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Chroma Squad Review

Chroma Squad Review

Chroma Squad is a tactical RPG wrapped up in a management game and enveloped by a parody-style storyline. As the titular Chroma Squad, you have to run a successful Super Sentai TV series after quitting the old one from under a terrible director.

In a nutshell, Super Sentai is a genre of Japanese television featuring superheroes who occasionally pilot robots against giant monsters. A group of (usually) teenagers are given powers and the ability to wear super suits, along with an assortment of weaponry, and sent out to fight a great evil. This has happened across 39 seasons in Japan since the 1970s, and adapted for US audiences (and thus the English-speaking world) for 22 seasons since 1993 in the form of the Power Rangers.

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There isn't usually an Orange Ranger, but it's my favourite colour so he replaced Red.

Whether your Rangers are In Space, Time Force, Samurai or the original Mighty Morphin’, anyone aged 30 and under has seen the explosions, spin-kicks and giant robots, and been affected by it. For myself, it was wanting to do karate and grow up to be a teenager with attitude — the love of giant robots was already instilled before 1993. For Behold Studios, the experience resulted in Chroma Squad.

Each of the five roles, boiling down to ‘the smart one, the strong one, the leader, the long-range and the healer’ are chosen from a cast of about a dozen when you start your studio. Every character has different abilities such as extra movement or do more damage and such. Some of these can be important, because if you happen to choose a team of people who can only move a short distance, you’ll end up failing ‘Director’s Objectives’ to gain Audience Points (because it’s a TV show you’re making). After all, you can’t finish in ten rounds if it takes you eight rounds to reach the enemy.

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Literally, the cast of characters.

The main part of the game is the tactical RPG battles: move, then fight or move twice, or only fight. Depth is added to fights by the director giving you specific things you must do, ranging from using a finishing move, to defeating all enemies in a set number of moves. It’s all quite manageable, but they definitely affect the strategy you must use.

Here’s a video of the fighting.

As battles wage on, everything your squad does gains an audience. Using teamwork — such as one member throwing another to get extra movement distance — will gain more audience than walking over and jacking a dude in the face. Using finishing moves, special weapons, abilities and such will also gain even more audience, which in turn gives you more money at the end of an episode.

There is an overarching plot that I won’t spoil, but suffice to say that your studio is grassroots, and so in real danger of closure if you don’t put out a decent product. The fans are your lifeblood, so sometimes you need marketing to come in and get you more of them, in the form of hiring an agency to run ads, print t-shirts, send out social media messages… All for a fee, of course. The other management things in the game are general stuff such as lighting, buying or crafting costumes and improving your giant (cardboard) mech. All of these things add audience or improve your squad’s stats, which again aids in giving battles more depth.

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The shop gets much more filled out as you go.

Each season premiere and finale of the show is predetermined, but you choose the order to record the rest of the episodes, which gives it a good sense of agency. Some require you to just defeat foes, some see you doing an often rare character-building episode (with some fighting) and still others will end in a fight against a giant kaiju in your mecha!

By far the most fun (and thus sparsely available) missions I found were the ones where you get to use the giant mecha (robot) against a giant kaiju (monster). These take place as a very watered down beat ’em up, after a normal turn-based level. They are just so charming in their presentation! I’m not big on fighting games and learning combos, so just having a couple of click buttons was perfect for me. Punch, defend and special move your way to a win — just watch my first mecha fight!

The graphics are an isometric pixel faux-16-bit look, which adds to the charm. It’s quite similar to their other Steam title, Missing Profile (which I’ll add I didn’t particularly enjoy). The simple graphics are complemented by the faux-bit tune soundtrack, which is actually quite varied and perfectly suits the tone of the game.

The presentation of the Chroma Squad is very much a love letter to Power Rangers, which is probably why it was met with litigation, by Saban (owners of Power Rangers), that delayed its release. And due to “licensing issues” the game can’t even appear on the Steam store in some Asian regions, including Japan. To me, this just seems like Marvel suing Microsoft because Master Chief is a little like Iron Man...

There have been several Power Rangers games over the years. Most of them are fighting games and the majority of them have appeared on Nintendo consoles. Why bother innovating when you could just keep going the obvious route? Well, then you might wind up with something like Chroma Squad, that’s why!

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Fight pose, go!

It may be painfully obvious that I can’t get enough of this game. The attention to detail, the tongue-in-cheek humour, the fun levels that are easy to play… It may be a little too easy for hardcore tactical buffs, but for me this game is perfect.

10.00/10 10

Chroma Squad (Reviewed on Windows)

Outstanding. Why do you not have this game already?

Great subject, humour and gameplay meet charming music and graphics to make magic. It may be a little too easy for hardcore tactical buffs, but for me this game is perfect.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan


Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.

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VodKaVK - 08:50pm, 18th May 2015

Wow!!! 10/10?! The Rangers look a bit creepy though...

Acelister - 09:18pm, 18th May 2015 Author

Yeah they start off looking kinda like insects... But after a few costume changes they're looking amazing!