Peering at the Eclipse

We take a look at a near-final build of NIS America's second Generation of Chaos localization and offer hands-on impressions inside.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: April 3, 2007
page 1 page 2   next
It's entirely possible that people will see Aedis Eclipse's title and never realize it's a sequel to an early PSP game, and perhaps that's a good thing. The first Generation of Chaos on the PSP (which was in turn a port of the fourth game in the series on the PS2) was a clunky, lifeless mess of a game that managed to garner a pretty blah reception when we originally reviewed it back in March of last year.

Flash forward more than a year and we're looking at the upcoming sequel, which is again a port of a PS2 game -- in this case Generation of Chaos V -- but the GoC title is no longer at the fore (it's still there, of course, but tucked behind the Japanese subtitle), and it's entirely possible that was the whole idea from NIS America. It was a smart move, distancing the sequel from the original, not only because it's a better game, but because it actually does a lot of things differently.

For starters, the game is broken into three mostly separate but parallel storylines, and you're free to choose from any of them at the start, though the tales from the Divine, Surface and Lower Worlds double as a sort of starting difficulty level, with the Lower one giving newcomers a much-needed tutorial by way of the main characters. You'll learn by doing, but even with a little hand-holding, there's still quite a bit to take in. We joked about the first game needing an 80 page guide to help sort the whole thing out, and despite being a little more accessible (especially if you ignored our advice and suffered through the first game anyway), it's still a daunting thing to undertake.

But, we're masochists, so we dove right in and started learning the ropes. Young Quinn is, apparently, clinically insane. When mystery Cyber Suits, dudes in robo-armor, appear and start causing explosions near the academy the lad is matriculating at, he grabs his friend Gon and charges off to go check them out. Great for us as players, since we get to jump right into fighting more or less immediately, but bad for kids seeking a level-headed role model. Shortly after jumping into the fray (which we'll get to in just a bit), he's joined by Keri, a snooty little rich girl who happens to be an heir to the creator of the most popular Cyber Suits in the land. Since the rogue suits aren't made by poppa's company, she wants to tag along.

Not only is this a way to get some character into the story right away (something the first game lacked), but it actually spreads the tutorial messages out as basic (if one-sided) conversations that explain the basics. See, before the fight, one would do well to survey the land a little. Everything in the game has an elemental strength and weakness, and if a unit with a particular affinity is standing on a square on the little board game-like grid, they get a boost to their stats. Conversely, if you use the influence of a nearby Headquarters to terraform the land, you can shift the base element and gain the upper hand in battle, either weakening them or giving your captains a little oomph.

The captains are the key to everything. All the main characters in the game wade into battle from the main overworld map solo, but they actually carry with them almost a dozen soldiers to help out. At first, the captains can only march in and thump on other enemies with perhaps the occasional pre-fight formation choice (each one, ranging from basic offense and defense to more complex surround or shaped formations, actually raises or lowers the base stats of all the troops). As the fights go on, though, the front, middle and back lines can all be issued their own orders.

page 1 page 2   next