Chain Chronicle Rant

This applies only to the EN version. Meanwhile, have some Mayayan advertising the JP game.

I’ll do this a little unconventionally. Just going to list good or bad items in order of best of the best to worst of the worst. But first, some background.

Chain Chronicle is a mobile game in the standard, PAD/LLSIF/etc way, you get the app, you get AP that recharges over time, you level up your character and your “cards.” The difference is the gameplay plugin. Here we have a hybrid tower defense/grid-based real-time tactics game. Drag-and-drop characters and they will move to spots or lock on to enemies to fight. Each character also have a special which can be activated if you get enough of the right type of mana, which is generated randomly every round, from boss fights, or by some special passive abilities of your characters.

Good things:

  • The artwork can sometimes be really good.
  • Every card is voiced, although so far in the EN game, there aren’t that many cards (over 100-200? already).
  • The gameplay is pretty fun and actually has a certain amount of depth. It’s also in my strike zone.
  • Luck is mitigated in this game.

Bad things:

  • Can’t trade. Million Live spoiled me on this.
  • Voiced cards have like, 3 lines each.
  • Almost no dialogs are voiced. There is a silver lining to this one, keep reading.
  • The UI is not exactly intuitive, and kind of annoying to use actually. Not quite menu hell, but it can get bad.
  • The translation is workable, but it’s terrible because there is no character voice in it. Everything is written with the same voice. If it’s a book or something, so be it, but this is a chara-based mobage where short characterization is the whole idea behind it so it’s a much bigger problem than other media. It doesn’t help that among pro translations this is one of the worse one I’ve read in ages, and not because it’s error-ridden (there are still a few of those…and I even ran into a whole dialog sequence that wasn’t translated). There have been some parts of it where the text doesn’t even make any sense.
  • Inconsistent super priority in PVP situations. Often if you are the player, when you activate a special you become hit-immune, but sometimes this happens to the other team. No rhyme or reason.
  • When the other team is spamming specials you can’t activate any because it takes away control focus, so you have to reselect the character.
  • There are still a lot of bugs in the battle grid. I don’t usually run into them but things like auto attack not working if the NPC is sufficiently outside the battlefield after being knocked into it, etc. In Gauntlet it’s much more common to see these things, like NPCs running the wrong way towards nobody.
  • Relies on Facebook for everything…now. Used to have their own forum, except it sucked balls and I can’t even create an account for some reason? This might be ok for some people, but I don’t Facebook.
  • It happens more often than I’d like, but losing AP because the game crashes or freezes mid-battle, or after you complete a battle the error-handling/retry for poor signal is stuck, etc… It happens in other games, but more frequently in this one (than LLSIF at least).
  • Pirika is the most annoying character, and she’s everywhere. Seriously, can I punch her in the face? Also see aforementioned translation problem. At least she’s not voiced? LOL.
  • This game is just buggy. Besides the bugs in the “gameplay” part, or the AP waste part, there are all kinds of bugs all the time. They make it up to us once in a while by providing some general compensation, but still pretty lame. Like the one time I lost my login bonus chain because of extended server outage (3 hours turns into 2.5 days intermittently), they reset your streak to max but it turns back to normal 2 days later. What gives?
  • More than a couple times, key info in the game are not spelled out in a way where I can understand them on the first time reading it. The latest one is the final nail in the coffin: fever time. It’s an important game mechanic in EN ChainChro’s first point-based ranking event. During these 3 1-hr intervals you can rack up 3x more point than usual, and make use of these special items made for fever time. Not mentioning that fever time periods kinda suck for US Eastern (8am-9am is the only one I’ve had any luck), they somehow announced them in PST. One of them is 9-10pm, which translates to actually 1am-2am Eastern. Maybe it’s my fault that I stayed up for it and to realize what they meant after I woke up. I mean, do these people just don’t live in the USA? Who uses PST when we’ve been in PDT since March? Maybe they’re Canadians? Isn’t PST over in Canada too? I dunno. I can go on with some other examples too.

The Japanese version of the game is a Sega thing, but GUMI, which is a Singapore-based SEA company, is running this English version. As usual a lot of these JP-ported mobage fanbase is in the Philippines or Singapore or Malaysia or Indonesia, so it can’t be helped. But this is not a first-world customer experience, at least not anymore. Chain Chro JP had bugs (as lampooned even in SeHa) but I don’t think they had it as bad as this port. And it’s important to realize it’s not just the software that is bad (although that maybe the biggest problem), but their “delivery” of this product, the customer communication, and other things, are just at a lower standard than what I expect even from American firms. It’s too bad, because this event is actually pretty fun mechanically speaking.

2 Responses to “Chain Chronicle Rant”

  • super rats

    Ha. Compared to Brave Frontier, another GUMI run game…Chain is relatively smooth. I totally agree with the losing focus thing on Gauntlet!!!

    • omo

      The new features they rolled out today/yesterday are nice. Too bad I just uninstalled the app…

      Yeah, I can see how things could be worse. And I might have painted an unfair picture but the building frustration was just that, a lot of little things become the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

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