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3DS  header logo

Project X Zone 2 - If three's a crowd, what does that make 50?


For: 3DS

Franchise friends

Product: Project X Zone 2 | Publisher: Bandai Namco | Format: 3DS | Genre: Fighting, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Project X Zone 2 3DS, thumbnail 1
The joy of Project X Zone 2 is seeing Shenmue's Ryo, Tekken's Heihachi, and Fire Emblem's Lucina, all working together to beat the crap out of Street Fighter baddie M. Bison.

This game is a manic mash-up of heroes and villains from dozens of Sega, Namco, Capcom, and Nintendo franchise. And if you're a fan of, let's say half of 'em, it will be a thrill to see your favourite characters get wrapped up in this bonkers situation.

Because you certainly won't be playing it for the repetitive and brainless combat system.

A little help from my friends

In each fight, you press a single button and your heroes unleash a spectacular and over-the-top attack, with dozens of punches and kicks, coupled with fireworks and explosions and numbers.

When you bring in support characters and solo characters you can have five (or even six) heroes on screen at once all fighting and yelling and covering the screen with ridiculous anime cutscenes.

It almost hides the fact that you're not really doing anything.

Sure, you can try to unleash critical attacks, which is when you deal a blow while the enemy is still bouncing up in the air from a previous attack - but you rarely need to think that hard.

Pushover

Enemies will go down easily whether you're landing criticals and combos or not, it's easy to heal and revive hurt heroes, and all your units act in largely the same way.

Compare that to, say, Fire Emblem where you have healers, archers, horseback riders, and magic wielders who have unique strengths and weaknesses.

Here, everyone is identical, meaning you don't have to give much thought to how you move, use, and protect your troops.

To be fair though, the combat system in X Zone 2 is marginally more involved than the previous game.

That girl is poison

Status effects like poison and stun are more pronounced, a mirage system slows down time and lets you deal critical blows more easily, and unused moves become charged and more powerful when you next use them.

That's cool (sort of - the mirage system is a waste of time and EXP), but some changes just make the game more annoying.

Each hero has customisable skills and equipment, and techniques that can be enhanced, but with so many characters it becomes a fussy chore to keep your 50-odd members of staff in tip top state.

Ultimately, the actual tactical battles are a bore. They're repetitive, overly long, and you'll start to begrudgingly trudge through them by hour four or five.

What you're really here for is the interactions between heroes.

Chatterbox

Phoenix Wright being a lawyer for Heihachi, Yakuza boss Goro Majima calling out the fashion sense of fighters from Darkstalkers, and Shinobi working with Strider.

It's all very charming and quirky, and full of nerdy references if you're into that sort of thing, but don't expect anything above the level of internet fan fiction (and yes, that does mean you should anticipate lots of skeezy tit-centric humour).

The story makes little sense, the characters spend most of the time being baffled by all the time-travelling and dimension-hopping nonsense, and trying to cram this many heroes and villains into one script might work for Game of Thrones, but it becomes an incoherent mess here.

Like its predecessor, the appeal of Project X Zone 2 is obvious.

Who wouldn't want to see their favourite video game characters coming together to fight Resident Evil zombies and take down Mega Man X robots?

But the novelty wears off long, long, long before the 50-odd-hour campaign comes to an end.

Crossover games like Super Smash Bros, Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright, and Kingdom Hearts prove that you don't have to suffer through boring gameplay to get to the fan service, so why must Project X Zone settle for being so dull?
 
Project X Zone 2 - If three's a crowd, what does that make 50?
Reviewer photo
Mark Brown | 18 February 2016
It's fun to see your favourite characters working and fighting together, but the gimmick wears off as you suffer through boring combat and fanfic-level storytelling
 
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