Certain big-name games have been anticipated on the iOS App Store since the day it opened for business, like Square-Enix’s monumental Final Fantasy series. You can download Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, and V all on iOS, in addition to other RPG classics like Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger, but Square-Enix also released an exclusive RPG series just for mobile gamers. Here’s your guide to the sci-fi, combat-heavy world of Chaos Rings.
The first Chaos Rings launched on iOS with great fanfare. It was the first original RPG for iOS from Square-Enix, who have a history of making deep, beautiful games, and we weren’t disappointed by Chaos Rings’ epic scope. The game starts with five sets of champions (each consisting of a male and a female) being abducted by an alien spaceship and made to fight each other to the death. The winning couple will have a chance to repopulate the planet at the dawn of humanity. With multiple playable characters, a deep customization system, balanced combat, and gorgeous graphics, Chaos Rings is an unforgettable experience on iOS. And just when you think you’ve beaten the entire game, there’s a hidden ending that takes hours to fight through.
Key Quote: “All of the attention to detail, masterfully designed gameplay mechanics, and great music and visuals add up to create one of the best iPhone games you can currently buy. It may cost top dollar, but in this case, you absolutely get what you pay for.”
Chaos Rings Ω
Between Chaos Rings 1 and 2, Square Enix released Chaos Rings Ω, which serves as a prequel to the events of the first game. Chaos Rings Ω had extremely similar gameplay– once again, you were stuck on a giant spaceship and forced to fight other couples to the death– but in this case, more of the same was greatly appreciated. Even if the gameplay was similar to Chaos Rings 1, the storyline was highly original, and players had a chance to experience the story of Vieg, a guardian of the king whose family is also taken onto the alien ship.
Key Quote: “To say the graphics are wonderful is a bit of an understatement. It looks every bit as good as a PlayStation 2-era Final Fantasy game, which is to say that the characters are made up of a ton of polygons, and the backgrounds are hand-drawn.”
Chaos Rings 2
Chaos Rings 2 was more of a departure for the series than we had expected, with a narrative that jumps between multiple characters, and a more gradual build-up into the main plot. Chaos Rings 2 has a more ambitious attempt at storytelling, but the random battles will be familiar to anyone who’s played a classic RPG. Instead of the “genes” that let you acquire new abilities in the earlier games, you now had Sopia Points, which allow you to unleash new special attacks. Chaos Rings 2′s twisting plot had us feeling confused at times, but the scale of what Square Enix attempted is still far beyond what most developers can manage, making this a series of games worth investing in.
Key Quote: “Chaos Rings II is a very good representation of the genre, though it doesn’t really do anything so outstanding as to elevate it to a new level or rise above. But its story and characters stand tall among the best, and we recommend it to anyone who is a fan of this type of game– and perhaps even some who aren’t.”
Tomorrow’s featured series is The Sims, a virtual life where you can do just about anything you want.
This article is part of a series about the best games on iOS, 2008-2013. You can read the rest here.