Friday, July 12, 2013

Project X Zone (3DS) Review

When it comes to fighting games, cross overs are nothing new. We’ve seen them a lot of times in games such as Marvel vs Capcom and Mortal Kombat vs DC. In comes Project X Zone a game that not only presents franchises from two companies but three. Bridging characters from Bandai Namco, SEGA, and Capcom does this fighting strategy have what it takes to give 3DS owners something to desire or is it just another fan service title?

Project X Zone takes place in a world where characters like Tron Bonne from Mega Man Legends, Akira from Virtua Fighter, and Yuri from Tales of Vesperia cross paths. Granted the idea sounds amazing at first but when the story starts rolling you begin to realize there are some problems.  Worm holes start appearing out of nowhere causing these characters to meet. It’s kinda like a Flintstones meets the Jetsons scenario multiplied by 10.  You can tell the writers had some trouble coming up with a reasonable plot that will bridge all character story lines so the result turns into a jumble mess with tons of plot holes. Regardless of that the dialogue is pretty still amusing that match the characters tones and personality.

Unlike most fighting games, Project X Zone is an RPG strategy fighting game. It’s also the spiritual successor to Namco X Capom a game that never made it across Japan.

So what exactly is an RPG strategy fighting game? Well essentially it works like a game of chess but with an RPG twist and…fighting. Players and enemies go by turns. Each fighter has a limited set of turns and once you come in contact with an enemy you begin brawling.  Combos are extremely easy to pull off and don’t require any memorization what so ever. The strategy comes depending on where you land on the grid. If you happen to be close to an ally you can call them in for support but if you’re surrounded by enemies, well, good luck. Although if you are in a tight spot you can always use healing items and rely on calling your solo players and that’s where the RPG element comes into place. You can exchange solo character or assist characters with different parties and equip various to boost their attributes. The RPG aspect honestly only offers the bare minimum and doesn’t really make the game stand out.

Project X Zone biggest problem though is its repetitive gameplay. Missions don’t offer much variety with the majority of them being kill the leader or kill them all. Players expecting more of a fighting game may ultimately be disappointed.

One thing that Project X Zone does really well is presentation. 2D sprites on 3D backdrops look spectacular especially when the 3D is turned on. Those cross battles also look beautiful but the finishing specials are just downright addicting to watch.

Another great thing about Project X Zone is its soundtrack. Throughout the game you will constantly hear remixes of tunes ranging from the well-known Ken theme to the underrated tracks from The House of The Dead.  The voice acting for better or worse is also completely Japanese. It kinda shows that at one point wasn’t going to even make it outside Japan. It’s not bad although it’s kinda awkward hearing Frank West and Chris Redfield speaking Japanese.

When it comes down to it, Project X Zone is game clearly developed for the fans. Ryu, Ken, Akira, MegaMan X, Chris Redfield, and even Bruno from Dynamite Cop all make an appearance in this game. Yet is enough justify a full purchase? Well that honestly depends on how much of a hardcore fan you are. If the idea of seeing these characters interact with each other interests you--and if you’re fan of strategy games--then you’ll find Project X Zone an enjoyable experience worth the entry fee.



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