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Chaos Wars: Niche + Niche

Unless you're a fan of obscure Japanese RPGs (or obscure Japanese games for that matter), Chaos Wars probably just looks like another game to add to that list. However, for fans, Chaos Wars is the equivalent of Dr. Who suddenly showing up on the command deck of the Galactica - it is niche goodness combining with other niche goodness to create niche awesomeness.

Although it features its own cast of unique characters, Chaos Wars also features characters from several other games including Growlanser, Shadow Hearts, Gungrave and Spectral Force. The story centers on Hyouma, a student who is too curious for his own good. Despite several warnings, he decides to take a group of friends to explore a cave that keeps popping up in his dreams. While exploring the cave, Hyouma and his friends are transported to the world of Endia where he befriends a girl named Rin. After a quick battle, Rin explains that she has the ability to teleport people from different dimensions.

As it turns out, Hyoma isn't the first person to come tumbling into Endia as several other visitors have popped up and become protectors of the realm and gain special powers that allow them to shape weapons. Of course, Hyouma isn't that interested in special powers or the world he's been sucked into - he just wants to find his friends and be on his merry way.

Chaos Wars is, like some of the games it draws upon for its characters, a strategy RPG. However, gameplay takes a different approach and ditches the grid-based movement. Instead, characters are given a limited space of real estate on the battlefield and the option of moving wherever they want within this space. As characters move around the area, they gain weight points that help determine the order of turns. Attacking and using special abilities also adds weight (as well as using up SP points), which is where much of the strategy comes into play. Not only will you have to figure out basic movements, but also when to use special abilities. Adding to that, you can also unlock special team-based attacks by crowding a group of characters around an enemy.

While I'm not far enough into Chaos Wars to render a complete review, one is coming. However, I can tell you that so far, it manages to deliver a lot of what fans would expect and is worth taking a trip down to GameStop (Chaos Wars is a GameStop exclusive) for a pre-order.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker
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