Published on June 7th, 2013 | by Lucy Niess, Reviews Editor
Project X Zone | First Impressions
Project X Zone, the major crossover game of Namco Bandai, Capcom, and Sega, has finally arrived with a demo version available to the West on Nintendo 3DS. After hearing about this game, I was more than excited to get my hands on the demo and play it. This demo is available in the Nintendo eShop and once downloaded, you have five uses of it.
The demo only allowed battle outside the Imperial Theatre with the following ally units:
- Ken and Ryu (Street Fighter)
- Ichiro and Sakura (Sakura Wars)
- Gemini and Erica (Sakura Wars)
- Kurt and Riela (Valkyria Chronicles III)
- Soma and Alisa (God Eater)
- Kite and BlackRose (dot hack)
Since it is a huge crossover game, many characters from a wide variety of games from the three major franchises are in it. There may be characters you have never seen or heard of before, which can somewhat throw you off. However, since this is just a demo, we are unsure if the characters will be introduced briefly or if the player is expected to know who they are and the background of each. Either way, it was a bit overwhelming to have access to some characters that I had never heard of or played with my own hands.
Past the title screen is a tutorial on how to play the game. At the time of playing the demo, I only had seen the trailers and read news on Project X Zone, but did not know what the game-play was going to consist of. Going through the tutorial showed me that the game is tactics based. The characters can move on a certain number of squares and could only attack when in range of the enemies. Throughout the tutorial, it shows how to move, the different option one has before and during a battle, and what the different buttons do before and during battle.
This brings me to a con of this game so far: the tutorial was too long. There were so many pages of the buttons and how they worked that half of the stuff, I had forgotten when it was time to actually play. Whether you are a fan of tutorials before the game or during the game, it was still too long. In order to teach the player how to play the game with new rules that are different than a normal tactics game, a tutorial during game-play would have worked better.
After the tutorial, you are brought to the main stage that looks all too familiar to players of tactics games. All that needs to be known at this point is that you gain XP from defeating enemies to perform certain moves both in battle and outside of battle. Speaking of battling, the system is a little weird. The tutorial did help a little bit, but as stated before, bombarding a player with all the different moves instead of just going step-by-step is not as effective as it could be. When attacking the enemy, you can use a combination of the D-pad, Control stick, and button A to unleash different attacks. You can also call upon help from those around you or a special character, not to mention unleashing a special attack with a cool anime movement. When going into battle, the animation is amazing. There are small anime scenes of action from the characters that brings a new experience to the player. Plus, all of the voices are in Japanese. So, if you are a purist, you will like this game. If not, that’s okay too. Just hope you like to read.
The only thing that is still a mystery is the symbol usage at the bottom screen while in battle. There are the icons for A to attack and the directional with the D-pad. However, there is a little D and a little S next to some of the attacks. I played through this demo twice and I did not find out what those mean. Maybe the full version will explain it.
Project X Zone is a fun demo. I am excited to see the other characters, as well as the story. The battle system takes some getting used to and I was unable to get it all down during the demo. I was just pressing buttons and seeing what worked and what didn’t. There are probably certain enemies that can only be defeated by certain weapons (some enemies were harder to beat because of shields).
Stay tuned for the full review of Project X Zone. The game is set do release June 25 for Nintendo 3DS.