Heard of Project X Zone? Probably not, it was a download only RPG that was released on the 3DS back in 2013, the main draw to the game was that it was a mash up of many popular series in one game, featuring characters from Tekken to Virtual fighter, DarkStalkers, .Hack even Ghosts and Goblins Arthur is involved. Each have their own world and attacks based on their origin game. This was a great game, apart from seeing many different characters, even ones not recognised, the gameplay of juggling and bouncing enemies around made the game very popular, which is great considering it was almost never released over here.
Project X Zone 2, is the sequel bringing more characters, better game play and a…. similar story which is a bit of a shame, but some fantastic new characters are allowed, and Phoenix wright gets me excited alone!
Story wise, the game is pretty similar to the previous game, different characters have been pulled out of their time zones or worlds and mixed up and brought together, hero’s and villain’s, and there is a master plot, lots of fighting and bouncing around worlds, which each of the hero’s do inhabit. You go around level by level, with a cut scene either introducing new character’s, or detailing the exploit of the villain’s. No this is not a story that will blow you away, but in a game where you are mostly getting kicks from the gameplay and seeing many of your favourite character’s in one game, story does seem to come last in my opinion. Its theirs, and its fine, but that’s what I would expect it to be.
Gameplay is great, and again, not much has changed from the first game, but nothing really needs too. You take turns to move your characters around the map, grid, turn based style, and go up to an enemy. You then get to use attacks in what is very close to a 2D fighter stand point, to juggle, and knock your opponent around the place, calling In support from your partner, or another unit on the map.
This is far too much fun to do, timing your attacks right to get as much damage as possible, as if the enemy is too high or low, attacks can miss, also if they touch the floor they gain a shield that lets them guard through damage. Attack and juggle enough you get to build up your special bar, which lets you use spells on the map, or once it hits 100% can be used to cast your ultimate spell, smashing your enemy around the place dealing mass amounts of damage and looking cool as hell in the process.
New features also include enemies taking more damage based on where you attack the, attacking them head on deals less damage than from the sides, and attacking from the back deals the most amount of damage, though these rules also affect you, so you need to be careful. Also if you don’t use a particular move in a fight, it gives it a damage boost for the next time you can use them, which gives a reason to only use the attacks you need. This adds a little more strategy, as if you do use all your moves you build up more XP for your special moves, or power up one or two of your single attacks, which is nice!
One other feature which isn’t related to the gameplay is the addition of a encyclopaedia of some kind, explaining who each character is, what game they are from and some of their back story, I wasn’t able to recognise every character so this was a definite plus for me!
Graphically not much has actually changed from Project X Zone, sprites on the map are all mostly the same, some have changed a little, but the story goes through that for you so I don’t want to spoil it. When moving around everything looks nice, and reminds me very much of an advance war game. However, when you are fighting, everything looks similar, but also feels much smoother, animation on characters looks so much nicer, with a bigger variety on the moves that are performed, especially when performing attacks with special effects shooting off. Though it’s when the animation of the character appears on the whole screen where things get really nice, everything looks sharper and more colourful, it really is a step up but I can’t put my finger on what it is that has changed, it just looks so much better. Also this is one of the few games I love to use 3D on, your special move alone makes wonderful work of the 3D, and all of the fighting scenes make me actually think that the 3D is a good addition to the 3DS.
Project X Zone 2 is a fan’s dream game, it’s the kind of game you would expect to be a fan game downloaded from the internet with so many popular series characters all in one place, and its great fun trying to see how many I can recognise or learning about new characters that I would not of found out. The gameplay is addicting with a fun balance of action and strategy to meet most player’s expectations. Definitely a great sequel to Project X Zone, and a great RPG to the 3DS library, 10/10.