Thursday, 25 December 2014

Kotobuki Grand Prix (Playstation)

Augh, this game is terrible. I'd seen it around before I'd actually played it, and wondered if it might be one of those budget-priced hidden gems, of which there are so many on the Playstation and PS2. Then one day, I needed to find an extra game to meet a shop's minimum purchase for paying by debit card, so I took the plunge and bought Kotobuki GP.

Obviously, it's a light hearted racing game, in the time-tested Mario Kart knock-off mould, even down to copying the little mini-jump thing that Mario Kart has. The graphics are okay, considering it's a PS1 budget title, and not even a part of the Simple 1500 Series at that. Although even this concession of going easy on the game because it's a budget title can be eschewed once you realise that it was actually a full price release in 1999, rereleased by its publisher as a budget game two years later. The European release didn't come until 2003, when budget publishers selling Japanese games they licenced on the cheap were pretty much all that was left in the world of Playstation releases.

Why is it so bad? Well, there are a number of problems, with three in particular taking centre stage. Firstly, each track has a set number of items available, and they don't respawn. So by the final lap, there'll be none left, which is very odd for game of this type. Secondly, all the racers feel both slow and unweildy. There's just no joy, no speed, and no satisfaction to be found in racing around the tracks. Thirdly, every track, from the easiest to the hardest, has at least one completely unforgiving 90 degree corner that's almost impossible to take without crashing.

There lots of other flaws, too, like the almost complete lack of structure in the game's Grand Prix mode, or the awful sound effects and music, but generally, I'd strongly advise against playing this game. It's so bad that it's actually depressing. The one positive thing I can say about it is that the same day I bought it, I also bought Ridge Racer V.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Hi no Tori Hououhen (MSX)

I'll admit something here before I start: despite all the critical acclaim it gets, I've never read or watched any version of Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix series, upon which this game is based. In fact, before playing this game, the most contact I'd had with it was the cameos in the excellent GBA game Astro Boy Omega Factor. But from what I gather, the series is some kind of great philosophical work. Though none of that gets through into the game, which is a vertically scrolling shooter, it's still pretty unique in its own right.

The unique factor is that Hi no Tori adds an element of exploration to the mix. Exploration in a scrolling shooter might be hard to fathom, but it does work fairly well. The stages only scroll upwards, but they do loop vertically, and there are exits to the left and right at certain points, essentially making each stage a collection of interlinked sub-stages.

The player spends each stage seeking out stone tablets, each marked with kanji, which open gates marked with the same kanji, until one of those gates leads to the stage's boss fight. Boss fights take place in their own seperate, non-scrolling stage, a cool-looking cave made of skulls. The game looks pretty great in general, easily one of the best-looking MSX games I've seen, up there with Aleste 2.

It's technically sound, too, with your shots coming out pretty much as fast as you can press the fire button and Takahashi Meijin-esque displays of button-hammering prowess are a skill worth developing for this game, as a fair few of the enemies are mild bullet sponges, while others might be weak, but attack in thick, aggressive formations. Most of the power-ups are typical of shooting games of the era: improving the range of the player's shots, increasing the player's movement speed, etc., but one odd point is that there's two different kinds of invincibility item: one that causes enemies to die on contact while in effect, and one that doesn't.

Hi no Tori is a pretty good game, that's unique and it looks great, though it is very difficult. Not to the sadistic level of Evil Stone, but its difficulty definitely lives up to the stereotype carried by late 80s shooting games. I'd say it's definitely worth a look if you're curious.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Evil Stone (Arcade)

Evil Stone is an odd game. It's a beat em up, but rather than taking place on a traditional scrolling path, it takes place on grids of floating rocks. Furthermore, it's a beat em up in which the player has no kind of health counter, and can theoretically take an endless number of hits without dying. Obviously, the catch is that the player instead dies by being knocked back into an empty space and falling to their death. The player can move in four directions, and there are only two action buttons: jump and attack, though jump can be pressed twice to jump two spaces instead of one, and attack can be held for a second or two for a more powerful and longer-ranged charge attack. Aesthetically it's quite interesting, too, as the plot deals with the gates of hell opening, and demons flooding heaven and earth, and the designers seem to have been influenced by both western and Asian visions of hell and its inhabitants, with a slightly stronger emphasis on the Asian.

