Generation of Chaos [11/02/05]
Game Info
NIS America
Idea Factory
Strategy RPG

Nippon Ichi's has managed to build a strong presence in the North American strategy RPG market in the past few years. Of course, it helped to fill a certain void in the PS2's lineup with games that were fun to play and featured deep, customizable mechanics. Because of this, when they announce that they're doing a new title, fans of the genre and of the company take notice. With Generation of Chaos, Nippon Ichi plans to try the waters with Sony's PSP handheld platform, once again offering a game in a genre that sorely needed filling.

Developed by Idea Factory, Generation of Chaos is the fourth part of the series of the same name, in which players build their own kingdom specific to their wishes. The overlying story arc features Allen of Zodia, who wishes to bring end to the wars that have worn down his world. Generation of Chaos will be story and character driven and even at this early state, one can tell that the story will be far more dramatic and serious (as opposed to the more lighthearted Disgaea and Makai Kingdom).

Game Shots

As is the established norm (if you've played a Nippon Ichi game, you're familiar with this), the game is broken up into separate modes, including story, strategy and battle. The story is as you would expect it: in-game sequences with character portraits that pop up as the conversion is going. From there, you're given the Strategy mode, which feels a bit like Civilization. Players give out orders to their commanders, which serve to make improvements to the kingdom's commerce, military presence and relations with foreign forces. In this mode, you move characters along a grid based map of the world. The gameworld progresses over months and year and even features seasonal changes, including weather. These changes can have an effect on your commanders as they may be weak or strong in bad weather. It's these kind of details that may keep you from initiating an attack into enemy territory.

One of the nicer aspects that the Strategy Mode offers is that you can do harm to an enemy by effecting their infrastructure through espionage. Put a dent into their economy or lower the moral to give yourself an edge when you try to engage in battle.

Once you get into the Battle Mode, which is initiated when you encounter an enemy on the overworld grid, you're likely to be surprised by having up to sixty characters in a battle at any given time. Yes, you read that correctly: 30 on 30 battles. Before you think that sounds way too daunting, know that ordinary grunt soldiers follow orders during this mode, while the commanders can be directly controlled and can even pull off their own special attacks. The tactics and fighting styles you set up for your combat force is essential in dealing with the opposing forces.

Graphically, Generation of Chaos really feels at home on the PSP. The graphics have a nice anime style and the sprites seem detailed enough for the compact screen. Battle sequences really look nice with all the soldiers on screen and the special attacks are executed well.

With Generation of Chaos, I hope Nippon Ichi can open the long-awaited SRPG door for the PSP. Because of the stronger kingdom building aspects, I think this title will offer a little bit more for those who may have grown tired of the previous string of console offerings.

- - Kinderfeld

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