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Chaos Field

version: jp - year: 2005 - developer: milestone - publisher: able corporation - format: dreamcast, gdrom - condition: mint - rarity: hard to find


When in the order field dimension, enemy fire is reduced but you deal less damage


Use your laser sword to clear up a path


When switching field, you'll be invulnerable for a few vital seconds. After that, you'll have to wait about 10 seconds to be able to switch fields again


The target system is only available in Chaos mode









Review - The Dreamcast still has some life left in it, and for that we must be thankful that the Naomi board is still used by developers to make low cost shooters for the arcades.

Chaos Field looks spartan. By that, I mean that the overall look of the game isn't exactly exciting. You have generic looking textures, average backgrounds with not much detail and a somewhat murky color palette. Even on a SVGA screen, things don't get that better.

Also, the ship you control is uncomfortably big and feels bulky initially. But the 1st impression this game gives doesn't do it justice.

If for one moment you can look past the average graphics, you will find an interesting vertical shooter with original play-mechanics mixed with some familiar ingredients borrowed from other shooters.

The locking system is reminiscent of Layer Section for example while Stage 3 really looks like it's coming out from Ikaruga (which is a good thing!). Despite this slight feeling of déjà vu, Chaos Field manages to forge its own identity by creating a rich (although maybe a bit over-complex) playing system.

Basically, there are 2 playing fields at your disposal: the Chaos field and the Order field.

In the Order field, there are less bullets but your ship deals less damage.

In the Chaos field, it's bullet hell at its worst but your ship deals a whole lot of damage and you'll be able to lock-on enemies bullets. There are no smart bombs in this game but luckily you'll have a sword-like laser beam that can destroy many different kinds of bullets (not all of them unfortunately hehe) at close range.

Moreover, a sort of shield (which looks and behaves very differently depending on the ship you select) will be available to give you a very needed extra protection when everything seems lost. The play mechanics sound probably more complicated that what they really are but after a couple hours into the game, things will become pretty clear.

As in many other modern shooters, extra credits are awarded generously as you accumulate playing time (and get higher scores?).

Another interesting thing about Chaos Field is that there are no alien waves of little ships to get rid of but only bosses (which in all truth look often like random flying pieces of machinery... ) and you will typically progress by having to destroy a couple of mid-level bosses to then confront yourself with the end of level boss. The 1st impact is a bit disorienting as you'll be literally flooded by apparently endless waves of bullets. Luckily, the ship's handling is top-notch while collision detection is flawless, despite the big size of your ship! Get the game mechanics down and you'll breeze through the various baddies and kaleidoscopic bullet extravaganza in no time!

Moving on to the audio-visual part, as I said before graphically Chaos Field isn't very impressive (although levels tend to look better from stage 3 onward) while I found the techno music to be of very good quality as it fitted the action perfectly.

To conclude, Chaos Field is a good shooter that isn't as good as other late DC shooters like Ikaruga or Border Down but it still manages to bring something new to the crowd. More importantly, it provides new life to SEGA's system like a last-standing samurai whose past glory still echoes in the future.

Bottom line: a shooter who's interest resides in its original play mechanics rather than in its looks....6,5/10










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