Chaos Rings wins the battle for Windows Phone 8 compatibility
We didn’t exactly get a new Xbox Windows Phone release this week, but Windows Phone 8 gamers DO get something new to play. Square Enix’s Chaos Rings, one of the highest profile games on the incompatibility list, is finally Windows Phone 8 compatible!
The game launched only for Windows Phone 7 back in March, hugely disappointing Windows Phone 8 RPG fans. Earlier this week it started showing up in the Store on Windows Phone 8 devices, but couldn’t actually be downloaded by most users. Just an hour or so ago, several of us managed to download it at last. The game's Store web page was down all week and just came back up as well. At last!
Four stories, one huge adventure
The story of Chaos Rings revolves around eight people who must participate in a mysterious tournament against their wills. The winners receive eternal life while the losers unfortunately stop living. Each of the four pairs has their own short playthrough (around six hours), and finishing everyone’s story opens up a conclusion to the entire tale. Plus some equipment earned from enemies carries over between those stories. On the whole it’s a clever way to make the game digestible for mobile audiences.
Graphically, Chaos Rings works much like Final Fantasy VII. In the overworld, backgrounds are pre-rendered and characters are 3D. During battles and cinemas, everything uses 3D graphics. The original game dates back a couple of years, but the character designs still impress. The Windows Phone version gets two black borders on the sides, as opposed to Final Fantasy's single larger border. Chaos Rings also has a fantastic soundtrack (only available on iTunes, argh) and Japanese voice acting (with English text, of course).
Square Enix’s previous RPG Final Fantasy had nothing but secret Achievements, so nobody could tell what the Achievements actually were without consulting an outside source like our guide. Chaos Rings thankfully has just one secret Achievement and it’s for fighting a boss after completing everything in the game.
The rest of the Achievements come from completing each scenario and maxing a character, which I’m told is relatively painless if you know what to do. Just make sure NOT to go through the Original Door after completing a team’s scenario, as you’ll miss out on that scenario’s Achievement.
We’ll go into more detail in our full review, after I’ve had time to play through everything for myself.
Not for the faint of wallet
Chaos Rings’ new Windows Phone 8 compatibility is nothing but good news for RPG fans. But people who think everything should cost a dollar or less are in for some disappointment with this one, as it’s the single most expensive Xbox Windows Phone game to date. At $9.99 it actually costs a dollar more than the iOS version, which isn’t too uncommon but still worth noting.
Considering the iOS version launched at $12.99, it could have been worse. We are talking about a big budget RPG that offers more than 30 hours of gameplay and could easily sell for $30 as a 3DS or Vita retail title (but it IS downloadable on Vita). If this one sells well enough, maybe we'll get the prequel Chaos Rings Omega and Chaos Rings II as well. What do the RPG fans in the audience think?
Chaos Rings – Windows Phone 7 or 8 – 775 MB - $9.99 – Store Link
Thanks to EasyPeasyJD, Mark Tepper, and everyone else for the tip!
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Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!
i have been buying games on my 920 using paypal..
register your credit card with paypal and do the verification..
2D? Looking forward to this game. The only reason I was hesitant to unload my LUmia 900. Now I can enjoy this bad boy on my everyday phone! downloading if I can clear enough space from my 1020.
The $5 NBA Jam requires at least 30 hours to complete all of the Classic Campaign Achievements. Besides, play time value is greatly affected by replay value as well.
I hope Microsoft has Gameloft in line to support Windows Phone with their next set of games, e.g. Asphalt 8, but I also hope they're focused on bringing that gaming goodness to Windows 8/RT as well.
Seriously, the Windows Phone's gaming catalogue looks amazing compared to Windows 8/RT.
I wonder if the reason Chaos Rings launched first for WP7 is because it's from a Japanese developer, aimed at a Japanese audience, and WP8 has not yet been released in Japan (speaking of that, why the hell hasn't WP8 been released in Japan yet? I know that market is tough to get into because of the Japanese government's policies, but geez louise).
... But price is so high :(
But yeah, if people saying that this is great game, I gonna buy it :)
I would hope it's a save anywhere type of game since it's on a mobile device but I also purchased Spectral Souls where you need to have a 15-30 min chunk of play time and can't save mid battle.
Not having frequent check points or save area could be a deal breaker for me.