Should hold fans over to the sequel. While it recycles, the new story makes it a worthwhile purchase.

User Rating: 8 | Chaos Rings Omega IOS
With my first infamous game selection for iPhone being an infamous history already, I was pleasantly surprised over Chaos Rings. It had an interesting concept and though it required several playthrough's to see everything, it was well worth it, thanks to (most of) the likeable characters and some satisfying answers to mysteries. The game did so well, that Square Enix started pondering whenever or not they had a new successful franchise in their hands. So now we have two Chaos Rings games coming up. A sequel and a prequel… with the latter being released first.

Story
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Chaos Rings Omega, as mentioned, is a prequel to the original. While it still stays true to the original's concept, the game does feature a new set of characters. You play as Vieg, and while he's on a mission to sabotage a new enemy ship, the skies suddenly goes dark, and a strange creature appears in it. Vieg doesn't see much, as he's almost instantaneously transported away to the Ark Arena. Here he teams up with his pregnant wife, Vhati, and her parents Olgar & Rachel. They and 3 other couples have been transported to the Ark Arena, where they must fight to gain immortality and infinite youth. Not liking this "tournament" one bit, Olgar & Vieg teams up to try and figure a way out of the Ark Arena.

The story is a bit better than the original. It plays a little more around with it's a neat way, that keeps fans of the first one intrigued. There's also a bit more focus on the characters, and it does have a few dark moments as well. The villains are also much better this time around, being more fleshed out than the first game's antagonists. Unfortunately, they can seem a little bit cliché at times, and I guess that's the problem with the game's story in general. While the characters make the story intriguing, it does have its share of cliché moments. You name it, lines like "we can do this" and "we're going to do our best to make a better" etc. If you aren't into these anime dialogues, then you are going to hate it here. It's a shame, because if the dialogue avoided this, then I'd say the story was way better than the previous game. But as it is, it's just slightly better. I'd still say however, that the translation is still among the better translations that's out there.

It should be noted, that if you aren't familiar with the original game, you should probably wait a bit with this prequel, due to it giving away the main twist in the opening intro.

8.0

Gameplay
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The gameplay is more or less the same as its predecessor (or successor, if you view it as that). This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The gameplay wasn't that bad at all, in the original. It was fun, and while all of the battles could be won with the team option, it had an interesting couple and battle shift system that could determine the outcome really fast. That being said though, I also said before that it wasn't a flawless system. The element system was a bit random, with the enemy (and you're owns) weakness determined by the magic being used by you and against you. It felt so random, because it could ruin a perfectly laid out tactic, before you're characters were even allowed to make their turn.

So, aren't there any changes in the gameplay, at all? Well there are some changes. The puzzles more or less stick to the same types as in the previous game. But for the most part you are given unlimited moves, so you can just keep on going for as long as you want too. That doesn't mean that they can't be failed though, and if you fail three times you can skip the puzzle entirely. Of course this means you won't get the rewards, but they are next to useless anyway. Late in the game, you also gain the option to start a battle at your own leisure.

The game however, does have a few disappointments and issue of its own however. The difficulty is (at least for me) the major problem. Early in the game, you're going have to get used to enemies that can kill you really quickly, even if you are way over their level. This is also reflected on the bosses, with some encounters being brutal, making you take damage every round regardless of whenever you're hit or not (and it's making you weaker than usual). The final boss fight in particular is a huge pain, because it has a time limit of some sort.

Another problem is the environments. They've literally recycled all of the environments from the original game, and you have to run around collecting the exact same things as before, so if the game seems familiar… well now you know why. The game does throw in one new environment, but it only shows up late in the game, and by

But one of the main disappointments is just how short the game is. Completing Viegs campaign takes around 8-10 hours, but sadly he's the only playable character. You do unlock an extra scenario where you go treasure hunting for Piu-Piu's Treasure (which does get a bit addicting as you get to play more of it), and there are some small side stores, though they were added via DLC, and weren't found in the original game. The DLC does come pre-equipped however, and whatever DLC's missing is fortunately free. Though the game by now is 8 months old, the latest update is just a week old. Okay yea, the game still have a lot of valve, but I'd still prefer playing through the game with the different characters. It gave you the chance to explore every character and sadly this isn't going happen here… except for another character who was also in the original game.

7.5

Graphics & Sound
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As mentioned earlier, the environments have been recycled from the original game. So what did the art team do to compensate for this? They've literally gave it a new coat of paint. The colors are different this time around, but it's an incredibly cheap way to make the environments seem different. At least the new area is designed really well, with some of its art design looking like being inside of a really classy art picture. It's really beautiful. The characters otherwise looks fine, and the game also have less pixilated textures than before.

The music is good (yea I listened to the sound more than I did last time), but it's hardly memorable; though you can buy its soundtrack if you feel so inclined. The game also has voice acting (which again is thanks to the DLC) Other than that, the sound effects are all the same, and they weren't that special to begin with.

8.5

Overall
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While the game is massively guilty of recycling almost everything, the new story is engaging enough to warrant a purchase. And the gameplay still is good, despite the fact that it hasn't changed at all. If you were a fan of the original, I'd recommend it… at least it'll hold you off till the sequel arrives. If you haven't played either, then you might want to play the original game first.