The Game Over series will chronicle games we here at GameGrin complete this year, each article giving a retrospective on the game and our opinions on it.
One of the problems with writing for a gaming site is that you often find yourself either not completing games, or rushing through them so quickly you don’t get to truly enjoy them. Admittedly, despite my insistence that Chroma Squad be inducted into our Game of the Year Top 10, I didn’t actually finish it.
Chroma Squad is one of my favourite games ever, which I gave 10/10. I found no faults, bugs or really anything that impacted my enjoyment at all. I got to the final few levels and had to write up the review -- so I decided that I would leave it for a few days so that I could enjoy it more. A few days went to a few weeks, to several months as I was promoted at work and my four kids continued to require attention. I knew the final mission would be longer than the others, and I wanted to be sure I could give it the attention it deserved.
I wouldn’t be writing this if I hadn’t finally finished, so I’ll stop going on about it. For those unfamiliar, Chroma Squad is a strategy RPG, featuring a Power Rangers-esque group battling evil aliens. Or are they? Is it, in fact, just a TV show? Or, more accurately, is it all a show within a show within a game?
You choose your heroes when you start the game, out of a cast of about a dozen. Each one has different stats, and works best in a certain role. Once you have your team, you find out they are just stunt men in a super sentai show (it’s clearly Saban’s Power Rangers). Having had enough of the director, they decide to open their own studio and make their own show, with blackjack and hookers. But without those last two things.
That’s where you come in -- you have to run the studio for them, as well as ‘film’ the episodes. As you progress through the seasons, your five squad members becomes six when you rescue someone from Lord Gaga, the villain of your show. Or he might really be an evil alien, and your squad has actually been given superpowers and a giant mecha.
Each level is an episode, and has up to three sections. You’ll be given director’s notes -- things you can do for extra fan power, required for marketing and cash flow -- which usually tell you how to defeat the boss or survive the level. Many levels end the villain being grown to a huge size, and you having to go one-on-one with them in a giant mecha. You do this for a few seasons with several episodes each, and the director’s notes helps keep them fresh.
Back in the studio, you have to craft new armour and weapons -- or buy them for a huge price -- as well as mecha parts. You can also hire a marketing agency for various perks, such as fan power and audience per episode.
Once you finish the game, you have a reason to return: multiple endings. Yes, despite taking literally one year to finish Chroma Squad, I’m going to head back in. I’ve got achievements to gather, and endings to discover! I assume it’s something to do with the order you do episodes in, or hitting all of the director’s notes. In either case, I’m on it!