While I certainly agree with Brad's review of Chaos Legion, I can't help but feel his final score was too generous. I have a hard time looking at the game (and its myriad flaws) as anything better than average, and that's if I was feeling particularly generous.
Brad's review hits all of the right notes. The game is stereotypical Capcom filtered through Square. The guys at Capcom have apparently let the success of the original Devil May Cry go to their heads and now spend lots of time working on games that attempt to ape that title's style. Unfortunately, like Devil May Cry 2, Chaos Legion is a pale imitation of Devil May Cry.
Sure, on the surface it looks good—it's got pretty graphics, loads of crumbling gothic architecture, a highly-stylized group of characters, and enough hacking-and-slashing action to keep even the most ADD-addled gamer's attention. The shame of it is that the game is all surface, but no heart. Capcom has gone out of their way to recapture the aesthetic elements that made Devil May Cry a hit, but they've failed yet again to capture the soul of the game—making Chaos Legion look a lot more fun than it is.
Brad is right in stating that the inclusion of various Legions to aid main character Sieg in combat is the game's one saving grace. However, even that element can't keep the game from failing under the weight of a nonsensical (and clichéd) storyline, boring level design, repetitive enemies, and cheesy music. Chaos Legion is a gothic rock opera gone horribly wrong, and it was definitely going to take more than a few cool looking monsters who aid players in combat to get things back on track.
Ultimately, I think Brad sees Chaos Legion as a glass half full, while I see it as one that's more than half empty. While there may be some interesting ideas buried under the rubble of mediocrity that comprises this game, I'm not sure nurturing what's there is going to goad those ideas into growing. To me, it seems that nothing short of complete overhaul can save future iterations of this potential series—and one has to wonder, after playing through Chaos Legion, if the title is even worthy of that kind of effort.
A film critic by trade, specializing in Euro-horror, cult exploitation, and Asian action cinema, Mike has written reviews for a diverse group of print and online publications. He covers horror news, movies, books, and games at TheHorrorGeek.com and Horrorsquad.com and spent two seasons as The Horror Geek on Comedy Central's pop-culture game show, Beat the Geeks.
Mike's childhood was spent playing videogames any time he got a chance. His parents had a Pong console and his grandmother had an Atari 2600, where Mike cultivated his skills by playing hour upon hour of games like Space Invaders, Berserk, and Asteroids. From those early experiences Mike learned one thing: he loved games.
In 1999, Mike became a staff reviewer at Cinescape Magazine's website where he spent a year learning the craft of game criticism. After internal changes led to Mike leaving Cinescape in late 2000, he joined up with RPGFan in 2001 and spent several years writing reviews for them. Happy, but looking for an opportunity to expound on a wider variety of titles, Mike joined GameCritics.com and hopes to help Chi, Dale, and the rest of the GC staff bring a higher level of respect to the field of game criticism.