I have a new thing to look forward to at the beginning of every month, the Humble Bundle Monthly. In the latest one it included many games I had already have / played. However, I was delighted to find a new gem, Chroma Squad. Chroma Squad was an indie game created by Behold Studios which I had heard absolutely nothing about besides some mutters among my friends about its playability.
So I did some research and saw it was a Pixel-based Tactical RPG where the player controlled a group of Power Rangers facing new challenges every episode whilst simultaneously controlling the studio that the program is produced in. I am a sucker for pixel art so the look of this game made me install it first out of the bundle.
The Narrative follows these method actors of a group called ‘Chroma Squad’ who break off a big studio to create their indie studio making more episodes. Since every episode is supposed to be a TV episode there is a lot of cutscenes, and I mean ALOT of cutscenes, half of this game I was just holding down the enter key trying to skip through them all because they are just SO boring. I mean, its great for the first couple of scenes because of the dialogue but after a while you realize you’re just reading speech bubbles from emotionless characters with sound effects and pop culture references sprinkled in every now and then.
As for game-play, it’s a standard tactical RPG with objectives to do. The player has five members to control each with their own abilities which can all be customized in the studio. It’s a refreshing experience to play because its been a while since we have had a refined one as this but after the objectives get near impossible and you bought the wrong thing then it just gets to be tedious retries over and over again. However, the game has so fun elements. The key is to fill the audience bar as more audience = more profit, but this means that you have to follow the typical action conventions for it to appeal to the audience. This makes the experience a little bit more fun and challenge, for instance, if you use your finishing move too early, maybe just to kill a standard minion, it leaves you with a drastic decrease in audience. A later feature (and normally a season finale) is the Giant-Mecha fights which bring back some nostalgia of how totally cool they were in the original power rangers as a kid and the use of a ‘quick time’ event makes gives you some pleasure when you hit it perfect.
As for the studio side of things, there’s not much to say besides emails which let you get that enhance on the story in the ‘real life’.You also buy upgrades for characters that affect your typical stats and the studio which increase the fame and audience (and money). All of this is pretty fun but the problem with it is what the original Assassins Creeds where you start to crave the life outside the animus more than the inside making you want to skip through all the cut-scenes and rush through the gameplay.
Right now I have reached ‘Season 2’ of the show which is sort of like acts in the story and I haven’t uninstalled it like normally do with these quirky indie games. Who knows? it might be my new go-to podcast game.
Binding of Issac, you have Competition. –