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 Post subject: Chorus (XBOX Series X|S - PS4|5 - PC)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2023 10:33 am 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 716
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base

Time to play something more recent (and futuristic).
I'm talking Chorus, one of the first games of the XBOX Series X.

Space combat reaches new levels in this game.

The first thing you've must learn is the ship controls. Unlike After Burner or the latest Ace Combat games where the left analog stick is the aircraft control, In Chorus, the left analog stick is for speed while the right is the ship control, pressing left or right on the left analog will make you do a barrel roll which is the "Dodge", utilized to avoid charged enemy beam attacks, which required precise timing. The same thing goes with the Y-axis which is reverted to "Up is up" and "Down is Down". Fortunately, you can swap the controls for a more familiarized ship controlling. The button configuration is also different. Your fire button is the Right Trigger (like in some FPS games such as Halo and the Gears series) while the four main buttons perform "Rites" which are the special skills of your character in the game. You start off with the Rite of Senses which allows you to find priorities on a mission like lost objects or memories. The Rite of the Hunt teleports you right behind of a targeted enemy. The Rite of the Storms gives them an electric shock that weakens their shields, the Rite of the Star which is a powerful ramming attack that can inflict damages to one or more enemies and finally, the Rite of Control is a Triggerheart Exelica-esque Anchor Unit-like feat where you can capture and enemy and toss it against an obstacle or an enemy. On your move-set, you have the Drift Trance (Left Bumper) which allows you to do sharp turns while flying at high speeds. This one is gonna be required in other things besides combat. This game also grants you three speed controls: moving the analog stick up and down is your basic acceleration which you'll be using to navigate around, the "Afterburner" (Left Trigger) used to move faster and required on combat manuevering, and the Sub-Light Speed (Pressing the Right Analog Stick) to reach designated areas in the fastest time possible. You can switch your weapons by pressing Left, Up and Right on the D-Pad once you unlock them. Up is the Vulcan, which is your default machine gun. Left is for the Laser weaponry utilized against shielded enemies and causes great damages to those without protection, and Right is for the Missiles, the power-type projectile which are extremely effective against armored enemies (yellow life bar). Like in Colony Wars: Vengeance, your weapons can overheat, reducing its firing rate, but they won't run out of ammo, making the game more shmup-like.

Since the space combat is more Ace Combat-ish rather than your classic shmup, you'll probably ask "How I can regain my health back?". The most common option is to avoid combat with an enemy until your shield is regenerated, and if you have a Repair Drone, just press Down on the D-Pad to regain your energy. Every once in a while the enemy will drop a green glow to replenish some of your health, increasing your chances of surviving a fight. Learning all these aspects is gonna be the difference between life and death, finishing the game or rage-quitting.

Nara's gonna need some Spheromancer-like skills to break fast puzzles.

Remember when I said that Drift Trance would be used besides space combat? There's instances on the game where you're required to break through puzzles using this skill and your recently acquired Rites to solve things like self-closing and self-regenerating objects before they lock/regenerate, resulting in fast responding skills that can be compared with those of the indie RPG masterpiece CrossCode. At this point I could say if you're among the players who got desperate/stressed with speed puzzles, then Chorus might not be for you, but fortunately, the puzzles can be done once you know how they're done.

No Nara's Sky.

But the best part is the open world this game has to offer. Despite having in-game limits if you go too far from the navigation area, it is quite vast and hides plenty of rewards, and requests (Side Missions). In this free exploration world you'll be relying on the Rite of Senses very often to find memories, crates with credits, armor plates, shield upgrades and even activities that lead to side-missions. So you can decide if you want to do some loot hunting or pick the activities first.
Even on this open world, there's plenty of game lore within your mission, so what it begins as a plot to defeat a leader and redeem yourself with your past, it will became something greater and beyond the limits of your imagination. If Blazing Star is "Metal Slug with Spaceships", then Chorus is gonna be "Final Fantasy with Spaceships", an "RPG-em up".

Put the marker and head there.

The game, while lacking of a radar, it has a map where you can put a custom marker to wherever you want to go on the sector you're. Like No Man's Sky, you'll be relying on warping to different parts of space since the game will take you to different systems and stations. There's also a list to track missions and side missions.

Like The Alan Parsons Project said: "Money Talks".

