On the occasion of the release of Chaos;Child su Steam, we feel compelled to tell you about this Visual Novel belonging to the same series as Steins; Gate. Unfortunately, not many people know that Steins; Gate actually belongs to a larger series, called SciAdv and characterized by common themes such as the sci-fi background and extremely emotional adventures.
We warn readers that this title continues the adventures of Chaos; Head, so it's best to play that title too before venturing into the world of Chaos; Child. We also recommend the knowledge of Steins; Gate in order not to lose references, but in any case it is by no means mandatory to have played the 2 titles mentioned.
Furthermore, We strongly advise against seeing animated adaptations, especially of Chaos; Head and Chaos; Child, being products that do not do justice in the slightest way to the two original titles.
An adventure full of mystery and fantasy
Chaos; Child develops quite differently from Steins; Gate, looking for different themes and a type of narrative that is always particular, but more distorted. The premises of the plot are quite simple: the protagonist Takuru Miyashiro will find himself investigating with his investigation club on a case that already occurred 6 years ago, the so-called New Gen.
Seven mysterious murders took place in Shibuya, as depicted by the events of Chaos; Head. Takuru Miyashiro will once again find himself investigating a very similar pattern, which mirrors the events of past years.
Although at first glance this type of premise may seem very obvious, we confirm that the narrative thread will be very distorted and often obscure, hiding multiple interpretations behind some events and often confusing the reader.
Doubtless it would be better to have a good smattering of Chaos; Head, but you can still understand enough even without it. However, a background from both its prequel and Steins; Gate is required to fully enjoy this title, as it belongs to the same series and there are some scattered references.
A fairly realistic protagonist
One of the strengths of SciAdv is precisely the figure of the protagonist, usually different in something from the other primary characters. If Steins; Gate can boast Okabe's genius and extravagance, Chaos; Child may have a more normal character character, a high school student like others.
The figure of Takuru Miyashiro is quite realistic, considering that from the beginning his point of view is that of a normal student interested in the occult and moved by a deep interest in correct information. Not surprisingly, it is a head of the Newspaper Club, that is, the journalism club of his school.
And where would the novelty lie in a protagonist apparently not too different from the standard of many slice of life anime? Unfortunately we can't give you too many details to avoid spoilers, but Takuru will undergo several changes over the course of the narrative, discovering that he is much more than just a teenager ...
This is it evolution of the character in the course of events that marks one of the strengths of Chaos; Child, making the narrative progress as well as the characters that weave it, especially if we talk about the protagonist. As a great advocate of information, he will often find himself forced to change his mind and accept rather unpleasant perspectives that will open his eyes to the unusual reality that surrounds him.
Like all teenagers, Takuru also has his own fantasies and paranoia, which this splendid title manages to exploit as a focal point of the narrative.
I Delusion Trigger as a game system
During the interactions we will be able to access different types of events, based on our choices. In fact, we can choose whether to experience positive, negative or none at all! Although these choices are totally irrelevant in the first run, they will become so from the second onwards, giving access to different endings based on what we decide to experience.
This singular system is taken from the prequel, namely Chaos; Head, where the protagonist Takumi could experience different fantasies based on our choices. To understand, if Steins; Gate used the phone as a mechanic to advance, alter and direct the plot, the Chaos instead adopt this different mechanic in coherence with the entire concept of the series.
Many positive fantasies will be purely sexual or comic, while negative ones will normally be quite dark or horror / gore. Even in these small details (in reality they are not so small) it is noticeable the artistic genius behind Chaos; Child, showing how even in the darkest situations it is possible to alternate moments of relief or on the contrary to exasperate the situation even more.
Fear of reality
Chaos; Child is set in thepresent time, in everyday reality. We are facing an apparently serene reality but marked by injustice, perplexity and constant loneliness. One of the themes that SciAdv are able to develop better in general are precisely the emotions of everyday life, and this is not lacking at all in this title.
There will also be scenes from everyday life, not particularly complex and basic, necessary to create a contrast with the dark reality of the title. Behind the carefree but at the same time unusual life of a teenager, much more can be hidden.
The protagonists of Chaos; Child are all united by the fact that they have a somewhat problematic relationship with reality, also highlighting an unusual slice of life aspect that is often forgotten.
One of the elements that distinguishes Chaos is precisely the presence of one distorted reality, as marked by the very sensory experiences of the protagonists, where the mind can manipulate tangible reality.
A style suitable for a game of this caliber
How do you create the right atmosphere without a style that conveys the idea? And here too we are offered a breathtaking style characterized by excellent models and one even better use of shading to give greater expressiveness to the characters and background lights.
The character models are sublime, also counting that it came out before Steins;Gate 0 in Japan, given that the latter is, on balance, a technical downgrade. Not to mention the fact that the facial animations are also well executed and give their best in a similar context.
We can conclude that we agree when we say that Chaos; Child boasts among the best sprites of the Visual Novel genre, combining excellent models with a wise use of lighting effects.
Impossible not to mention the music in a SciAdv title, given that we are facing some of the best composers of the entire genre. Specifically, Chaos; Child can boast enough variety in sound level, alternating fairly lighthearted tracks with more pressing or dark and dark rhythms, just like the setting.
While it seems rather strange to say, we preferred some darker, almost silent and calm OSTs, which only exacerbate the atmosphere of tension and accompany the player during the narration.
More points of view on the mystery
Chaos; Child ha ben 6 finals, remembering that the first, that is the common one, will always be obtained during the first run. On balance, each ending has satisfied us enough and allowed us to better explore the characterization of each character, while at the same time highlighting the figure of the protagonist.
Luckily, the actual final is obtainable only after having concluded the others; we very much agree with this choice for the simple fact that the player will have to know all the other events before concluding his adventure. The reason for this choice is also another, which you will discover by playing!
An opinion on the localization work carried out
One of the hottest times when it comes to Visual Novel is localization work, which has always created a lot of problems among fans. We can affirm that the work done with Chaos; Child is not bad at all, but with some necessary clarifications.
First, some chapters towards the end feature correctable gross errors with a further revision. Fortunately, the Steam version has partially solved this problem, although not totally. The fact remains that locating such a complicated and extravagant title in the English language is no small feat, and for this reason we are more than satisfied.
Less positive judgment on some untranslated screen parts, which with the Steam version still remained, with some exceptions. Either way, the fact that we can now enjoy translating extra parts is a big plus.
The technical side dissected
Notwithstanding the foregoing, let's briefly examine the technical side to give you a more precise judgment. In all versions the title is quite fluid and it makes good what is necessary.
We bring to attention a small problem in the Steam version, playing at 1024 × 576 you will notice a worsening of the sprites, which is why we strongly advise you not to try it and try higher resolutions (the maximum is 1920 × 1080).
Every story has an end
Chaos; Child still confirms himself as one of the best exponents of its kind and as the best SciAdv, or at least one of the best. Combining romance, fantasy, gore and the irresistible charm of the mystery that characterizes man, we are faced with a more unique than rare story.
The characters enjoy a very particular characterization, which is further highlighted by the numerous twists scattered around. The choice of adopting more endings has always been typical of SciAdv, but in this case every single ending has taught us something and made us discover the hidden side of each character.
Although the Visual Novel genre is often overlooked in the West, or dominated by the usual more famous titles, Chaos; Child remains one of those must-have titles for anyone who wants to call themselves an enthusiast of the genre.