Project X Zone Review

[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”Project X Zone” developers=”Banpresto / Monolith Soft” publishers=”Namco Bandai” platforms=”3DS” genres=”” release_date=”Out Now” version_played=”3DS” ]

Ever wondered what would happen if Deadrising’s frank west and Darkstalkers’ Hsien-ko, teamed up with Tronne Bonne from Megaman Legends to take down Guardian from Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins? What about Heihachi from Tekken teaming up with Yuri Lowell and Estelle from Tales of Vespiria to take down Aragami’s from god eater? Sounds like absolute madness right? Well Project X Zone has plenty of it.

For a game with such a crazy premise you should expect an equally crazy story right? Well you certainly get a strange story about worlds crossing over and the typical evil organisation planning on using that for nefarious deeds.

HOWEVER it just feels like it keeps going in circles. The only way the plot advances even 14 hours into the game consists of  “hey new characters, maybe they know what’s going on.” NOPE. Well let’s ask the next group of people, guess what. They don’t know either. Want to know why the antagonists are doing this? Most of them don’t know either. It feels like they do it just because they are the villains. No personal motivation, or incentive for them, they do it because hey. That’s what evil people do right? The most kick you might get out of the story until the plot actually advances are the character interactions between your favourite heroes and heroines.

Trust me, if you’re looking for an engaging story, it’s not here. If you’re looking for some playful banter between your favourite characters, by all means get this. Some of the interactions had me in stitches.

I’m going to be honest here, I love everything about Project X Zone’s presentation. That being said, there is something that many people will have an issue with. That is the fact has no English voice acting. The only localization work done for the game is solely text based. Don’t expect to hear Reuben Langdon doing the voice of Dante or any other characters you may love. The lack of English voice acting is a flaw, however it’s a flaw I can live with. I can still understand and play the game fine, not to mention most of the time I prefer Japanese voice actors anyway. Just thought I should warn you guys of that.Other then that, Project X Zone has a fantastic presentation all around.

The soundtrack is full of high energy battle music and fan-service, giving each character a theme from their respective franchises.  It has the well rounded balance of a 3D modelled isometric map and 2d spritres, much like Fire Emblem. The in battle animations are Frantic, fluid and flashy. Thanks to the fact you have so many different characters witch can act as support it never really feels like you see the same combination of attacks. It’s always satisfying to see a flurry of attacks go across the screen, with an insane amount of damage counters accompanying the madness. Super attacks are crazy and ending a combo with them is always a great feeling.

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Project X Zone is a weird game, it takes elements from genres and mixes them in a ways i haven’t really experienced before. On the surface it looks like your typical turn based strategy RPG. That is until you actually engage in combat, next thing you know you’re on a 2d plane dishing out 80+ hit combos, tagging in team mates for support and watching chaotic super moves devastate your opponents. Then you’re back in the isometric perspective as quick as you got out of it. It was a pleasantly confusing expierence, and that brings me to my first gripe with the gameplay. Nothing is really explained all that well, (Unless you read the manual of course) It leaves it all to you to experiment and figure it all out by yourself. Terms such as ZOC, how to use skills properly or even proper explanation of the UI is swept under the rug in favour of just dropping you right into the game.

That being said, once you have everything down pat. Project X Zone is quite a fun a game. It can be broken down into two sections. The first section the overworld, or strategy portion. Which plays a lot like Final fantasy: Tactics or fire emblem. Where you move units on a grid based system to get within range to attack enemies, different characters have different movement allowances, attack range, skills, etc.<

Then you have the combat portion. Which changes the perspective to a 2D plane similar and allows you to do pre-structured combos through simple commands. Fighting an enemy will give you two different types of experience. XP and Expierence. One being the normal progress bar to level up your characters, learn more skills, combos, multi-target supermoves and more.

However, XP is a resource shared between your entire team.  XP is important to your team. It is needed to pull off super moves and character skills. It also gives you a few options when an enemy attacks you. From countering to negating the damage from the attack completely. XP is an important resource and later on in the game, it’s quite the balancing act and you will find that keeping a few XP in the bank handy for some of the more demanding mission objectives. As a whole, the game shows a lot of depth. On top of the XP system you have support characters, equipment, and the system of other characters providing benefits if they are near each other. While it does sound all complicated, it won’t be long until you’re taking out bosses left and right, and pulling off 100+ hit combos. For a system that doesn’t explain much in the tutorial it doesn’t take long to get the swing of things and feel like a total wrecking machine. The combat is indeed very unique, but  it is done right in all possible respects.

Project X Zone is insane. For the most part in a good way. If you’re looking or a good time, it’s here. Just don’t expect to understand what the hell is going on.