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
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
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.