Have You Played…Chroma Squad?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Chroma Squad [official site] was a wonderful surprise when I first played it. Maybe I was being narrowminded, but an RPG in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics overlaid with Power Rangers satire only turned my head because I thought that it all sounded really dumb. But Chroma Squad is actually incredibly smart, and I wish more video games would brave the kind of meta-satire that Chroma Squad so effortlessly pulls off.

The idea that you’re a group of actors filming a knock-off version of Power Rangers who in turn end up becoming Power Rangers themselves is kind of genius in a way. But more importantly, it’s fun. Like, I’m talking Saturday morning cartoons fun. There really wasn’t a single hour of Chroma Squad where I felt disengaged by what was happening on the screen. Instead I was totally wrapped up in its goofy way of breaking the fourth wall while simultaneously riffing on “super sentai” shows as if they were even still relevant to begin with. The tactical grid-based combat is just icing on the karate-cake, but more importantly it ended up being a great vessel to deliver even more winks to Power Rangers, like coordinating martial arts manoeuvres or setting your heroes up for an epic coup de grâce.

I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t even know Chroma Squad exists, but now that you do you should probably spare some time for it. I never had any particular affinity for Power Rangers (mostly because my parents refused to let it in the house), but Chroma Squad is like that friend who makes you feel welcome anyway.

From this site

5 Comments

  1. Howling Techie says:

    Seeing Chroma Squad on here is a nice surprise! Like you I also had little exposure to sentai style shows growing up, but I still had a fun time with this game. Although I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I hadn’t played the dev’s other game, Knights of Pen and Paper, which is a pastiche of tabletops instead of these shows.

  2. Ushao says:

    I was a KS backer and while I haven’t put too many hours in I’m glad I backed it! It’s a fun little game that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously and I honestly need to get back to it soon.

  3. Gwalchmay says:

    It’s a funny little game, but the insertion of Kickstarter backers characters was really clumsy and I felt that it broke immersion.

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    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I really liked this game. I thought the approach to combat where you need to put on a good show as opposed to just seeing how efficiently you can beat the baddies was a great mechanic. I hope more games try this.

    My biggest complaint is some of the dialogue feels very… cheap. It relies too heavily on internet speak and emoticons. It felt unprofessional.

    This is also a textbook case on how NOT to handle Kickstarter backer rewards. More than a handful of times during missions some random dude who is obviously a high-tier Kickstarter backer will just show up to help out in a fight. It’s jarring and it feels like going to see a movie and being able to point out who is in the movie because they are related to the executive producer.

    I was keeping my fingers crossed for a Sailor Moon style DLC but that likely will never happen given the legal BS they went through for this game already.

    • Bruski says:

      Oh man yes, would happily buy Sailor Moon DLC and double price.