|System: X360, PS3, Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Activision||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
All of the adventuring and exploring is just a framework to showcase Chaotic's battle system, which is what most players who pick up the game will probably latch onto immediately. During the more significant enemy encounters, you'll be able to throw down some humanoid beast creatures to engage in combat with mightier enemy monsters that have it out for you. This is where the strategy and card-battling element kicks in, even though there's really no cards actually involved.
You can plunk down up to five creatures in any given battle sequence, and each can be equipped with Battle Gear you've collected to enhance their abilities or Mugic spells to influence the fight. Creatures placed in the three front-row slots can attack and engage other abilities, while those in the back row are primarily limited to support roles. Every round you can have your monster comrades attack, use an ability, cast Mugic, or taunt opponents. In most cases, these actions require you to input perfectly timed sequences of button combination to boost the intended effect. When you're being attacked, you can either play a short button-mashing mini-game to block some of the damage or scan your enemy to use in future battles by follow the movements of an on-screen cursor. The characters stats, elemental affinities, and equipment you have on-hand makes a big impact on each creatures abilities on the battlefield, adding a lot of strategy into the mix.
The 3D characters and combat animations are impressive, but you'll often wind up fighting some of the same creatures over and over again. Making matters worse, these monsters utter some of the most painfully cheesy one-liners you can imagine, and they announced every single attack with an insidious pun. This may not be as irritating to the younger audience this game is geared towards, but older players giving it a go or standing in the immediate vicinity will quickly reach their threshold without fail.
Kids who get cracked out on the cartoon show will no doubt find the enjoyable moments in Chaotic: Shadow Warriors outweigh the crummy ones. Players with more discerning tastes might even get a few kicks out of the strategic aspects of the Pokémon-like creature collection and battle system, assuming you have some ear plugs or the mute button handy. The game ultimately measures up to about what you'd expect to find in a children's' TV show tie-in and even goes beyond the call of duty in some regards. It's a decent niche title with limited appeal skewed towards younger players.
CCC Staff Contributor