Each defeated enemy leaves behind a number of tiny crystals upon being routed. Most of these will be picked up automatically though the larger ones will stick around on the field and will have to be picked up manually by moving a unit to them. These crystals are used to power a summon gauge and when filled to a certain level can be used to summon powerful creatures that can greatly turn the tide in battle. The very first summon acquired can be used to refill every allied unit to 100% health, so it’s easy to see just how useful these summons can be. While each summon can only be used once per map, there’s no reason not to use them at any available opportunity if combat isn’t going too well.
One of the things I love about Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection is just how quick the gameplay goes. Gone is the forty minute campaigns, replaced with much smaller skirmishes I can enjoy during a cup of coffee. This is one of those games I can pick up for five or ten minutes at the time and feel accomplished after a couple of battles. There are a few instances of missions that have more than just the single map to conquer but there is always an option to save between encounters just in case things take a turn for the worse.
Perhaps a little too simplified?
Gamers expecting micro-management and masterful tactics may find themselves a bit turned off with how streamlined Pandora’s Reflection plays. Gone are the needs to balance different unit types, magic points, money, et cetera. Stats are simplified down to the very basics: character level, hit points, attack, and defense. The only currencies to be found are the self explanatory experience points and AP, or alchemy points. AP can be used in a number of ways, primarily to act as a substitute for experience points or to enhance weapons for higher damage.
The characters that you recruit along the way all come with their own class: wizard, alchemist, valkyrie, etc. These classes may seem very similar to one another but each class has a particular skill that makes them unique. Angels, for example, suffer no terrain damage or movement penalties during daytime but have greatly reduced movement during the night. Eruca (such as the main hero’s partner, Yuri), can move at full speed through grass and attacking first in combat creates a magic circle somewhere on the field that acts as a healing point. Each class also is limited to two weapon types in combat which is important for that rock-paper-scissor system noted above.
Beyond the weapon proficiency and unique ability, there really isn’t much that separates a caster type from a frontline warrior in Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection. Two characters I brought to level 10 had nearly identical stats which was surprising, as the wizard actually had a higher defense score than the warrior despite wearing a weaker piece of armor.
Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection is an example of how changing up an established formula can work, but not always for the better. With the collaborative efforts of Idea Factory and STiNG, this latest entry just doesn’t feel on the same scale as the previous entries. By bringing Pandora’s Reflection to a much simplier form, STiNG has helped to make the game accessible to newcomers of the strategy RPG genre but veterans may feel there’s just not enough depth to the game. It’s a solid enough role playing game on its own but I kept wishing there was more substance.
[Editor’s Note: Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection was reviewed on the PSP platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection Review,