The game starts with a moderately easy stage to introduce its concepts, though in this case "moderately easy" is relative and should be interpreted as "somewhat less sadistic than what is to come", as you probably won't even reach the boss on your first attempt. A useful thing to know, though, is that you should grind the goblin/demon enemies at the start of the stage until you collect enough power-ups to turn your charge attack into a projectile, otherwise the boss will be almost impossible to beat, if you manage to get that far without projectiles.

After the first stage, any kindness the game may once have shown the player will be thrown out of the window. There will be jumping puzzles, tests of agility, and periods of aggressive bombardment by respawning enemies. Sometimes there will even be jumping puzzles that test the player's ability while they are also being aggressively bombarded by respawning enemies. I had to do some credit feeding to get a couple of stages in, so that I could take some more varied screenshots, but some way into stage 3, I just had to give up altogether.

Despite the fact that Evil Stone is undeniably a cynically designed money-grabbing credit muncher, and despite the insane, sadistic difficulty, it is still technically a fair game. Or at least, I'm fairly certain that theoretically, someone with inhuman skill at playing videogames could possibly have a chance at finishing the game on a single credit after decades of practice. Which, although the difficulty of Evil Stone means that you could never accurately describe it as a fun game, it is at least in a higher league than "pay-to-win" mobile phone/facebook game scams. I still don't recommend playing it though, except as a curiosity.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Net Yaroze Round-Up Volume 5!

Katapila (Ben James, 2003)
This is a really simple game, you play as a bouncing ball and you jump onto ever-higher plaftorms, while trying not to fall off the bottom of the screen. It's the opposite of the games that were pretty commonly found on pre-smartphones in which the player's character had to fall onto platforms as the screen descends. There's also difficulty levels, which affect the speed of the screen scrolling, the speed of the ball's movement, and whether or not platforms disappear fter having been jumped on. It's an okay game, but nothing really special in any department.

Manic X (Tuna Technologies, 1997)
Another simple one, and an idea that's seemingly as old as homebrew games and romhacking itself: it's Pac-Man with some variations. Those variations in this case being different mazes for each stage, and the fact that the food items have been replaced with randomly appearing power-ups such as invisibility potions, dynamite that instantly kills all the ghosts, and so on. It's also pretty nice looking, it looks just like an Amiga game! The only real problem with it is that it seems to be a little unfinished: there's no music or sound, and once the player runs out of lives, the game just quits back to the Yaroze main menu.

Terra Incognita (Mitsuru Kamiyama, Shintaro Tajima, Kunikatsu Tachi, 1998)
Terra Incognita is a game that doesn't really fit on an obscure games blog, as it's by far the most well-known Net Yaroze game, but it is so well-known that it's monolithic and almost synonymous with the system. For those who don't know it, there's two main reasons it's so well-remembered: the first is the legendary English translation of the script, and the second is the fact that the production values are so far beyond anything else done on the Yaroze system. It's an action RPG about a guy going to a monster-infested island to seek out treasure. It's just typical action RPG stuff: hitting monsters and finding keys and so on, but obviously, the way it looks and sounds makes it something of a spectacle.  Also of interest to long-time readers of this blog is that the makers of Terra Incognita (collectively known as Team Fatal) also made the weird Fatal Fantasy VII demo.

Super Mansion/Yakata Plus (Tomukazu Sato, 1997)
So, this is apparently a port of a game from the FM Towns Marty, and it's kind of like Resident Evil, but without any monsters or combat, just puzzles and keys and the like. Unfortunately, it's all in Japanese, and I don't have the patience to stumble through an action-free adventure game like this. It all seems competently made, though, so the Japanese-literate and the patient might want to give it a look. Otherwise, there are also a few playthroughs on Youtube. While I was playing it to put it in this post, I noticed a poster on a wall in one of the rooms, which caught my interest.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any information on it, though luckily, selectbutton forum members Dark Age Iron Savior and Takashi (who have both also helped researching stuff for posts on this blog in the past) were able to dig up more: The artist of the Brainax poster was a friend of the game's programmer, who, in times long since past, had a website, which is archived here, which contains more Brainax art, as well as other art for projects that unfortunately don't seem to have gone anywhere.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Winged Gear (PC)

So, Winged Gear is a freeware shooting game, made by a guy named ZAP back in 2006. Unlike most doujin shooting games, it isn't a bullet hell-style game, nor does it feature any little girls. It's actually a very old-fashions single-screen shooter with elements of various games such as Smash TV and Raimais (though, the similarities with Raimais are pretty much entirely aesthetic), as well as a few modern twists, mainly in the fact that it has a scoring system, life system and weapon system tied to the same high concept.

