CHAOS CODE -NEW SIGN OF CATASTROPHE- (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 29.03.2020

Review for CHAOS CODE -NEW SIGN OF CATASTROPHE- on Nintendo Switch

CHAOS CODE is an almost decade-old fighter that hit the shelves in the PS3 era. It was kind of barebones in terms of content, as it lacked some of the genre's must-haves; modes and otherwise. The 'NEW SIGN' upgrade for modern systems basically added some of those essentials, and although it is still in need of more, this rerelease provides enough reason to experience a very solid KoF wannabe - just one that's better purchased at an even lower price.

There's actually not much to say here, because CHAOS CODE doesn't add something new. It's a low-budget Guilty Gear, that's meant to offer fast 1v1 action and flashy 2D visuals, with nothing more than the tried and tested mechanics of the fighting genre. That's not a complaint. Not every title needs to be a reinvention of the wheel. Of course, this also means that there's little reason to try this out if you have played any of the more popular fighters - but at least this doesn't cost 59,99€, right?

This ticks all the boxes that a Japanese-flavoured, anime style fighter needs to, with the first being a varied roster of characters that includes slow-but-strong walls of flesh, superfast and agile short-stuff, "cool" katana-wielders and hunky Asian boy-men, MILF… err, strong and sexy ladies, gothic lolitas, as well as the obligatory "gimmicky" choices. While visually these definitely have that forgettable, b-list look, gameplay-wise they aren't just King of Fighter rejects. None of them are needless filler that's there just to be there.

Screenshot for CHAOS CODE -NEW SIGN OF CATASTROPHE- on Nintendo Switch

As mentioned before, the cast is quite the varied one, thus it is easy to find a favourite to have fun with. Yours truly fell in love with a NEW SIGN addition, the lightning-fast Lupinus; a Cammy-like, petite lady, whose pressure game might not be as good as that of others, but is great at closing distances in the blink of an eye, and actually packs quite a punch despite her size - a punch that can be extended ala Dhalsim (yeah, too many Street Fighter comparisons). Mechanically this still isn't something original, though.

The control scheme revolves around the typical weak and strong punches and kicks, with the shoulder buttons acting as button combos. As for the slow-filling gauge, it can be used for executing special moves, or entering a unique buffed state. The lack of anything fancier makes this a very approachable choice that caters to button-masher, pros, and everyone in between. Of course, your hyper active five-year-old brother won't manage to defeat you just by head-butting the gamepad. This is still a game of skill, just one that's very easy to get into.

Screenshot for CHAOS CODE -NEW SIGN OF CATASTROPHE- on Nintendo Switch

Of course, this remains a budget title, that can't hold a candle to the competition - old or modern. The "b-list" feel is evident everywhere. From the pumping tunes of the soundtrack, to the surprisingly detailed backdrops, while everything is fine, this is definitely the less impressive, older (much older) sibling of [enter popular 2D fighting series]. Luckily, this upgraded port lets you go from 4:3 with borders to borderless widescreen - a much needed option, if you find the borders (which also act as move lists) to be ugly.

As mentioned before, the characters looks great, but are extremely forgettable due to how the main concern of the roster is to include as many anime tropes as possible, rather than offer unique, distinct designs that will stand the test of time. After all, what separates someone like Celia, the maid of the bunch, from the hundreds of other maids found elsewhere? At least you can create custom colour layouts for all, and somewhat diversify them.

Screenshot for CHAOS CODE -NEW SIGN OF CATASTROPHE- on Nintendo Switch

In the end, the really disappointing aspect of CHAOS CODE, even with the new things that NEW SIGN has added taken into consideration, is the content on offer. Nothing is bad or anything, but genre aficionados have been spoiled by a barrage of titles that are full of things to do and see. This has an arcade mode, which also acts as a brief story mode of shorts (which is good, as the story is a boring mess), then there's a Versus, Mission, Score Attack, and Survival mode - pretty typical, right?

Yeah… but where's the online mode? This is quite the strange omission, as the PS4 version still has it. This critic prefers local play, but you can be sure that fighting fans rarely give a damn about something that lacks online. In conclusion, this is a very good fighter, small flaws and all, just one that is targeted more at those who like simple single player content or local versus play. Those who are into the highly competitive, online portion of the genre (and they are many), better look elsewhere.

Screenshot for CHAOS CODE -NEW SIGN OF CATASTROPHE- on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Despite its age, obvious budget limitations, and, yeah, lack of popularity, CHAOS CODE -NEW SIGN OF CATASTROPHE- is a surprisingly fun fighter, with a pretty varied (albeit typical) roster of characters that will cater to everyone needs. Content, as well as mechanics-wise, it's nothing special… but that's not the issue here. The biggest flaw of this port is, without any doubt, the lack of an online mode. Hard to understand why this wasn't included, as it's the one thing that the vast majority of genre aficionados can't live without…

Developer

FK Digital

Publisher

Arc System Works

Genre

Fighting

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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