No RPG and several shmups aren't complete without the classic store where you can buy the ship upgrades, weapons and even parts for your ship. While some essential weapons can be obtained for free by completing side missions, some are only available on stores. Picking stronger weapons isn't the only key to attain a better ship performance. Executing certain conditions with the use of Rites, weapons and Drift Trances will increase the weapons strength, reduce damage and even grant you more credits.

Two choices, one single outcome.

As you answer requests from radio communications, you can decide if you want to accept or decline your mission. This decision is carried on a side mission where do you have to spare or kill a pirate group that carries shield technologies. If you spare them, they'll help you in an mission 'cos, according to Nara, "We're all together into this". There's only a time where picking yes or no can kill you and that's on one of the "Trial" missions with a Guilt manifestation where picking the wrong answer will result in failing the mission. While you have the option to decline the Side Missions, that would be a bad idea since they will give you all kinds of rewards like credits and free equipment.

To quote Pantera: "Vulgar Display of Power".

My favorite side missions are the ones where you have to board a Spirit class ship to engage and destroy your enemies. Using this ship is very satisfying and fun at the same time because of the tremendous firepower it carries, you can take down several ships from far distances and can take a lot of damage from enemy attacks. Basically, it's a flying tank. Its only flaw is that the Spirit class ship is sluggish, but who cares when you can take the enemy down before it even reaches you.

Operation "Shadow Moses".

While most of the activities involve combat, vehicle escorting and combat, there's one mission that requires to do some Metal Gear Solid-styled infiltration. It might be tricky to do since the game doesn't have a radar (Soliton Radar System fro MGS nerds) to count on, but it is possible to complete after a series of trial-and-errors, so you're gotta get used to get a dozen Mission Failed's in the process.

You know what they're talking about, but they don't know you're hearing them.

A little Assassin's Creed eavesdropping is also involved since there's missions that require you to intercept communications at a distance without engaging the enemies, and when they tell you to keep your distance, they mean it. Otherwise, the mission will fail. If you fail a mission, you can decide if you want to restart from a checkpoint or abort the mission and try again sometime later (starting from the beginning, of course).


For a shmup that plays like a flight/space simulator, it has its reasonable amount of boss fights and major battles, which are based on large vehicle numbers, boss attack patterns and a few memorization. Anyone who've played Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will understand me on this one. Rather than having unfair UAV's and pilots with God-like superskills and overpowered weapons, in Chorus, you have these tricky, yet fair boss battles that will require to utilize all the Rites and maneuvers learned throught your odyssey. Simple, yet challenging and entertaining. Not to mention, the final battle is perhaps as epic as it can get, but I prefer you check that by yourself since this is a must play.

Breathtaking visual effects and fast pounding action!

Graphically, it takes all the potential of the newer consoles like the Series X and the PlayStation 4 and 5 with massive, overdetailed levels in both natural and artificial structures, The cutscenes are smooth and fluid just like a Blu-ray video. Basically this is the point when as a reviewer I think we've reached the point of "talking about graphics" is no longer required since it reaches the realistic levels on that aspect. In the intro scene it looks extremely real, but once you're in the game, we have the videogame-ish CGI, but still superdetailed and realistic.

Super-realistic female protagonist!

While the scenery takes the most part of its incredible focus on superdetailing, it is no exception on the protagonist, Nara. Throughout the first cutscene she looks incredibly realistic at the point that you might think it was an actress rather than a CGI model. Even in the in-game cutscenes, it manages to carry the realism at the point of adding skin pores to the character model, fabric textures on the bodysuit and a lot of detailing on her hair and skin tatoos.
As for the sound department, it breaks the traditional techno-electronic themes in favor of a more dark, suspense movie-score like in the style of Harry-Gregson Williams that fits quite well with the epic dark sci-fi universe that involves the game. Also, no big game is complete without voice acting, and this game does that job incredibly well. Just see that for yourself.


- The stylization of the title as "CHORVS" is not explained, but it probably refers to the old Latin alphabets that lacked of J, U, W, Y, and Z.

That was some epic shmup action on its finest.
Something that you don't see any day.

Deep Silver and Fishlabs made a spectacular work with this game. Chorus is an incredible open-world epic shmup that combines all the major aspects of RPG's with our favorite game genre that proves you an intense, adventure packed gameplay with very impressive visuals that shows how great the XBOX Series X and the latest PlayStations could be when the potential of the console is exploited.

It's no surprise to see the Lea Scale on the positives.
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup and video game reviews with humorous criticism.

STG Wikias: Thunder Force Wiki - Wikiheart Exelica - Ginga Force Wiki

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