That high concept is that bullets, whether they came from the player or an enemy, shrink as they get further from the source, becoming less powerful. The bullets have three sizes, and the player has three hitpoints for each life. Bullets at their largest are instant death, medium bullets take two HP away, and small bullets one. This ties into the scoring system, through use of a multiplier applied to destoryed enemies based on what kind of bullet was the last to hit them: x4 for a large bullet, x2 for medium and x1 for enemies killed by small bullets or bombs. It's nice how all these things tie together into a single system, isn't it? There's also yellow triangles dropped by destroyed enemies which are worth points, but aren't specifically tied into the bullet-shrinking system. They do, however, lose value the longer they're on-screen, though, so you're more likely to get more points from them if you were near the enemy when it died.

Aesthetically, the game is okay. It's very functional in its looks, with very little flair, though everything about those looks, from the sprites to the backgrounds to the colour palettes used would allow it to fit in perfectly among similar games from the late 1980s, with a lot more authenticity than most modern games claiming to have a "retro" aesthetic. There's also something about it, possibly the designs of the enemies, that makes it really feel like an Amiga game, in fact, when I said earlier that it had a similar look to Raimais, it looks like an Amiga port of Raimais might have looked (though obiously, this is also if Raimais was a shooting game rather than a maze game).

Winged Gear isn't anything amazing or special, but it is a fun game that's fairly addictive, and the aesthetic authenticity it displays is pretty admirable, too. Also, it's free so it's not like you have anything to lose by trying it.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Aworg (Mega Drive)

Aworg is one of a few games released via download for the short-lived, Japan-only Meganet internet service for the Mega Drive. It stars a cyborg (who, in my eyes, bears a mild resemblence to Megaman X), holding a paper fan in each hand and no weapons. The cyborg flaps the fans to achieve awkward flight, and is charged with the task of collecting three keys in each stage, and then exiting the stage via portal. (The title screen refers to the protagonist as a "hero in the sky", though as far as I can tell, his actions aren't partiularly heroic.)

The stages are full of obstacles, stationary and mobile. There are spikes, orbs, and aggressive floating aliens. The orbs and aliens can be killed, either by use of Aworg's special health-draining attack, by pushing them into spikes, or through repeated headbutts. Pushing enemies is a more complicated affair than it initially sounds, as its done by facing away from your target and flapping. It takes a while to get used to manage doing this and also actually avoiding other obstacles and getting to where you want to be. Headbutting is a more simple affair, being somewhat reminiscent of Ecco the Dolphin's charging attack, but since enemies take multiple hits, it's hard to dispatch them without taking damage yourself. Speaking of damage, the game gives the player a different amount of starting health for each stage, presumably in accordance with the stage's difficulty, though I assume that later stages will combine sadistic layouts with austere health rationing.

The game's not what you would call fun to play, and though it's biggest failing is that it's way too hard, it's too hard in a way that dares the player to play again, and try to get a little further. If you in the mood for a vintage masocore experience, Aworg might be a game you'd want to seek out. If not, it definitely isn't. And as for the odd title, I'm assuming that it's some kind of mangled portmanteau of the words "air" and "cyborg"

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Realm of the Dead (PS2)

Europe was a pretty good place to be a PS2 owner, as for some reason, we had a lot of smaller publishers buying the rights to many lesser-known Japanese games and releasing them here, which is apparently something that didn't really happen in North America. Obviously, a lot of those games were awful shovelware garbage, but it also meant we got to play some amazing classics like Global Defence Force and games that were more interesting than they were actually good, like Zombie vs. Ambulance. Realm of the Dead is one of those many piles of low-budget Japanese titles that was brought over, but it doesn't really fall into any of the above categories, that is to say, it's particularly good, it's not terrible, and it's definitely not interesting.

Realm of the Dead is a gory, zombie themed beat em up, but unlike most zombie games, it's set in medieval times. So instead of killing zombie cops and office workers, you kill zombie knights and fishwives. You've got weak attacks and strong attacks, you earn points that are used to buy upgrades between stages, et cetera. There's really nothing about this game that stands out at all.

