Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection

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It’s a good time for strategy games. A few weeks ago Fire Emblem: Awakening was released, leaving my brain in planning-RPG mode. NIS America also just released Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection on PSN as a Digital download only title, which is playable on your PlayStation Portable, PSP GO and PlayStation Vita.

Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection
Platform: PlayStation Portable
Developer: Idea Factory & Sting
Publisher: NIS America
Release Date: February 19, 2013
MSRP:  $19.99 – Digital Release only

Developed by Idea Factory and Sting, the two companies take the best from both their experiences in RPGs and combine them into one, creating Super Sting. In Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection, the sixth installment of the Generation of Chaos series, the game focuses on Claude, an alchemist, and his younger sister Yuri. Yuri is constantly sick due to being cursed, and Claude uses his alchemy to treat her and keep her as healthy as possible. They travel around searching for items to cure Yuri, which puts them in the midst of a war between the lower class and the nobility. That’s only the start. The adventure takes a few twists and turns where creatures are created by magic and alchemy becomes involved.

The game is split into multiple chapters and episodes. Every episode begins with a narrated scene explaining the current plot of the story. Characters will automatically join you as you progress. Each one has a set of abilities and stats that become very important in different battle scenarios, so paying attention to the characters ability traits is very important.

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Battles are played on a large map with each team having a main base. Objectives are given for a winning and losing situation, which usually includes you losing your base and taking down a specific enemy. Depending on how many bases you start off with, you can summon an equal amount of characters on the map. From that point your two objectives is to gain more bases that can summon more characters and protect your main base from enemy attacks…sounds easy enough.

It’s funny if you have a base with 8 characters on standby. If the enemy lands on your home base, its game over, so strategy plays a huge factor. After the first half the game, you and your opponents will try to take down each other’s bases. If you or an enemy is summoned by the base and it falls, they automatically retreat. Similarly, if they were defeated, then they won’t be usable until the next episode of the game. It gets pretty frustrating when a wave of enemies comes at you and pushes you away from a base. In that split second, you are down a base and character or two. So save and plan carefully.

generation-of-chaos-pandoras-reflection-psp-e1348241744164You move your characters from one spot to another as you plan your attack. It’s also important to pay attention to your opponent’s movements. Battles are different, in a similar fashion to Sting’s Yggdra Union, battles are shown on screen, which in the first few chapters are one on one. It is later done with an army shown, but that has 0 effect in the battle.

Claude uses his Alchemy and magic to summon spirits on the field via points earned in battle by attacking. The more combos you land and enemies you kill, the more your bar fills. Claude can then use different summons to heal, attack, stun or freeze enemies on the field (only once per battle). Claude can learn more summons as he levels up.

The games focuses heavily on the alchemy system. After completing battles you can receive weapons, experience points and Alchemy points. Alchemy points are used to level up your weapons. Items and weapons you collect through battles can be equipped or turned into Alchemy points. I never found myself switching any of the characters weapons, so I was always leveling them up every battle. This, however, can only be done after every battle in the Alchemy menu.

csJujGeneration of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection is a different style of JRPG. Idea Factory and Sting added different elements from each side to create a strategy RPG. The game starts out fun, but eventually it heavily repeats itself over and over. You’ll be mainly moving, fighting, leveling up, carefully planning on where to move or position. If the game interacts with the player more, the game has the potential to be good. What’s annoying and challenging is that the farther into the game you are, the enemies will begin swarming the field, spreading around attacking you and bases.

The story itself was interesting to start, but thenit just became simple and boring in the end. The game seems to become more of a visual novel while you rinse and repeat every battle. If you are under leveled or feel your weapons are weak, you can replay previous stages as you collect more items, alchemy points and level up. Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection is a game you would only play once, and while it calls itself “the evolution of the battle system,” it has the makings of a fun JRPG. Visually the game looks great and has great character design. Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection also features a Japanese-only voice track which is always a good choice.

Grade: C

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.

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