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Generation of Chaos: Pandoraís Reflection
Score: 83%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Super Sting
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG/ Strategy

Graphics & Sound:
Generation of Chaos: Pandoraís Reflection is a strategy RPG thatís just slightly different from anything Iíve played recently, in a good way. The look and feel is typical for an RPG. The opening graphics are beautiful, like watching an anime. If you sit and watch the opening, youíll see the main heroes of the story and their character class, which is nice since you wonít have access to all of these characters from the beginning. As you play, you are continually gathering new people for your cause. Given that this world is described as dark and grey, the characters are a contrast to that. Their clothes are bright and vibrant and the bad guys are very flamboyant. All of the characters have their own look which makes it easier to keep track of who is who on the battlefield.

For those of you who have to have English voices, youíll be disappointed. All of the voicework is in Japanese with English subtitles. Personally, I like it that way except that there are a few places you wonít get subtitles, like the battle cries. But itís not as if you need to know the actual meaning of the battle cries. The sentiment is plenty enough to get the point across.


Gameplay:
Hades is the world where Generation of Chaos: Pandoraís Reflection takes place. It is a world that is now grey from the ashen rain that falls, covering the landscape. Worse still, the rain makes the inhabitants sick and eventually kills them. Seemingly, there is nothing that can be done to stop it and the world is failing into despair. Revolution and death are everywhere. Claude and Yuri, a brother and sister pair, are your heroes. Claude is simply trying to heal his sister Yuri from a wound that she keeps covered on her neck. It looks like this task is a lot more complicated, though. While he can make the medicine to help her feel better, it is a temporary solution and a very expensive one. The medicine has to be made from snowdrops, which are extremely expensive. This medicine will also protect everyone from the effects of the ashen rain, so it is highly in demand. Claude is one of a very few alchemists that exist and the only one that they know of that can make this medicine he invented. It looks like Claude is going to have to save the world so that he can save his sister.

Generation of Chaos: Pandoraís Reflection is a strategy RPG with turn-based battles, which Iíll explain more about further in. The game itself is very linear. It is divided into Chapters and then those Chapters have several Stages each. These Stages can be one or more battles. After you clear one Stage, then you can go on to the next one. You can choose to replay the stage that you just played by choosing Free Battle. The Free Battles seem to be a bit easier than the actual Stage. The only real purpose to playing them is to grind experience and maybe get some better armor. I never found that I got a better weapon since I used my Alchemy Points (AP) to upgrade well.

Story does feel a bit sped up. They seem to discover a lot after every chapter. There also isnít much that can be learned for searching the maps. There are a few extra conversation points, but I havenít really found that they add much to the game. The game is what it is. There arenít really any side quests or anything that you donít see upfront, at least not that I have found.


Difficulty:
When you first start Generation of Chaos: Pandoraís Reflection, you might notice that you donít get to choose your difficulty level. You canít change the difficulty until you have beaten the game once. At that point, you will unlock New Game+ and a Hard difficulty level. Until then, you are going to be playing on a Normal level. Really though, since you can grind experience in Free Battle if you find that the game is too difficult, then you can just play Free Battle until you are more powerful. I didnít find that it was really necessary myself, but I played a few to get better armor.

In between Stages, you have the option to upgrade your characters, change weapons, and upgrade weapons by spending your AP. If you spend wisely, youíll make your life a lot easier. Personally, I chose to keep my characters relatively even so that I could use any character for any terrain. Your choice of characters to go across the terrain will greatly affect your battles. Different characters move at different speeds on the various terrains. You need to figure out who to use so that you can move the quickest or the enemies will overtake you. Of course, youíve got a few weapons they donít. Claude has the ability to summon demons to aid you in battle. Heíll only be able to summon a few at first, but heíll learn how to call more as the game goes on.


Game Mechanics:
Learning how to play Generation of Chaos: Pandoraís Reflection can take a bit of time as there is a lot to do. To start with, you will need to call a character into battle. You can usually only summon two or three to start with, but if you take over Strategy Points and Unit Points you can call more, up to five characters total. The enemy can also do the same so you want to make sure to destroy enemy points when you can. As I mentioned before, you need to be careful about terrain. First, if you want to see the terrain borders easier, hit (Select). It doesnít look as pretty, but it color blocks the map. Next, (Square) will be your best friend. Most of the time, going in a straight line isnít the best way to get somewhere. Itíll work fine in the beginning, but the harder things get, the more you want to pay attention. You can use (Square) to set a way point, so that you can go ahead and plan a character path to get to a specific place without going in a straight line.

The second part to get used to is the battle system. When your character runs into an enemy on screen, a turn-based battle will begin. You will select which weapon that you want to use. Some weapons are more effective that others, so you might see Good or Bad next to a weapon on the selection screen. This doesnít mean that you canít use a "Bad" weapon though. Weapons also have an area effect that will be denoted next to the weapon. The range can be from XS (very short) to XL (very long). When you are attacking, there will be targets that you will need to press (X) and time correctly. The more of these targets you hit, the better. After the attack is over, the area effect will be displayed in a circle on the screen. If you have any of your other characters inside this radius, they will be able to get in a free attack on that enemy. If you can work it out so that all five characters hit the same enemy, you will get a bonus special combo attack which does even more extra damage, so I highly recommend trying to plan it out right.

Generation of Chaos: Pandoraís Reflection is a fun game. At first I thought that it was going to be a short game, but then I realized that the further I got into it, the longer the battles took. I do wish that there was more to the game though. It feels like there is a lot more that could be done. There are no side quests that I found. There are home points that will trigger conversations and gain you a few items, but nothing that is really important or interesting enough to go searching for. I miss having side things to look for. The story feels a bit rushed to me, but I canít explain exactly why. Still though, I have enjoyed playing Pandoraís Reflection. If youíre looking for a solid strategy game, check it out!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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