April 24, 2007 - Last year, Idea Factory and NIS America released Generations of Chaos, a tactical RPG with massive battles, lots of flexibility and deep strategy. However, the clunky interface, limited helpful information and somewhat weak battle implementation of battlefield control hampered the potential of the game, making it a niche title for hardcore strategy fans. A year later, the second game in the series has made its way to our shores in the form of Aedis Eclipse: Generations of Chaos. But has this sequel learned from the mistakes of its predecessor? Only slightly, with three separate storylines as the most prominent change. The overall package, however, is pretty close to the first one.
The initial tale behind Aedis Eclipse is one that's ripped from any stereotypical RPG, with a mystical order of light attempting to hold back the darkness that's constantly growing stronger and threatening to cast the world into shadow. The twist with Aedis Eclipse is that the world is actually fractured into three separate realms connected by a spire known as the Otherworld Tower. There's a Divine World, which is an island in the sky populated with angels and demons, the Surface World with knights and wizards and the steampunk influenced Lower World under the earth. Players can choose to take on any one of the three worlds (the Lower World being the easiest and the Divine World being the hardest) in any order they choose, but the initial peace of each land is shattered with conflict between kingdoms.
It's obvious, isn't it? They're invading your country!
Like any other tactical situation, Aedis Eclipse emphasizes a three-pronged strategy for success: battle preparation, knowledge and mastery of your environment, and sound battlefield strategy. The first part, battle preparation, revolves around making your captains much more effective in combat situations. Part of this can be acquired by going to shops and purchasing the items or abilities they need so they can shrug off attacks or inflict heavier damage. Another aspect of this is based around partnering them with another captain, who can provide a secondary support role in battle, effectively doubling the power of your primary general. Players can also change the classes of certain captains to make them better fighters or raise their experience levels with bonus points to make them stronger.
This is important, because the environments that they'll find themselves in won't always be friendly to your forces. Apart from neutral areas on the field map, players will have to contend with varying heights of terrain, roads that force them to go in specific directions or even elemental tiles that can weaken the effectiveness of an army in battle. Fortunately, there are a few ways to overcome these hazards, like terraforming land into areas that are stronger for your troops or building various bases and installations that will increase your attack power or the number of troops recruited to your side after each turn. While the defensive plans won't guarantee success, every step will help your forces repel the various attacks that are launched against them.
Managing your forces is only part of the job in Aedis Eclipse.
Speaking of battles, combat takes place between a captain, their front and rear guard soldiers and their partners (if they have any). Players establish an initial formation for their troops from one of eight different configurations, and then fight until one side's captain has been defeated. A player can hasten their enemy's demise by triggering various skills and special attacks, which often inflict area damage or specialized strikes upon a target. If the player happens to defeat the opposing captain, they'll wind up with a variety of spoils, such as money, experience points, and even foot soldiers that can be added to their army. Sometimes, the opposing leader can be taken prisoner, which provides the opportunity to convert the warrior to your side, release them on their way, or executing them for daring to fight against your troops.