GEN – #47 – General Chaos

History:

I got nothing… Never heard of this one.

Expectations:

It looks… weird… and not in the quirky “This is gonna be weird!” way, but in the “This might be uncomfortable” way. I guess we’ll have to see…


Day 1:

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Jumping straight into the game resulted in pretty epic failure, so it’s good that there’s a nice tutorial. The game has you controlling a squad of five soldiers, issuing commands and attempting to take out another squad of five soldiers.

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General Chaos is a good name for the game, as pretty much every game quickly derails into mashing buttons and hoping for the best. The A button causes all your units to attack, the B button moves the currently selected unit to the target location, and the C button cycles through selected units. I’m not entirely sure I can multitask well enough to actually play this game in a strategic manner…

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Units don’t have health bars and they can (sometimes?) be revived by medics, so it’s really hard to tell how games are progressing. Games I could have swore I was losing somehow had all the enemy soldiers falling over dead, and any time I thought I had it… I got wiped out…

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Still not really sure what to think about this one.


Day 2:

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Taking the suggestion Alex made in the comments I found a bit more success in my second outing with the game. In fact, with a better handle on things, I actually had a fair bit of fun!

It took a while for me to get accustomed with the pacing of the game, but once I did things started feeling a lot better. You have about five second before each battle actually starts to pre-position your soldiers, then the chaos begins. I still have some difficulty controlling the game once the battle begins, as cycling through soldiers is somewhat cumbersome. What I did end up doing was making liberal use of the pause “glitch”, wherein grenades and bombs would continue to fly through the air even while the game was paused.

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The overall game is basically a giant tug-o-war, where every win has you advancing closer to your enemy’s territory, while every loss has them getting closer to you. This is actually pretty cool, as games can take a turn at any moment. In my first complete game I made it all the way to may opponent’s front door, and lost. As a result he managed to push me all the way back into my base before I could recover and ultimately take the game!

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Once the game is over, you can continue on and play another match or ten.


Conclusion:

So I’ll admit this game ended up being a lot more fun than I initially gave it credit for. It’s not perfect, and I don’t see myself playing it all too often, but it makes for a pretty fantastic multiplayer experience which is always a good excuse to dust off a cartridge.

I always felt like the Genesis had a certain style to its games, and General Chaos is a great example of that. When you look at the game it just “feels” like a Genesis game. The concept was great as well, though somewhat flawed in execution. The first time I remember an RTS ever working on a console was Command & Conquer on the N64, and that was a 64-bit (sorta) system with 10 face buttons, a D-pad and an analogue stick. General Chaos tries to accomplish what is basically a light RTS game on a 16-bit console and three buttons. For the most part, it works. Unfortunately, I just don’t feel like it offers the kind of precision necessary to play with any level of control or planning.

You might start off strong and smart but every match generally devolves into, well, chaos.

Liked:

– Very unique game with a great style.
– Fun once you scratch the surface, despite not being particularly deep.
– Multiplayer is a good time, both in versus and co-op.
– A full game generally only takes about a half hour to play.

Disliked:

– Controls provide a steep and often frustrating learning curve.
– Almost no music to speak of…

Review:

General Chaos

Gameplay:

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One comment on “GEN – #47 – General Chaos

  1. It’s a good idea to try and divide your force into groups based on the range of the units. I tend to send the rocket launcher guy to a corner and have him pick off units one by one. I think this game is better in multiplayer though, where you can divide control over the force in co-op, or both be at the same disadvantage in vs. mode

    Like

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