophe- does a well enough job of clearing one of those conditions, it fails rather spectacularly in the other.
Multiplayer: online vs mode
Played: 10~ hours
Before I delve into the various modes of play in this old school 2-D fighter, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is a budget title retailing for $19.99.
As such, it is missing many features I would deem as staples of a modern fighter game.
For example, the story mode is relegated to the basic arcade mode, as it offers nothing of worth outside of a few still CG with some text on them. As someone that enjoys seeing the eccentric personalities of the wild characters featured in fighting games, it was disappointing to see there was nothing to latch on to in terms of memorable and interesting character traits.
There wasn’t a tutorial mode to teach me the ins and outs of the various mechanics Chaos Code had to offer, which was once again unfortunate, as I had never played the original to draw experience from.
Lastly, the lack of a challenge mode teaching basic to advance combos for each characters meant I was more or less on my own in training to just try to figure things out on my own. While I enjoy doing some “lab monster work”, an additional resource would’ve been greatly appreciated.
What it does have are the standard arcade, vs, mission, score attack and online multiplayer modes, it feels pretty barebones.
As for the combat, it’s a four button fighter with EX moves that use up meter and multiple specials, supers at each character’s arsenal as well a special mode that allows for continuous use of EX moves during a limited time which also doubled as a cancel. It’s very close to how King of Fighter plays in a lot of ways.
One big difference is the option to choose between run/hop for dash inputs as well as the option of choosing two of four different special and super moves. It reminds me of Street Fighter 3rd Strike, which also included a “choose an additional move” option, but in the case for Chaos Code, the player can choose to only take specials over supers and vice versa and not be forced to pick one of each.
It’s a nice touch to allow players to choose additional moves that better suit their play style and more importantly, will function better against certain match-ups.
The characters themselves aren’t anything I haven’t seen before in terms of their archetype and the way they play, but the moves flowed naturally into each other and once I understood the rules of the combo system, I was able to connect multiple normals, specials and supers with relative ease.
Finally, my biggest issue with Chaos Code actually has nothing to do with the game itself, as it’s the nearly non-existent player base. Each night I was playing a bit more of the game, I would try for about 10-15 minutes in the ranked/player match looking for lobbies to join but I was only able to ever find one or two rooms at max and they would either be 0 or 1 bar. Eventually, I decided to try out a zero bar, desperate to at least get one match against another human being under my belt before writing this review but alas- that was a mistake. It was more or less an unplayable mess, and even the simple act of jumping and kicking at the same time proved difficult. So, unfortunately I have no opinion on the quality of the netcode here as I was unable to test it properly.
Chaos Code -New Sign of Catastrophe- is a solid, albeit unremarkable fighter that plays well, and even though it lacks many features I would consider a staple in a modern day fighting game, the budget price point helps to forget what is unaccounted for. However, what can’t be ignored is the incredibly small player base where it’s a struggle to find a single match online. In a market steeped with excellent titles like Blazblue, Guilty Gear and UNIEL, just that one glaring flaw alone is enough to make it very difficult to recommend.
Fun Tidbit – The original Chaos Code didn’t even have online versus which is exactly as silly as it sounds.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.