Mugen Souls Z is the sequel to Mugen Souls that was released back in 2012 and is developed by Compile Heart who have made a plethora of DS and PlayStation titles before but nothing with widespread praise. Being heavily influenced by anime and Japanese graphics and style, Mugen Souls Z is a cute game with gripping mechanics and over the top characters. But is this game too cutesy?
Mugen Souls Z picks up straight after the prequel game as the Undisputed God Chou-Chou has taken control of the 7 planets of her galaxy and is on course to a new part of space to conquer another set of 12 worlds. Though on the way she is attacked but is able to repel the defenders and goes about dropping her minions off on the planets to speed up the conquering process. Chou herself lands on Rose World where she meets up with the Ultimate god of that world, Syrma.
From meeting Syrma, Chou’s powers are absorbed into Syrma’s coffin and turn Chou into a Chibi character the size of a dough ball, which is referenced a lot throughout the story. You play as Syrma as you traverses the 12 worlds to absorb the power of the other Ultimate god’s to grant Chou-Chou her powers back as well as her old body.
Along your travels you meet up with several Heroes and Demon Lords who are the Peons of Chou, all hailing from the 7 planets she had conquered beforehand. From Pop Idol Demons, Hero pilots and even Heavily Japanese cultured swordsman and martial artists to weak characters who you wonder why they are feared or praised.
As well as the companions you meet and obtain through the planets you also meet and absorb 11 ultimate God’s, the first two being an annoying girl who acts like a baby and another who acts like an old butler with a weird fetish for little demon girls. Continuing on you meet over God’s of different personalities who you force into your Coffin to absorb their power to become the One True Ultimate god and to help Chou. As well as absorbing the power of the Ultimate Gods you also absorb the power of the planets and make them your peons as well, an extension of Chou’s power to peonify continents like she did in the first game.
Even writing that it seems convoluted and confusing, which is how my friends I have described it to have told me. You really need to play this game to follow the plot as it can get a bit confusing at times and uses the word “God” so lightly it loses it’s meaning at times.
Being an RPG this game has quite a length to it, easily hitting the 60 hour mark and more with the side missions, challenges and Mugen Field to explore and complete for optional story and differing endings.
Mugen Souls Z improves on its predecessor’s gameplay with better controls, more attacks and a more streamlined interface. Whilst in battle you move around with the left stick and then select an action from attacking, item use to even captivating the enemies to turn them into Peons. The battle system is easy to learn and doesn’t take much effort to use and can be fast forwarded to make battles less than a minute long which is good to overuse when grinding. Each character gets different skills and magic to use which adds some planning to the boss battles as you will want to keep someone back for healing and then charge up your gauges for characters Special Moves for the higher damages.
Captivating seems the same as the pervious release and is done through using 1 of 3 choices to talk to the enemy or planet spot. Syrma can change into several different personalities including Masochist, Sadist and Ditz, which change both her look, colour scheme and speaking mannerisms. This is a unique system which I haven’t seen before and adds a puzzle aspect to regular battles but can be figured out rather quickly.
Besides fighting, you will also control Syrma on the world map and inside Chou’s spaceship, hopping around while she shouts “Jump”. On the different stages of the different worlds you can find hidden chests, fight monsters, use teleporters and absorb power from the planet at different Planet Spots. To absorb the power you must bring the spot some items, kill over a certain amount of enemies or captivate it. However the captivating can be very annoying and random at times, especially when it seems to be a translation error as one of them said “It likes Airheads” and the ditz personality would not work whereas Graceful did.
The characters that join you along the way all have different classes and skills that are set, but you can change their equipment and clothing, so Syrma who uses a scythe can be set to use a gun and wear furry clothes, which adds to the customisation factor of this game a lot. You can also create new character Peons in your ship and select their class, Gender, Appearance, name and even fuse them together to make more powerful ones.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music in Mugen Souls z is rather dull and I was able to ignore it for most of the game which made it feel rather empty. There were only a few songs that caught my interest at the start and in boss battles but they feel more like background noise or a majority of the game which is a pity for what other games have on offer for their soundtracks.
I don’t have many complaints for the graphic design of this game; it follows a colourful anime style and creates a cheerful and happy atmosphere to kill monsters in. It feels too calm at times making the game feel like no threat and the story to be more peaceful then it really is. The characters are the most annoying part of the game, with very few that I didn’t want to punch in the face for how annoying and useless they were, especially Reu.
The game in its entirety is very smooth, with 1 second loading times as almost all times and quick transitions from battle to field, making the exploring a breeze if you’re high enough level to pick off the enemies that inhabit the stage. Though there is a major bug in the Mugen field, the place where you battle foes for 100 floors, where it will crash the console on loading a battle that makes the Mugen Field a no-go until it is patched.
Overall I give Mugen Souls Z a 2/5, the gameplay is great as well as the customisation and huge numbers but those were the only few points I felt I liked about the game. It seems like a game for children even with all its swearing and death and the characters have almost no redeeming qualities to them which can also be said about the story. If you’re a fan of over the top anime themes and childlike characters you will enjoy this game, but if you don’t enjoy those Japanese tropes you will find it hard to play this game.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.