It could be said that it does at least paint a somewhat realistic picture of the medieval world, with most locations being brown, dirty and damp-looking. Very damp-looking in some cases, as you're going to spend several consecutive stages early in the game wading through identical-looking sewers, killing the same enemies you kill everywhere else.

Yeah, this is a pretty short review, since there's only so many ways in which it's possible to say "this game is mediocre". Like I said in the Raging Blades review, there are plenty of great beat em ups to play on the PS2 before you get to ones like this, and if you really want to play one with zombies and gore, I'd say go for Zombie Hunters 2. If horror isn't essential to you, then once again, I urge you to play God Hand.
This game is also known as Bakuen Kakusei: Neverland Senki Zero

Monday, 17 November 2014

Super Glob (Arcade)

Super Glob is an arcade game of a style popular in the early 80s, featuring a cute thing of indeterminate nature avoiding enemies and eating things. It's probably safe to say that though a lot of the games in this trend weren't maze games (and in fact there was actually a fair amount of mechanical variation between most of the games), they were almost definitely inspired by Pacman's massive popularity.

In this particular iteration of the theme, the players control a small blue slime named "Glob", and ride in elevators to eat all the food on each stage. The enemies come in the form of various animals: crocodiles, frogs, rabbits, monkeys and pigs, each with their own behaviour patterns.

There's two buttons in use for this game, one to make glob jump up and stick to the ceiling, which is useful to evade enemies, and also to defeat them by dropping onto them from above, though each stage has a time limit in the form of an "energy level", which depletes faster whie Glob is stuck to the ceiling. The second button is used to press the buttons that are dotted around the stages to call the elevators to the player's current floor. This button comes with it's own cute little animation, and the elevators provide another method for dispatching foes: crushing with the top or bottom of the elevator, in a manner possibly inspired by Taito's Elevator Action, released in the same year.

A few stages in, the enemies gain the ability to call the elevators, to kill the player or, since they aren't too bright, each other. A couple more stages and some of the enemies can even ride the elevators up and down, which complicates things even more than it sounds like it does. Each enemy is worth a different amount of points, oddly all being mulitples of eleven. The amount of points each piece of food is worth increases by 10 each stage, too. These two things combine to make a simple, but still interest way of ensuring there can be some variation in the scores of players with different skill levels.

The game is known by a few other names, including The Glob, and Beastie Feastie. There are some difference between the differently named versions, too, though they're all fundamentally the same game: Beastie Feastie has uglier graphics, different stage layouts and a continue option. The Glob appears to be mostly the same as Super Glob, with only a few pallette difference and very minor changes to stage layout.
Here's a comparision of the first stages of each game, with Beastie Feastie on the left, The Glob in the middle, and Super Glob on the right :

You can read more about how this odd state of affairs came about here.

Super Glob is a game that's worth playing, in my opinion. It's cute, it has an interesting scoring system and it's fun to play. It's also part of a mildly interesting footnote in arcade history too, which is nice.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Panic in Nakayoshi World (SNES)

This is a game I'd encountered way back when I first had access to emulation, before I even owned a computer, and was running a dreamSNES disc I'd got from one of the local software pirates in my village, with ROM discs burned by my friends. Panic in Nakayoshi World was on a disc sent to me by an internet friend, who described it as "this weird Bomberman-type game with Sailor Moon in it", which, to the untrained eye, seems like an accurate description. Definitely better than describing it as a puzzle game, which I've seen one person online do, at least.

But I recently got a physical copy of the game from ebay for a few pounds, and playing it again, I can see exactly what it is: it's Battle City with a pink and yellow makeover! (And long-time readers might remember when I reviewed Tank Force, the arcade-only sequel to Battle City, a couple of years ago.)

It has all the main features of Battle City: destructable blocks, enemies spawning from three points at the top of the map, a target at the bottom of the map that has to be defended from enemy fire. Your weapon is even powered up by collecting stars! But of course, instead of controlling a tank, you're controlling Sailor Moon or one of three other characters from comics being published in Nakayoshi magazine at the time, none of whom I'm familiar with. And instead of enemy tanks patrolling an occupied city, there are enemy rabbits and teddy bears patrolling cute fairytale forests and the like.

