Project X Zone

3.5 Overall Score
Presentation: 6/10
Story: 7/10
Gameplay: 4/10

Fluid Combat Animations | Many Characters You Know

Notable Missing Characters | Incredibly Repetitive

Written by on July 13, 2013 in [, , , ]

The concept of creating a Japanese dream crossover game has been on the minds of gamers for a long time. The only examples that come to mind (that aren’t ROM hacks at least) are the Marvel Vs. Capcom series, though that only includes characters from Capcom. Now, Capcom, Sega and Namco Bandai have teamed up to create their “dream crossover” with Project X Zone, but if this is a dream then you should just stay awake.

Project X Zone’s plot could be best described as an excuse to get characters from Sega, Capcom and Namco Bandai into the same world. Various characters from different game universes have been sucked into different dimensions for some unknown reason. The plot gets even more absurd as more and more obscure characters are added into the mix.

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Thankfully, the game tends to acknowledge this as you go on. Characters seem almost moronic in their actions sometimes as they reference different aspects of certain games. Perhaps the funniest one is how Frank West has an obsession with photographing every single female character, to capture the “Erotic” rated Perfect pictures from the original Dead Rising. The plot almost dares you to try to take it seriously with these sorts of absurd interactions.

Tactic style RPG’s can sometimes be a drag on players, depending on their skill at playing them. Project X Zone seemingly saw this as a potential problem and removed a lot of the deeper systems that other tactics games have. In fact, they might have removed too much.

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Here’s how a typical fight plays out. Your characters and enemies are placed onto a grid. The game decides the order of combat and you move your characters to whatever spot you want to. When you encounter an enemy, you go into a sort-of 2D fight with them. When you first start the game, you can use up to three combinations that use, at most, two buttons. However if you hit three different combinations, you have the potential to gain one extra move. Then, you’re taken out of the fight and move onto the next turn.

There are some other nuances, however. Attacking enemies allows you to increase an XP bar at the bottom of your screen. Once you fill this bar up, you can unleash a massively powerful move. Each character can be assigned a secondary character, allowing them to team up to do more damage. Additionally, if there are other characters around the enemy you’re attacking, you can use them in a similar manner as the secondary characters.

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The animations are extremely fun to watch. Seeing characters team up to perform special moves is a treat and there can be absolute chaos when you have a bunch of people teaming up on one enemy. The sprites move fluidly, as well, making them almost always look good.

The problem, however, with Project X Zone is that, despite all of this, the game becomes an absolute chore to play after a while. After just a few missions in, you’ve seen most of what the game has to offer in terms of depth of combat. Characters don’t have any kind of class assigned to them and they all level up at the same rate. You can’t assign skill points or moves to them (though they do unlock new combos), so all that you do is hit the same moves over and over again, so you can do one more move in a fight. As a result, those attack animations that look fluid and awesome get repetitive quickly.

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As if that wasn’t bad enough, each fight can drag on for an insane amount of time. One match can easily last for an hour once you’re in the main portion of the game. Not only that, but if you die and you’ve forgotten to save, you have to restart the whole process over again. Thankfully, you can save in mid-fight but it’d be nicer if fights just didn’t go on as long as they do.

While the characters in Project X Zone are fun to see, there are a couple of notable characters missing. The most obvious one is Sonic. How Sega is involved in this game and didn’t include him is beyond reason. For that matter, Bayonetta’s absence is insane as well. Though characters from God Eater and Resonance of Fate are cool, there are just some major exclusions from the roster that should have been present in some form.

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If nothing else, Project X Zone cashes in heavily on a lot of fan service. However a few notable missing characters, as well as repetitive combat, makes the game an absolute drag, even when you’re only through the first ten missions of the game. You see almost everything that the game has to deliver within the first handful of missions alone, but the game keeps going on, adding little additional combat nuances to the game later. It’s nice to see Ulala, Frank West and Dante in the same game but other than the basic amusement that concept brings, Project X Zone is a massive disappointment.

A copy of Project X Zone was provided to The Married Gamers for review.

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Author: Addam Kearney View all posts by

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