Sunday, 3 February 2013

General Chaos (Genesis/Mega Drive) - Replay

Super Adventures in Gaming Replay 2013 - Game 5

Super Adventures has reached 800 posts, and what better way to celebrate this monumental milestone than for me to replay a game I didn't even understand the first time around, never mind like. To be fair to General Chaos, I kind of made a snap judgement on it and gave up about 10 seconds into the first level.

Of course I made a post about it anyway, because I didn't want the internet to do without that handful of badly cropped screenshots!

Hey look at this, there's a tutorial that clearly explains all the controls and game mechanics. No idea how I missed this the first time, the button's right there on the main menu. This would have immediately cleared up all the confusion I had about what kind of game it is and how it works.

-500 points to Super Adventures for failing humanity yet again.

Okay I've started a single player campaign and it appears I'm playing as a team of Morons trying to take control of this map from the evil forces of Viceria, one dart at a time.

Each side gets a choice of four teams to bring into the field, each with a different mix of weapon types. I think I'll go with the assault team though to start with as it's got one of everything: a gunner, launcher, blaster, scorcher, and a chucker (who looks a lot like Chuck Norris now that I think about it.)

It seems that Viceria is a nation populated by evil doppelgängers, absolutely indistinguishable from the common Moron except for their dress sense and bright yellow tongues.

Alright, this is where I got stuck last time I played this: the start of level one.

The action plays out in real time and I have to control all five characters at once using a cursor steered with the d-pad. I've started off with the gunner selected, which means I can send him to where my cursor is pointing by hitting B, which will then automatically select the next character along.

So I have to keep track of who I have selected, what weapon they have, and where I need to move them so that their weapon can hit the enemy. They handle all the aiming themselves, but the firing is up to me. I have to keep hammering the A button to every character automatically attack whoever they can.

The trouble with that is that while I'm moving, I'm not shooting, so there's nothing to stop the enemy pelting my dudes with grenades as they run to the enemy sandbags. They can take a few hits it seems, but ideally I'd like to be the one bringing the pain.

Also it's kind of hard to pay attention to who I'm controlling, where I want to send them, and who is attacking me, all while tapping the A button like a maniac. It'd make so much more sense to me if I could just click a unit, click where I wanted them to go, then click who I wanted them to shoot, like a respectable RTS.

And that's the round completed I guess. Everything plays out on this tiny map, there's no scrolling, nowhere else to go and nothing else for me to do. It's 5 vs. 5 and once one side runs out of troops it's all over.

Hey, I won! I'm not sure how I won, but I'm not complaining.

I apparently managed to inflict 28 casualties on a team with only 5 soldiers, which should give you an idea of my extreme level of proficiency. Need to work harder on my plundering though.

Whoa, if we're going straight for the capital, then at this rate I'll have finished the whole game in just three more levels.

I've got a different choice of teams to bring out this time, so I could field a squad of gunner clones if I wanted. And I don't see why I shouldn't as they've got good range and don't have to be lined up with who they're shooting. Actually I'll go with three gunners, a flamethrower guy, and Chuck Norris in case grenades need to be thrown over fences.

Whoa, this time I got into a fist fight somehow. I've got punch, kick and block buttons but I can just mash A to win!

Hey what the fuck man? You can't just pull out a sidearm and shoot me because I'm winning! It wasn't an instant kill fortunately, but it did knock my flamethrower guy out of the fight for a few seconds.

And so the war continues on, one map at a time. On each new level I move my men into a decent location, then tap A until I've won. Sometimes there's even stuff on the ground to grab along the way. So I try to grab it.

At last I've reached the Vicerian capital! My ultimate victory is at hand and I can finally turn the game off and do something else.

And then everything immediately went to shit.

I'm calling medics to save my downed troops, but I can only call them out so many times and every unit out of action puts me at a disadvantage. The more I'm at a disadvantage, the more my guys are knocked out of action, so I don't see myself pulling this one back.

And so the sinister General Havoc wins this fight and immediately plans a counterstrike!

I'm actually surprised to see they've drawn a unique face for this guy. Everything else in the room has been taken from General Chaos's war room picture then flipped and palette swapped, even down to the smiley face medal and the notes on the board (in fact you can still see some blue pixels on his sidekick's shoulders). But his head is most definitely different.