The one, singular problem I have with the game is that the addition of boss fights means losing a life can put the player at a massive disadvantage: since all power ups a lost on death, dying before a boss fight can be disastrous. At full power, bosses are easy, going down in a few seconds. With no power-ups, you have to play almost perfectly just to defeat them within the time limit. It's only a minor problem, and it's nowhere near as pronounced as it is in a lot of other games, but it's still mildly annoying.

Really, whether you like this game or not depends on two things: how much you like Battle City and how comfortable you are playing a game that is themed with such femininity (and that really shouldn't be a problem with anyone in this day and age, should it?) Panic in Nakayoshi World probably isn't as good as Tank Force, but it is still worth playing, and if you want to play it on real hardware, a copy shouldn't set you back too much.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Basketball Nightmare (Master System)

The night before the big game, the captain of a high school basketball team has a nightmare, where he has to play against teams of monsters. And though he's probably American, and the game was made for western audiences (the only ones still buying Master System games in 1989), a lot of the monsters are very Japanese: buddhist cyclopses, kappas, undead Japanese grandmothers, and so on. The enemy teams, being monsters, play on spooky courts, too, which happen to look pretty cool, with baskets made of bones and rocks and such.

Despite the unusual theme of Basketball Nightmare, it doesn't add any kind of fantastic elements to the way the game plays: no power-ups or special moves or anything of the sort. It's just a regular basketball game in which the AI teams all happen to be monsters. So normal is the manner in which the game plays, that in 2-player mode, and the pointless CPU vs CPU mode, the teams are all human. There's also talk online of a secret single player mode played against international human teams, though I haven't found any instructions on how to access this mode.

The game plays better than you'd expect from an 8-bit team sports game, and it's presented excellently: attempted slam dunks are shown via impressive full screen cutaway animations and the regular sprites are all cute and appealing. It does fall apart, however, when you discover the secret to winning every match: get the ball, run to the bottom right corner of the court and shoot. More often then not, you'll score a three pointer. Do this a few times, and your opponents will have no chance of catching up before the time runs out.

Basketball Nightmare is worth a look for the cute graphics, and some fun might be had from the 2-player mode (though I guess either both players or neither players would have to know about the secret for it to be at all competitive), but it's definitely not an essential game that needs to be sought out.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Aurail (Arcade)

Aurail is an arcade shooting game made by Westone in 1990, with a bunch of interesting gimmicks. It also has a pretty interesting setting  and visual style, taking place in a world that seems to combine old-fashioned ornate design with futuristic technology, giving the game a slightly more unique look than the semi-steampunkish style usually used when a setting combines fantasy and sci-fi or the past and the future. A lot of love actually seems to gone into the game's visual design, with some nice big pieces of splash artwork use at various points, like the titles and continue screens. It's a shame there'll probably never be an artbook showing some more insight into it (although I'd love to be proven wrong on this. Even if someone just dug out a lavishly illustrated article from an old issue of Gamest or something, that would be nice!)

The easiest to explain out of the game's gimmicks is that there are two types of stages in the game: typical vertically-scrolling shooting game stages, and the less common first-person shooting stages, that take place in long, straight tunnels. A little more complicated, though more prevalent, since the first person stages are only occaisional distractions, are the control and power-up systems.

Along with the joystick, the player has three buttonswith which to control their walking tank. The first is a fairly traditional fire button, which when held locks the tank in place, allowing the player to shoot all around them. Before explaining the other two buttons, the power-up system must be explained: there's a power meter going up the left-hand side of the screen, which is filled a small amount when a "P" power-up is collected. There are also "D" power-ups that summon an attack drone that hovers around, following the player. The second button puts the drone into attack mode, causing it to fly around the screen, shooting enemies until the power meter is depleted. The third button activates a forcefield around the player, using a fairly hefty chunk of power. The player can have up to three forcefields active at once, each protecting from a single attack.

