Our resident Japanese game lover Clarke was busy this week, so I took the reigns of reviewing Project X Zone 2, the follow up to Project X Zone released back in 2012. This game’s huge roster and initially interesting game-style intrigued me, as did the ever present wit of all the characters. That intrigue didn’t last for me, but I still found myself enjoying this uber mash-up of characters from games I have never heard of. Maybe I’m just uncultured though.
Project X Zone 2 is an amalgamation of characters from games made by Sega, Capcom and Bandai Namco, with special appearances from a few Nintendo characters. I personally have not played many of the games that these characters have come from, but for me that didn’t matter. The wit/seriousness of the characters comes off easily and I found them easy to relate to, even though they have just been pulled out of their own time and dimension, which, just happens to be the entire story of Project X Zone 2. They will be travelling somewhere on an important mission, when all of a sudden they just happen to end up in the middle of the giant group of characters roaming around. They exchange some niceties, some of them will recognise the others, and then they’ll have to fight a hoard of enemies! Apparently, that’s how you make friends, because they always seem to want to stick together after that. The simplicity and outright coincidental nature of the storyline is one of the biggest break downs for me in this game. I didn’t feel wrapped up in what was happening and couldn’t care too much if any of the characters died in battle. I do know that this game isn’t built around the story, but it would have been nice if there was a bit more substance to it.
The battle scenes are also a bit bland. After going through a comical anime like introductory sequence, Project X Zone 2 turns into a board game! Well, not really. You must position characters, fight the baddies, and do so until you win, which after doing for a few times just gets boring. The actual fighting sequences are just timed button presses, set in a one sided RPG like format. I would have liked to have seen some more skill based aspects in the fighting, instead of just pressing buttons to extend the combo. However, the inclusion of having solo and support units help out in battle is cool, and definitely helps against the bosses of the stage, who just have a lot of HP and can hit back a lot harder than regular enemies. Killing them is quite satisfying though, and the quips from your group to them will definitely make you laugh.
There are a few customisation options in Project X Zone 2, the main one being switching up who fights with who. This can create some very funny combinations as different characters will have different interactions in battle, quite often riling each other up or being overtly sexual (one of the characters straight up says that fighting turns her on…). This adds more of a comedic element to the game, letting you know that you aren’t supposed to really take this seriously and to just enjoy the ride.
Project X Zone 2 is one of those weird games. You like it, but you also don’t like it at the same time. It can get boring but the mix of characters keeps you coming back to at least finish that stage and get closer to finding out whatever it was that brought them together. If you are a fan of a few of the games from the roster then I would recommend this to you, but if you have no idea about any of them (like me) then it may be best to look for something else. While it is fun in doses, Project X Zone 2 just doesn’t hold its own for me.