Review – Chaos Code: New Sign of Catastrophe (Switch)

I’ve said it before; whenever Arc System Works decides to either develop and/or publish a fighting game, they have my utmost attention, even if the game itself doesn’t look that appealing at first glance. I would have never thought that a fighting game with an eleven character roster based off a F2P mobile RPG would ever be good, but Granblue Fantasy: Versus shut me up. I never thought a game with a name as idiotic as Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[st] would end up being enjoyable, but it did. I always keep an eye on their releases, they have earned that amount of credibility. This time around, they have decided to re-release a PS3 fighting game on the Switch and of course, it has a weird and long name: Chaos Code: New Sign of Catastrophe.

Chaos Code

You know your roster is tame when a chef is the weirdo of the bunch.

Chaos Code: New Sign of Catastrophe follows the trend I have noticed from most Arc System Works releases. It’s your typical 1v1 fighting game, with a plethora of modes, fighting mechanics reminiscent of classic SNK fighting games, anime visuals, good controls, a very loud sound department, and an announcer who’s unable to basically say “round 1, fight”, instead saying “phase 1, shake it off”, as if he was Taylor Swift’s fitness instructor.

Just like most Arc System Works fighters, it features a weird issue with sound mixing, as everything is way too loud for its own good. Unlike other games by the company, the soundtrack, while still good, isn’t exactly that memorable. You will want to turn the noise down a bit.

Compared to other Arc System Works games like Guilty Gear or BlazBlue, Chaos Code‘s roster is very tame. It’s your assortment of anime tropes with tame superpowers. Guilty Gear has extreme characters like a comatose girl on a robotic bed and an emperor fighting with two cross-shaped swords bigger than himself, while BlazBlue has a nearly unhealthy amount of sentient cats. The there’s Chaos Code‘s most “extreme” character who is an Italian chef who cooks Chinese food. It’s still amusing at first glance, but the roster isn’t as memorable as other fighters released by the company.

Chaos Code

So… yeah… interesting background?

Besides the well-behaved roster, there’s not a lot else that can be said about Chaos Code to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd. It features great sprites and animations, even if the game features a very distracting aspect ratio, putting all of your special commands on a chunk of the screen. Its controls are responsive and fluid, but there’s always the fact that you’ll basically need the Switch’s Pro Controller in order to fully appreciate the gameplay. The joycons, as always, are terrible for a fighting game.

Finally, the only main issue regarding the overall package is that, just like a handful of other Switch ports of fighting games, Chaos Code does not feature online multiplayer, even though that was present on the PS4 and PC ports. Removing those options felt like an afterthought, as all modes on the option menu feature a big fat “OFFLINE ONLY” sign, as if some of them were supposed to feature online multiplayer in the first place. That’s basically all it offers. Been there, done that a dozen times before.

Chaos Code

The idea of putting all of your inputs on the side of the screen is interesting, but also very distracting.

Chaos Code: New Sign of Catastrophe is a good fighting game, but when you put it next to the vast majority of fighting game outings released by Arc System Works over the past few years, or even the vast majority of fighting games available for the Switch, it pales in comparison to its peers. It does everything it needs to do fairly competently, it looks nice, it plays well enough (if you have a Pro Controller, that is), but deep down you know that there are better options out there. If you’re really craving for a new fighting game on the Switch, then go for it. If not, just stick to whatever you already own or grab this one at a discount later down the road.


Graphics: 7.5

Not a bad looking title, considering it’s already quite old, with really good animations and a stable framerate. The screen ratio is a bit off-putting at first, considering that the rest of screen is filled with a ton of visual pollution.

Gameplay: 7.5

A perfectly functional, if not by-the-books, fighting system. It gets the job done with honors, but just like every single fighting game released for the Switch, it’s not very responsive if you decide to play with joycons.

Sound: 7.0

The soundtrack is decent, and there is a lot of voice acting, but the sound mixing is really clunky. The game as a whole is too loud, and the voice acting almost always sounds way louder than the background music itself.

Fun Factor: 7.0

It’s a very good fighting that does everything it needs to do fairly competently, but the lack of online multiplayer, lack of overall charisma, and the sheer amount of better offerings out there hinder it from being a must-have on the Switch.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Chaos Code: New Sign of Catastrophe is available now on PS4, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Chaos Code: New Sign of Catastrophe was provided by the publisher.