By: Jeff Cater
Chaos Code is an anime stylized 2D fighter by FK Digital and published by Arc System Works. To set itself apart from the crowd, Chaos Code implements a unique fighter-customization system to spice up the package, but is it really enough to warrant your attention? Let’s dive in and find out.
As one would expect, the controls are pretty straightforward. Use of the directional pad or the thumb stick for movement is up to the player, and the face buttons cause your character to offensively swing in the direction of your opponent, or… fight. The controls are pretty much perfect except for the deceiving instructions on how to perform special moves in the Commands menu. As most moves involve a half- or quarter-circle input, it causes much confusion in the menu because the commands read as pressing “Up” to finish off the move, which does NOT work. Be that as it may, it doesn’t truly affect the controls.
Chaos Code looks like many other 2D fighters out there, and it doesn’t really have its own place to shine. Character design feels derived from other fighters but does feature pretty inspired (and even hilarious) animation sequences. For example, the chef Bravo is seen setting tables, chopping a roast and catching varied veggies on platters all while putting the hurt on his foe. Unfortunately, the graphics aren’t packed with even half of the work that was put into Bravo’s design.
As with most anime fighting games, all voiceovers are done in Japanese with a few select phrases in the King’s English for the announcer. Also of note is the soundtrack, which is by far the most outstanding part of the experience, as the beat varies from stage to stage and always brings a bit more life to the bland backdrops.
As far as fighters go, Chaos Code is pretty tight. The fighter customization lets you select two special moves before the fight out of a list of four, and it also lets you choose whether you would like your character’s dash move to be a stepping leap or a flat-out run, which definitely gives online matches between the same characters an added layer of depth.
The super moves that you can activate are Destruction Chaos moves and Exceed Chaos moves. The former being a move that really lays down the law and cracks about half your opponents life total away if connected, and the latter being a move that, when engaged, makes it so any combo you do has the potential to go to infinitely (until the gauge depletes).
I’m no fighter pro, but I was indeed able to make a few friends of mine mad at me by pulling 61-hit combos with only a few matches worth of practice. The game is exceedingly accessible, too, and it has a character for pretty much any player’s fight style.
The problem with Chaos Code is that it’s a damn good fighter underneath a thin layer of “Meh.” If you can get past the character and level design, graphically speaking, the game has a lot of depth to offer.