Chaos Legion - Retroview  

Intolerably Generic
by Jeremy, the Duke of Otterland

5-15 Hours


Rating definitions 

   Capcom has become one of those heartless videogame corporations with a knack for calling any random tripe it excretes from its bowels a game and hastily putting it onto store shelves. Every once in a while, though, a masterpiece does manage to escape their churning posterior. Chaos Legion, while with its charms, is not one of those games, and though some qualify it as an RPG, even Capcom sure as heck doesnít.

   To their credit, though, the folks at Capcom actually did a nice job assembling a battle system here. Your party consists solely of Sieg Warheit and up to two Legions he can equip during intermissions between stages. He can either have one at a time summoned or have them on standby for useful Legion moves when the player presses the triangle button. Sieg can do pretty well on his own with his sword combos and the ability to jump in addition to Legion support abilities, although if he does have a Legion in battle, he can ďtargetĒ an enemy by firing a beam with the circle button and electrocuting it, with Legions attacking it when the player presses the triangle button. Legions can run out of health, although Sieg can recharge his Legionsí Soul meters by constantly killing enemies, of which there are plenty.

   During the various stages, Sieg gains experience for his equipped Legions, not to mention items that permanently increase his HP bar, Soul meter length, attack power, and defense. During intermissions, moreover, the player can use Legion experience to bolster their attack, defense, and special abilities.

Delacroix...Delacroix! Estuans interius, ira vehementi...

   My only real problems with the battle system were with the camera, since it remains relatively close to Sieg at all times, with no opportunity to zoom it in or out, and the need to conserve healing items, given the lack of shops (though killing certain foes does occasionally recharge Siegís health). The targeting system was a bit irksome, as well, although I rarely used it. Otherwise, the Legion system definitely adds an element of strategy to many battles, and most bosses themselves are fairly strategic, having patterns of attack and requiring more to defeat other than mashing the attack button and healing occasionally. Overall, combat is pretty much the gameís high point.

   Interaction is passable, as well, though to a lesser extent. The menus are slightly on the evil side of slow and unresponsive, and the game itself is rigidly linear, with several stages instead of some kind of world to explore like in most true RPGs. The localization isnít anything to crow about, either, with few grammar errors, and in the end, interaction is average.

   Supposedly, Chaos Legion is a clone of Devil May Cry, what with Siegís moves imitating Danteís, although the Legion system does set it apart from most other action games, for starters. The game itself is based on a Japanese fantasy novel, though, and the in-game plot revolves around chasing around a silver-haired villain, a flagrant reminder of RPGs such as Legend of Dragoon and especially Final Fantasy VII. The generic feel of the game dampers creativity, as well, and in the end, originality is below average.

Available in Malice, Blasphemy, Guilt, and Flawed flavors Making popcorn, Legion style

   The story itself begins when the mentioned Sephiroth wannabe, Victor Delacroix, steals holy scriptures from a temple in some random Gothic-inspired land located God-knows-where, in hopes of finding three sacred glyphs to revive an ancient evil and bring chaos to the land, and itís up to Sieg Warheit, an ex-friend, to stop him. Delacroix blames the death of his girlfriend on Sieg, who proceeds to chase the silver-haired foe around various cities, fighting endless hordes of monsters along the way. While the game does have some fairly deep backstory, the plotís execution just screams as though someone at Capcom played a little too much Final Fantasy VII, with relatively shallow character development, as well, and ends up downright clichťd and laughable.

   The music isnít anything to write home about, either. Most of it is a horrid, forgettable mixture of techno and choral themes, drowned out mostly by Siegís grunting and attacking. Moreover, few Capcom games have had excellent voice acting, and the execution of Chaos Legionís definitely leaves much to desire, especially in the case of the unfitting southern-accented narrator. In the end, the aurals are weak.

   The graphics are better, yet still middling. The FMV work is nice, although the rest pretty much reflects a typical low-budget Playstation 2 game at the time, with heavy fade-in in many areas and even some slightly-pixelated fire effects, as well as repetitive monsters and the same dull, grayish or brownish color schemes everywhere. Overall, the graphics arenít great, but they arenít terrible, either.

   Finally, Chaos Legion has varying modes of difficulty (with the easiest mode still posing a bit of challenge), and has pretty low playing time, at that, anywhere from five to fifteen hours.

   In conclusion, Chaos Legion is a fairly generic action game that does have its quirks, chiefly its battle system, yet is by no means a masterpiece. If you ask me, itís less of an RPG than quite a few games that arenít even officially part of the genre, but thatís a debate for another day. Capcomís definitely produced better, but if you really want to play it, you could probably finish it in a weekend renter.

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