So it looks good, and has interesting controls, but it Aurail actually a good game? Well, it's alright. The pace is a lot slower than you might expect from an arcade shooting game, as there's no forced scrolling, and the player does need to be careful, almost tactical even, when approaching enemies, especially since the walking tank isn't really fast enough to quickly weave between oncoming bullets: it's more effective to seek positions where safety can be found for a second or two, shoot from there and then move again. It's also very, very hard. Those three shields can be worn down quicker than you might expect, and when death does come, the distance between checkpoints is truly punishing. There's harder games from this era, but Aurail is definitely not a forgiving game by a long, long way.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 2: Monaco GP

The Sega Ages series started out as a bunch of 3D remakes of old Sega games, later turning into compilations of often rarer, high-quality emulated titles with generous extras. Obviously, being only volume number 2, Monaco GP is of the first variety. These early titles were almost universally lambasted by all and sundry when they came out, with the remakes of Golden Axe and Space Harrier drawing particular ire. Monaco GP was mostly ignored, though, probably because the original is a lot older than most of the other games, and was only previously ported to a home system once, to the SG-1000 all the way back in 1983.

The original (or rather, the SG1000 port, since the original is not yet emulated in MAME, so I haven't been able to play it) is a pretty great game: the player drives down an endless road avoiding other cars, scoring more points the faster they go. The Sega Ages 2500 remakes has three different modes: arcade classic, arcade original and grand prix.

Arcade classic is pretty much just like the orignal game: go fast and survive as long as you can. Arcade original takes that concept, with several additions: a selection of different tracks, corners (which are tackled with the shoulder buttons), power-ups that offer things like speed boosts, a temporarily giant car, temporary invincibility and so on, and lines of stars on the track that, when collected, give the player points and extra speed. Grand Prix takes the extra elements from arcade original mode, and removes the endless score-run structure (and with it, limited lives), instead having the player race against time around sets of five tracks.

Arcade original is the worst of the three, since it eschews the one-hit kills of classic mode, it takes ages to actually die, taking the player long past the point at which the game stops being fun. Grand Prix is a lot better, though, taking the updated mechanics and putting them in a structure that never lasts longer than 15-20 minutes, though the time limits are a little too generous on the easy and normal courses. An interesting thing that's shared by both the arcade modes is that the player doesn't start any lives, though extra lives are dealt out at every 20000 points scored, and during the first 60 seconds of a run, the player can die as many times as they like without penalty, allowing players to build up at least one or two lives before the game begins proper.

This game was relased in the west along with a bunch of other early Sega Ages 2500 entries on a single disc as "Sega Classics Collection", which is something I definitely recommend getting hold of.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Chaos Break (Playstation)

So, in 1998, Taito released an arcade game entitled Chaos Heat, it's a pretty good game, like a 3D beat em up with guns. I'll probably do a post on it at some point in the distant future. For some reason, Taito, instead of porting Chaos Heat to the Playstation, made Chaos Break, a spin-off set in the same universe (or an "Episode of Chaos Heat", as the title screen puts it).

This port doesn't have the constant, fast-paced action of its arcade parent, eschewing it in favour of Resident Evil-esque exploration and puzzles, in what can only have been an ill-advised attempt to cash in on the popularity of that kind of adventure game on the Playstation at the time. Ill-advised because, while Resident Evil, as an example takes place in an atmospheric mansion, with many unique rooms containing interesting puzzles and memorable items, Chaos Break doesn't have any of those things.

The setting is a scientific facility that's futuristic in the least interesting way possible: everything made out of grey metal, no decoration, sliding doors, all that kind of thing. The rooms and especially the corridors all pretty much look alike, which I guess is realistic for a facility of this type, but in a videogame that contains as much backtracking as Chaos Break, it's not only ugly and boring, but also impractical, leading to endless flicking to and fro between the game and the map screen in the pause menu.

The biggest crime Chaos Break commits, however, is in its puzzles. Using Resident Evil as an example once again, the puzzles in that game included logic puzzles with verbose clues, block-pushing puzzles, fitting items in different slots, and so on. The puzzles in Chaos break are neither fun nor interesting. To find the first password you need to unlock a door, the player simply has to find it written down on a piece of paper found in the possession of a dead scientist found lying around. The second takes the game to new depths, being a randomly generated sudoku puzzle. Not only is the puzzle itself a tedious, slow, laborious chore, it completely shatters any atmosphere or immersion the player might be feeling, which would be bad in a regular game, but remember that Chaos Break is supposed to be a horror game (though the near-infinite ammunition available coupled with the feeble monsters might have already convinced you otherwise) and the sudoku puzzle is like a testament to this game being an awful, poorly thought out mess.

I'm sure you've already guessed, but I don't recommend this game. It's just an ugly, boring mess. Don't play it.