Project X Zone Preview
When we heard that the sequel to Namco X Capcom was finally being ported over for North American players, we experienced a glee for such an impressive roster of our favorite game characters that we haven't experienced since Marvel vs. Capcom 3. With the combined franchises of Sega, Namco, and Capcom, the possibilities are endless for making your own Final Fantasy Tactics-like team. While it doesn't reach North American retail stores until the end of the month, Project X Zone's demo is available and we have finally gotten a chance to play it. From what we have played so far, we can say that the team at Monolith Soft have created an experience that is on par with the expectations of all the franchises and brands that this game encompasses.
While we aren't expecting anything Fallout or Bioshock-like in terms of story to begin with, the demo hardly explained any of the plot. We expect famous characters to randomly appear, drop maybe one or two lines of dialogue about their individual stories, and join the party. With this large number of famous characters, depth in the plot would probably be difficult to achieve. The demo basically had a few boxes of dialogue, some characters appear, and then we had a grid filled with monsters and one big baddie, ready to fight the allied teams of Sega, Namco, and Capcom.
Unlike previous turn-based tactical RPGs, players are able to have a character actively navigate the map, using as many items as they want before they attack. Just because you use a first aid item, doesn't mean your turn is over. And the attack sequences themselves are nothing short of stellar.
As many of you can tell from the images, the combat system has combinations of famous characters attacking enemies in unison. Nothing is more satisfying than using the duo of Ken and Ryu from Street Fighter, or Kite and BlackRose from .hack in order to decimate an enemy, resulting in hearing Capcom's infamous announcer saying "KO." For each character that you attack with, your ears are treated to remixed songs of that character's franchise. While the voice acting is still in Japanese, we feel that it adds to the overall chaos that ensues throughout the battle. Players are able to call in support units (other character teams near your character on the grid), or solo units (separate characters you can use once per battle), to lengthen the beating they put on their enemies.
Players that learn to master this fighting system will find themselves juggling their opponents with air combos that are nearly as impressive-looking as those found in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. As character teams beat on an enemy, the baddie will bounce or stagger away from the characters' attack. In order to properly maintain combos, players will have to learn which attack sequences (differentiated by simply hitting A with a direction), chain together more effectively. Factor in the support and solo units, and the combo system can run wild. As combo hits rack up, the percentage of EXP the pair gains increases as well. Players can use their character's EXP to counterattack, defend, or nullify an opponent's attack. But if a character's EXP were to hit 100%, they are able to unleash cinematic attacks that are both beautiful and obliterating.
Characters that appear in this game range from all aspects of Sega, Namco, and Capcom's repertoires of awesomeness. Dante, Chris Redfield, Mega Man X (it's been too long, X!), Frank West, KOS-MOS, Tron Bonne, Heihachi, the Tales of Vesperia gang, and a plethora of other awesome characters are awaiting in this crossover epic.
Look for our full review at the end of this month for this upcoming strategy-RPG franchise-crossover. Project X Zone's demo is currently available on the Nintendo eStore for the 3DS, and its retail version will crossover to North American shores on June 25, 2013, and will be available in Europe on July 5, 2013.