Amaterasu Blog

9Sep/095

Chaos;Head Review

This is the first mindscrew I ever read, and until I read YU-NO it was my personal favorite. Chaos;Head borrows from just about every established mindscrew trope out there, and takes them all in unpredictable directions. The general feeling that the world before you really could change in an instant in ways beyond your comprehension is one I've yet to feel anywhere else.

The characters are introduced one at a time, with each one interesting and unique enough to almost instantly add to the overall mystery. Though none are exceptionally deep, this is only because the story isn't that character-oriented; they simply don't have time to focus on anything besides the main plot. Part of the reason is that the plot is flawlessly paced. New questions and answers come virtually in tandem. The moment you finished rationalizing an answer with all the little details of the questions it answered, a new mystery is already there to confuse you. Fortunately, if you can keep up (and you probably can, even if you feel otherwise) you'll be rewarded with a genuine sense of confidence and immersion at the couple of major decision tress.

The only major problem I had with the game was that a handful of minor plot points are left largely unexplained even at the end. While I fully appreciate how figuring it out yourself is part of the fun of a mindscrew, if I'm given nothing to work with I can't help but feel everything I come up with is an epileptic tree. Fortunately, this affected only a small portion of the plot.

Score: 9/10

Polarization: Mild (-2)

As mentioned earlier, this game borrows a lot of tropes, so despite their skilled implementation you may get a general sense of unoriginality from this. Also, since the pseudo-quantum physical occurrences and superpowers involved have basically no concrete limitations (although I felt sufficient abstract ones existed), large parts of the story may feel arbitrary and simply fall flat instead of blowing your mind.

Routes/Endings Played: A and AA, never got around to B

Comments (5) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Still haven’t gotten around to reading this, though I’m going to try now. Since you gave it the same score as Sekien no Inganock can I expect it to be just as good? I’ve heard complaints about the second route / ending, is this one of those things (as with SnI) where it’s simply a case of the complainers being the most vocal?

  2. The best way to get an answer would be to read my polarization comments (the last bit of every review) for both those games, compare, and see which one sounds like it’d bother you more. Admittedly, the C;H subjective issues and the SnI subjective issues are kinda similar now that I think about it, so there’s a decent chance you’ll find the two games equally good.

    Regarding the specific complaint about the game failing in its second half or ending, I honestly don’t have a clue what anyone’s talking about. Part of why it got a 9 from me was its incredible consistency.

    Also, the complainers are ALWAYS the most vocal, except for a handful of widely overrated games like FSN, E17, Saya, and Narcissu.

  3. lol i seem to be the only one who hates the protagonist so much that i’d like to go in there and kill him off, especially when he chose to let his sister die. In fact i hated him so much that i was gonna stop playing until a forum told he would get better

  4. Chaos;Head’s resolution isn’t up to the same level of detail invested into building the story’s mysteries. It also has some quirky moments that show the writer’s weaknesses, particularly in regard in Norose, who is an unconvincing medical doctor. Finally, I’m amazed people could take the ‘final battle’ seriously, it wasn’t much more than a colourful Star Wars parody. Completely inappropriate for a novel that intended to terrify the player.

  5. I don’t know if it’s what you want, but the B ending certainly gives more insight into some stuff.


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