The Chaos Head Noah and Chaos Child Double Pack has recently arrived on Nintendo Switch and, since there is always too little talk about the genre, we thought we’d bring you this dedicated review: it won’t be easy, but we try anyway
If we talk about Visual Novel, writing a review is definitely difficult. The first reason is the most obvious: they are titles almost entirely based on narrative, so writing even one word too many risks entering the article into the wild spoiler scope. The second, perhaps even more obvious, is how much these titles are aimed at a specific niche, and it is difficult to explain their essence to those who, perhaps, know absolutely… nothing about the genre. The third, more pragmatic: playing a visual novel requires a considerable amount of hours. Let alone play two.
Let’s face it: The Nintendo Switch is a literal playground for visual novel enthusiasts. Not being titles that require particularly high-performance hardware to be played, even if perhaps some may have greater gameplay elements, such as the Danganronpa series (we are thrilled by RAIN CODE), being able to experience these experiences in portability is a godsend. Recently, the Chaos Head Noah and Chaos has also arrived on the Nintendo hybrid Child Double Pack, a couple of titles that can also be purchased separately published by Spike Chunsoft and dating back to 2008 (Chaos Head) and 2016 (Chaos Child), and which we will talk about in more detail in this dedicated review. It won’t be easy, but we’ll try.
If Spike Chunsoft took care of the publication, the development of Chaos Head and Chaos Child we find Mages, Nitrpolus and Chiyomaru Studio. The two titles are in fact part of an expanded universe (the Science Adventure Series), in which we also find much more famous visual novels, such as the famous Steins Gate and the less known to the Western public Robotics Notes. Among the various episodes, completely disconnected from each other in terms of plot and often thematic too, one can find points of contact and various innuendos, but no particular connections.
And considering everything, if you are a fan of the genre, you can easily start experimenting with the Science Adventure Series by playing Chaos Head, the progenitor of the whole, this time proposed by Spike Chunsoft in its Noah version, a sort of Director’s Cut that includes alternative routes and a lot of new content. In fact, both chapters are not, as they are called in technical jargon, Kinetic Visual Novels, i.e. VNs that outline a single story and do not allow any type of interaction with it by the player, who therefore finds himself experiencing what that the developers thought up and that’s it. In both Chaos Head and Chaos Child your choices will have important consequences, even if you may realize it too late.
Virtual Reality | Review Chaos Head Noah and Chaos Child Double Pack
Chaos Head Noah is about a young Otaku, Nishijo Takumi, that we cannot define as Hikkikomori simply because he goes to school. On pre-established days in a calendar drawn up by him, which allows him to accumulate the hours necessary to not lose the opportunity to graduate and, therefore, to satisfy the requests of his parents. For the rest, Takumi spends his days locked up in the container he calls home, between hentai, an alternate life as a hero in his favorite MMORPG and lots and lots of inner discomfort.
His complete inability to relate to the outside world and people, even his sister, permeates a life of confinement and exclusion. Takumi is alone, terribly, and he doesn’t mind this at all. Being the center of his classmates’ attention terrifies him, so he goes out of his way to be, literally, invisible. The few relationships he has are very superficial and, in any case, he tries to avoid them with every method.
Fear Flow | Review Chaos Head Noah and Chaos Child Double Pack
In this wonderful context of peace and serenity, there is also a series of strange crimes that take place in the giga-district of Shibuya. A group of boys who commit suicide by holding hands and throwing themselves from a building, the corpse of a man with that of a child inside his abdomen, and so on. Ah, yes: if it hadn’t been understoodboth Visual Novels in question are obviously designed for an adult audience.
This trail of crimes, especially because of their spectacularity, become “popular” in public opinion under the denomination of New Generation Madness, later abbreviated to NewGen. Takumi’s life changes vertically when, due to a series of unfortunate events, he finds himself witnessing one of these murders firsthand, and his degree of psychosis and social phobia skyrocket, to new and uncharted heights. We don’t want to reveal further, maybe we’ve already done too much, but we assure you that the Chaos Head Noah script works, and it works a lot.
White out | Review Chaos Head Noah and Chaos Child Double Pack
Of course, you will inevitably have to deal with the fact that it is a typically Japanese product, so there are some typically anime nuances and some characters with terribly stereotyped traits. Takumi’s role, however, as well as his character in continuous and involuntary evolution make everything very interesting to followalthough in some situations the protagonist has proved terribly unbearable.
As mentioned from the beginning, the choices made in Chaos Head will greatly influence the narrative, leading to completely different endings. The Delusions encountered throughout the story allow you to select one of two choices, positive or negative: the amalgamation of these choices will lead to completely different eventsdistant in time and different between the various characters with whom we will form bonds during the game.
An interferer in white | Review Chaos Head Noah and Chaos;Child Double Pack
Chaos Child, on the other hand, tells of a decidedly different protagonist from Nishijo Takumi, in all respects. The background of the adventure is always the well-known Shibuya and the events take place six years after those of Chaos Head. We will live as Miyashiro Takurua strong journalism enthusiast as well as a member of the relevant school club, who finds himself mixed up, also in this case, in a series of rather strange crimes.
The themes differ greatly from Chaos Head, also due to a protagonist very distant from Takumi. Takuru, although still passionate about the magical world of anime, is not an antisocial recluse and distant from the outside world, quite the contrary. The boy is well integrated into society, he is alert and active and this marked difference between the two Visual Novels allows you not to get bored and not have a constant sense of Dejà Vu. The narrative of Chaos Child also remains at very high levels, but we found it at times slower and more bored by slice of life elements and moments, not present in Chaos Head, and which in our opinion are unnecessary.
A new mechanic has also been added in Chaos Child, in which you will be led to be real investigators (rather than journalists) and which will put a strain on your attention span. At certain moments in the narrative, in fact, you will be called to put the clues you have acquired in orderto try to make sense of that trail of unsolved crimes that is haunting the neighborhood.
Here we conclude our quick review of the Chaos Head Noah and Chaos Child Double Pack. The problems in experiencing titles like these are many, and for this reason they are suitable for a small circle of players. Despite the choices, despite the investigative moments, in both Chaos Head and Chaos Child you’ll spend most of your time reading walls of English-language text. Certainly not a simple thing, if you are not passionate about thriller stories and if you do not have a good knowledge of the language. However, they are two excellent visual novels for fans of the genre, who will find themselves faced with well-told stories and unexpected twists. For everyone else: there are much easier titles to start with!
The Chaos Head Noah and Chaos Child Double Pack is currently available on the Nintendo Switch. Let us know if you have purchased it below in the comments, we will continue to keep you updated with all the videogame and tech-themed news, guides and reviews! And if you are interested in game keys at advantageous prices, we advise you to take a look at the InstantGaming catalogue!
- Very high narrative levels, especially in some situations
- Very interesting and…”long-term” choice system
- Intriguing characters, especially the protagonists…
- … but which in some places fall into the most exacerbating stereotype
- Chaos Child inserts a bit too much slice of life