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Project X Zone Review: Yes Mega Man is in this Game

Project_X_Zone_-_X_&_Kos-Mos

Project X Zone (Cross Zone) is the latest in fan service from Namco Bandai in association with Capcom and SEGA. The game’s selling point is that it has 200+ characters that belong to three publishers, Capcom, SEGA, and Namco Bandai. Characters from Valkyria Chronicles, Sakura Wars, Street Fighter, Tekken, Virtua fighter, Xenosaga, Mega Man X, Resident Evil and many more appear in this game. This is something people may not have been asking for, but they got it and unlick Namco x Bandai, we actually got this game in the States. Games like this are typically a hit and miss. Their ideas are nice but the execution is odd. Crossovers like Cross Edge have that odd execution that barely works, while cross overs like Street Fighter X Tekken or Marvel vs Capcom tend to work well. Well, I can safely say, in terms of gameplay, this crossover works very well.

I have no idea what is going on in Project X Zone. I read all the conversations and I know what events are happening, but I can’t seem to grasp the concept of the story. I know what is happening, but I have no clue about what is going on. That doesn’t make much sense but that seems to be the only way I can explain it. From what I gathered about the story this is the gist. A third party has started ripping holes in the space time continuum and it is teleporting the heroes of their respective dimensions into other dimensions belonging to other people. Geez, even when I type it out it doesn’t make much sense. The bad guys are trying to take over the world and change it so everything is catered to them. The heroes must join together and stop them.

To be 100% honest, this storyline is really stretched thin. I know this is pretty much the only way to get these characters together story wise, but this kin of explanation has been used, and received badly before. See the Star Wars characters in Soul Calibur 4. It is a cluster of nonsense that gets more confusing as the game goes on. Most of the villains are villains from the publisher’s games, but the main villains are original characters. There are also a few original characters on the hero side. This game’s gameplay is really cool, but the story is far from it.

Project-X-Zone_Fami-Shots_04-26_004You will have pairs of heroes to fight with. Their pairings range from the same game to same themes. Ryu and Ken is a pair because they are Street Fighter characters while Frank West and Hsien Ko are a pair because Frank West is a Zombie Killer and Hsien Ko is a zombie, so the banter between them is rather humorous. Most of the pairings are characters from the same game. There are also a handful of characters that are solo. You place them in pairings to make a full set of three. Their attacks are separate from the pairs so some solos work better with pairs as opposed to others. It is really up to you to determine who does well with whom.

You play on a grid in a turn based format. Higher speed dictates who goes first and you have multiple options to take. You can use items, skills, attack or standby. When you are attacked you can defend, full defend, counter or do nothing. Before I get to the core combat I would like to take note of the semi broken element of using skills and items. Skills and items are used and they do not take up your turn, so if someone is dying, you can spam the 10% healing stuff until they are healed. Which I feel is broken because you will most likely gain all of those items back through the course of the chapter.

The combat feels familiar but the execution is entirely unique. You will use a variety of moves to attack the enemy by pressing a direction on the D-Pad and thee A button. You start off with three moves and eventually work your way up to five moves. Each move has a different way of hitting an enemy. Most moves will involve some sort knock up that you have to time right so you aren’t missing your attacks. There is a nice skill attached to the gameplay that you slowly get better at. It is by far the best part of the gameplay.

As you land attacks and get hit, you gain EXP. This bar fills up to 150%. At 110% you are able to use two kinds of attacks, Special attacks and Multi-Attacks. Everyone knows a Special Attack on the start but they must learn multi attacks as they gain levels. Multi Attacks are high damaging abilities that hit a certain number of enemies in your attack range. Special Attacks are high damaging abilities you use in combat to typically deal the most damage to bosses. A careful use of items and skills will get you to a high enough bar to use these multiple times in a fight.

project_xz_thumbIn addition to your standard attacks you can have the ability to equip Solo characters. Solo attacks can be used to extend combos and build more exp. Supporting characters are available when two pairs of units are next to each other and are engaged in combat. They too extend combos and build exp. Their use can also lock enemies in place making it easier to string combo together.

The combat is nice and varied. Every character feels different and despite the large amount of characters, they seem to be rather balanced. You can’t just max out a couple characters. You need all of them to be efficient because the maps get bigger and bigger later on with more enemies to defeat. The music is nice and the voices are in Japanese.

Project X Zone gameplay wise does an amazing job mashing up all the different characters. Story wise, it is quite convoluted and stretched to get all these characters into one place. It is even more confusing when the characters seem to know each other or what they have done. The item and skill usage feels like it makes the game easier. There are 40 chapters and about 30 hours of gameplay. It plays really well for a 3DS game is and highly stylized for your viewing pleasure. I give Project X Zone an 8/10.

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