When discovering this game, I thought to myself that I tend to be stingy with selecting games to play. I then decided to leave my comfort zone and play a game based on a show I didn’t watch that much. Chaotic: Shadow Warriors is based on the Chaotic (the name of the show) TV series that aired on 4Kids TV. I didn’t watch much of this show since it didn’t really appeal to me. I didn’t dread watching it, but I was never anticipating the next episode. This game reminded me of the 2000’s when video games based on cartoons were much more common than before. Fairly Odd Parents, Billy and Mandy, you name it. One more thing I want to mention that despite being based on a show airing on a network not as big as a channel like Cartoon Network, this game was published by video game giant Activision. It’s interesting to see a company so big invest on a product that’s not part of a widespread franchise. With all of that mentioned, how is the game by itself? It’s enjoyable but then becomes tiring to play. How could that be? PRESENTATION: The story begins with Tom, Peyton, Sarah, and Kaz earning a new “chaotic scanner” from the CodeMasters and decides using it to scan a creature. They then meet Ulmar who wants to find thieves that raided his facility, who they decide to help out. They soon realize the thieves who raided Ulmar’s facility are helping out a shadow being to destroy the world that the humans, CodeMasters, and the allied creatures live in. So Tom and the gang find pieces of the broken Mugic (Yes, not MAGIC but rather MUGIC) and rush to help out the creatures trying to stop the shadow being. What I liked about the story is that despite being the basic “Villain Wants to Destroy the World,” it doesn’t establish that right away. It’s actually built up with an event of robbery that leads to the reveal of the main conflict. I applaud the story for not giving away the real threat you have to stop when you start the game. But I do have one big issue with the story: the ending. To not give away too much, it seems like everything goes well for you, but then something happens that makes you feel like the game stuck its tongue at you in the end. It’s especially unpleasant when you’ve realized you’ve spent all this time just for THAT to happen. The visuals aren’t bad. The backgrounds look passable and many effects don’t impress. Many of the characters in CG look fine with maybe a few looking a bit odd. But what does shine is all the artwork for the locations and creatures. When you’re selecting which creature for battle or which world to travel, you see a piece of artwork for that creature or world and it looks marvelous with many of them so detailed and having an epic feel. You can feel intensity just from these images alone. They are that well detailed. The animations of the creatures during battles are standard, except for the animations that look like the creature is dancing. Those animations are amusing. The sound is alright with sound effects that are funny at times from the voices of the creatures but mostly rely on repeating the same attack sounds for fire, wind, and other elements. The music isn’t remarkably good nor bad. The only tracks that stood out were Storm Tunnel for having a sad and concerning tone in the later half, and Mount Pillar for being slightly catchy for most of the track. Overall, the story has some positives minus the ending, passable visuals with wonderful artwork, and music that at least is tolerable for background noise. GAMEPLAY: There are mainly two things you do in this game. You solve puzzles and battle enemy creatures. The shining part about this game isn’t the fighting; it’s the puzzles. When you start off, you only play as 2-3 of the 4 human characters. But later on, you play as all 4 of them. The 4 human characters have distinct abilities. Tom can move blocks, Peyton can walk through green gas, Sarah can walk on water, and Kaz can shoot fireballs. What surprised me about the game is that they used all 4 of the characters’ abilities to make rather complex puzzles to solve. An example of one of those puzzles would be that you move Peyton through a ton of gas and stand on a switch ad open a door with another switch, then you use Kaz to shoot the switch the door was blocking because what’s blocking the switch is a cliff you can’t jump from, and then you open up another door to a lake and use Sarah to walk to a door with a lever that can be used when 3 people are together and stand on a switch that opens a door to reunite the three to this lever, and then you activate the lever. There are more puzzles that are more complex, but they aren’t always that simple to discover quickly and relied on every character you had. That doesn’t mean I would ever play those puzzles again, but I admired the thought that went into them. I mentioned that the game becomes tiring later on, and the main reason why are the battles. I appreciate the fact that there’s much less to worry about compared to other turned-based combat battles. There’s no level up system to worry about, and your health and stats are restored automatically. But then the battles begin to become rather time-consuming. At first, you only do 1 vs. 1. Then you do 3 vs. 3 and then you’ll only do 5 vs. 5 for the rest of the game. The problem is 5 vs. 5 takes up quite a lot of time to finish, and it becomes a drag to fight. And it doesn’t matter how well your setup is. When you do 5 vs. 5, the fight will almost always last around 6-10 minutes. One reason why is that before you finish your turn, you have to select a mugic to raise stats or raise health points to other characters. It takes a while since you play a short but constant memory game. Other turn-based battles have more mechanics to worry about. But once you get better at those games, you can beat a battle in a minute or less. But no matter how well you are in this game, you’ll spend almost 10 minutes of fighting in 5 vs. 5 battles. 5 vs. 5 probably made up 40% of my whole playtime experience. The battle mechanics aren’t too hard to figure out. Certain creatures have more health; some armor can be equipped to certain creatures to increase stats, and you can slide or tap shields to reduce damage to you or increase damage to your opponent. However, one thing worth noting is that sometimes attacks that deal 25 damage only deal 10 or less in some turns. It could be me not fully understanding the battle structure, but that wasn’t enough for me to not beat the game. Overall, the battles later on drain the game’s enjoyment until you don’t want to play anymore, despite some well-thought puzzles. CONCLUSION: There are some glitches where one character glitches into a section of the world they shouldn’t have been in. It was so sever one time that I had to restart the world. Luckily, the worlds aren’t too big nor take too long to solve all the puzzles when you figure them out. Plus when you beat a battle aside from the final battle in the world, you never fight them again. That alone saves a lot of time. One thing I noticed was that when you select a profile, you have the option to choose from 4 tribes: Overworld, Mipedian, Danain, and Underworld. I only beat the game in the Overworld tribe. My guess that all the tribes are all the same game minus the different creatures you might have not encountered in the Overworld based on playing a different tribe for a brief instance. But since I’m done with this game, I’ll gladly skip seeing the different creatures. Chaotic: Shadow Warriors wasn’t an awful experience. It was just that fights later on were almost no fun at all, except for when I once defeated 3 opposing creatures in one turn. I just wished that 5 vs. 5 fights were only encountered as the final fight in world 6 and onwards, and then all the other fights be 1 vs. 1 or 3 vs. 3 at random. If you’re a fan, you’ll enjoy it fine. Just make sure you only play in small doses or the enjoyment will quickly go away. If you’re not a fan, you’ll enjoy the puzzles. But once you beat your first 5 vs. 5, call it a day.
No: I don’t recommend this product