Queen’s Blade: Spiral Chaos is surprisingly a very excellent and solid strategic turn-based RPG with all the right stuff and a few fan-service quirks thrown into the mix. If you enjoyed the anime and like a blend of RPG’s that let you rip off any female units garments it is the best and possibly only choice around. Did I mention you can rip off the female characters clothes? Yeah, that is a very important detail I can not forget to mention..
The PSP is a system that is home to a treasure trove of games in the Japanese market. For the last three years, I have only recently began to explore this delightful world and in the process, found some nice titles that made me want to hold onto my PSP a little longer. Queen’s Blade: Spiral Chaos was one of those titles I have unearthed three years ago and possibly the most weirdest, yet enjoyable one I have come to experience. And no, it has to do with unclothing the female characters as much as possible. We will talk about that in a little bit.
The basic premise for Queen’s Blade: Spiral Chaos is a different retelling of the anime, but this time through the eyes of two original characters: Cute, an adventurous and energetic young girl and her loyal servant/sorcerer, Jean. He is the run-of-the-mill wimpy archetypical male character, but useful when it counts. Together, these two engage in a bid to enter the Queen’s Blade tournament while trying to a stop an enigmatic evil force working in the shadows. From there, everything else is relatively simple as you progress through 33 Chapters with 3 endings and several split routes to determine said endings. At the very least, the game will take someone around 25 to 45+ hours to complete it in its entirety, so it is rather lengthy and offers some great replayability
At the start of each chapter, after watching the appropriate storyline cut-scenes you have the chance to buy items/equipment/jewels, equip your characters with said items, engage in free battles to train and earn money, free talk – where Jean can communicate with other female units to deepen their friendship, and sparring matches where two units can fight against each other to deepen their friendship. This friendship allows them to assist each other in battle such as: extra attacks, blocking, etc. You can also save/load your game, strengthen the characters stats and armor parts (I’ll get into this a little later), and also choose to continue the storyline that usually leads in with a few scenes and the combat portion of the game.
Combat works just like with any other RPG would, but has special twist and turns to it and surprisingly, somewhat deep. When its your turn, you move into your enemies range and attack, but before you do so, you must input commands that will execute them and expend AP or Attack Points for that turn. The more AP you have, the more commands you can input and better chance to defeat the enemy. In addition to this, different commands will also target different regions of that opponents body and in the process, rip off their armor and deplete HP. While armor doesn’t apply to the generic male characters much, this apply greatly to the female units that have the armor and when destroyed, weakens their defenses. If you successful destroy an armor part, you get a quick animated scene of that character and the part it shatters. This is obviously the fun part for fans that enjoy ecchi and erotic fan-service content in their game, but quite fun to see how much damage you can do. If you manage to rip off all the females armor before depleting their HP, this called a “Perfect Knockdown” that grants you more money and experience opposed to a regular “Knockdown”. And yes, it also gives you nicer animated cut-scene of the female character with all of her clothes in tatters. The same can happen to your own units (which is also gratifying to see), so you need to becareful, since if you lose all your HP or armor, your character will be not be able to fight until the map is cleared. However, their is more to the gameplay than just tearing off female unit clothes.
This game is not difficult and usually has simple conditions to win each battle such as: “Defeat All Enemies” or “Defeat unit ???”, but things can get out of hand if you are not paying attention. For example, mechanics such as healing and damage greatly vary due to the Affinity System, a rock-paper-scissors variant where each characters has one of three specific affinities: Sword (Strength), Moon (Beauty), and Flower (Grace) that affects how things work. Sword can deal more damage to Moon, Moon can do so to Flower, and Flower can do the same to Sword. This also works for healing in the same vein where Flower can do more proficient healing to Sword than it can to Moon. If you equip gems to your characters, the effects can be increase based on the characters affinity and the gems power. Gems are also helpful when it comes to combat, since the same affinity also allows for Bonus Attacks to occur, which in turn, allow for HP and armor damage to be dealt as well as Crush Attacks that can lower the enemies defense and take off their armor pieces with ease. That is why it is a good idea, if possible, to strength armor parts after battle, but this will cost you. So where does Jean play a part in all this? Well, for one, he is the only character that can capture Monster Units in battle if he can manage to Perfect Knockdown them. In addition, if Jean captures a monster, that monster will retain the same level as Jean. It is a trivial system at best, since you will have plenty of storyline units to choose from, but still nice either way and they are useful. You can only capture 1 type of each monster race and their are only three available, so make sure you are satisfied with the ones you want.
Other than the gameplay aspects that are quite exceptional, the graphics for Queen’s Blade: Spiral Chaos are such. For game on the PSP and relatively small in file size, the game host some nicely drawn CG scenes and pop-up animated scenes. I was expecting something more static, but for the most part, everything is rendered very well and of course, please any fan of the ecchi genre. Most of the characters designs and artwork being used come from the gamebook the series spawned from, so it is not that shocking that the quality would be the same. While the artwork is top-notch and radiant, the soundtrack falls rather short with less than memorable pieces that you will probably not mind listening to for a few minutes, but easily lower it through the option menu.
I greatly enjoyed playing Queen’s Blade: Spiral Chaos and its sequel title (yes, it has another one) more than I thought I would. As someone that enjoys games dearly, but lacks the time to engage them in, titles like this are worth craving out the time for. Its not the most exceptional title I have played by any means, but just purely fun and an slight escape from what I am use to in the RPG/strategy genre. If you enjoyed the anime and like a blend of RPG’s that let you rip off any female units garments Queen’s Blade: Spiral Chaos is the best and possibly only choice around. Did I mention you can rip off the female characters clothes? Yeah, that is a very important detail I can not forget to mention…
Pros: Nicely fleshed out combat system and gameplay, nice artwork, multiple endings and split routes, maps are usually easy and quick to complete,
Cons: Awful soundtrack, character endings/route priorities are confusing,