This time I tried bringing out a commando team onto the field instead. These are pretty different to a standard squad, as there's only two soldiers and I can steer one of them directly with the d-pad, theoretically allowing me to skilfully weave between enemy attacks like an action hero instead of walking into them like a lemming.

Well this is kind of going alright, I think. I've killed one of the enemies so now I'm only outnumbered two to one. I have no idea how much health I have left though, and I have a bad feeling that the helicopter we just wrecked might have actually been one of ours. No bonus points for me.

Oh for fuck's sake! What's the point of me even bothering to fight in close combat if the losing character has a 50/50 chance of pulling a fucking gun?


I can't believe I'm still doing this, the damn campaign is dragging on forever. I feel like crying every time the map appears after a round and I realise I still haven't lost yet. I just want this to be over with one way or the other so I can turn it off.


I'm finally back at the enemy capital and this time I'm determined not to lose. Well I mean I'm always determined not to lose, but now I'm really trying to think my strategy through. If I get this right, this battle will finish the game and I can finally turn it off.

The enemy has two grenade throwers and I only have one, so it'd be wise for them to stay on the other side of the wire and lob them over. But I'm gambling that the enemy is in fact really dumb, and will try to rush at me, right through the gap in the fence guarded by my flame-thrower. And while they're all busy being on fire, my gunners can gun at them a bit.

I think I'm winning! Man, I can't even tell, this is just... well, chaos. The only strategy I've got at this point is to tap A until the enemies quit being mean and turn into skeletons.

Hey, I actually was winning! Well thank fuck for that, it's finally over.

But I can't help but wonder what happens if I choose to continue...

Agh! Nope, not going through all that again. I'm calling that a win and turning the game off.

I think it took me around 40 minutes to play through a game of General Chaos, but man it seemed to take forever. Cycling through five units to continually tweak their position on a tiny battlefield is a weird concept for a game and I just couldn't find the fun in it. Maybe it shines in multiplayer, with both sides frantically trying to get their launcher lined up right and their scorchers up close, but I wouldn't want to bet on it.

Oh, and apparently that 'pull out a gun' thing during the fist fight only happens if you spam the same attack repeatedly. The developers must have noticed that tapping A is enough to steamroll through every close combat fight (in single player anyway) and that was their solution, basically punishing the player afterwards for not winning it correctly.

And that's the final game for Replay Week 2013. Now I can get back to writing shameful half-assed posts about games I haven't seen before.

Comments are always welcome! I know I say this after every post but it's still totally true.


  1. Now you'll have to change to "finishing almost nothing", because way too many things are being finished recently!
    Can you "finish" a game that can apparently carries on forever? Is this "finished" in the first place?
    Those retrospective posts are dangerous!

    1. I've finished eight games out of eight hundred and by my calculation that puts me at around... a 0% completion rate (give or take a %), so fortunately I won't have to edit the tagline for a while.

      Also the game might loop forever for all I know, but seeing a victory screen is rare for me so I'll take what I can get.

    2. Actually I've looked into it and the game DOES have an actual ending if you complete the map a few times over. I didn't even come close to reaching it though, so I'm revoking the 'I finished the game' label.

  2. "-500 points to Super Adventures for failing humanity yet again."

    There is only one way for you guys to save your face after this fiasco.

    A grim and gritty reboot! From this day on, all articles should be written while wearing leather pants.

  3. Bum ba da bum bum ba da da DA DA DUM!
    Bum bum ba ba ba ba ba dum ba dum...

    I will never forget the music for this game, even though I only played it a couple of times about 18 years ago. Since then, I have thought about it at least once EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    I have no mouth but I must scream.

    1. If I had that going around my head for 18 years I'd probably want to scream too. Or was that a game request?

    2. Both. Read the story first, though. No, wait, with how this site is, play the game, get frustrated and hate it, then read the story, then re-play the game, and get frustrated again.

      But yea, about 18 years and I picked up the game again last night, and bam, now it's in HD going through my mind. I've kinda come to terms with it. It's catchy.


Semi-Random Game Box