Last year, PSP owners calling out for more SRPGs to their handhelds' library had their calls answered with Generation of Chaos. Unfortunately, due to the fact that it was plagued with AI issues, bad voice acting and was incredibly hard, not many gamers had much good to say about it after a few bouts. This year, Never-Land's sequel, Aedis Eclipse: Generation of Chaos, is lucky enough to get published by NIS America to give the famous GoC series another chance in America. Taking last year's PSP Generations into question, it's only natural to expect a proper, well-ported, follow-up which negates some last year's issues.
It starts out like any other Nippon RPG. One young man sets out to begin an adventure, dragging his cowardly friends along the way. As Quinn, you're a student in class minding his own business until an evacuation is ordered for his entire school. Quinn immediately escapes, but in hopes of running into those fiendish new enemies. Unlike most famed tactical RPGs such as Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem, very little focus is placed on the story. As the hours go by, plotline becomes more and more predictable, and eventually completely disinteresting.
...if you're seeking a portable SRPG experience for your PSP... then this is your sure and only ticket for handheld tactical warfare.
Combat is the real core of this game, but since the Generations series has never had the most conventional layout, it can take a while to get used to all the mechanics. Towns, shops and bases cover up the battlefield, making areas seem more like the overworld maps from other games than actual battlefields. Each mission has their own set of rules, the penultimate one obliging units to protect their base. Failure to comply results in the game ending immediately. Another branching tidbit is that each group has Captains and units. Encounters between opposing units switches you to another screen where each Captain is behind their miniature armies, before both worlds collide. Each Captain has their own flashy and anime-like finisher move, as well as an assortment of other very pretty skills. Admittedly, the mechanics are pretty rough for newcomers, which is why tutorial missions initiate the player in the opening chapters. But the real drag is how developers stretched out the tutorials into several missions instead of keeping all the explanations into one large battle. It's one of the first issues a player could come across when beginning a campaign, but then it goes beyond that.
Your party, as well as the enemy's AI, have an alarmingly high rate of acting wonky and completely disobeying your orders. As frenetic battles ensue, it quickly becomes commonplace to issue commands to peons, only to have them run amock in panic and ignore your orders. So regardless of how many steps ahead you plan when playing SRPGs, there's always the chance that the game will reject your tactics. Not without forgetting the meteorological factors which come into play. For example, an earthquake or twister can gust by in the battlefield and wipe out your fleet for no real given reason. It's the kind of device that feels like it was put there to make the game challenging regardless of how much you grind your levels.
If you're able to put all of those issues aside, then you can have a lot of fun with this game. It has tons of technical issues, but they seriously pale in comparaison to the first game (which even had loading for text). Aedis Eclipse: Generation of Chaos doesn't exactly overshadow the first, but if you're seeking a portable SRPG experience for your PSP and just can't wait the extra 2 to 3 months for Makai Senki Disgaea Portable, then this is your sure and only ticket for handheld tactical warfare.
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