There are many sexy, chiseled muscles to look at, too
Apparently, nearly a decade ago, Namco and Capcom teamed up for the crossover, turn-based SRPG Namco x Capcom. Don’t ask me how they decided who would get first billing. A coin flip? A Japanese game show? Similarly, don’t ask me when we were supposed to figure out the “X” is pronounced “cross.” Not sure if Japan is too advanced for us, if we’re too culturally mired down in Christian iconography when it comes to cross, or if the whole trend is just stupid.
The point is, Namco and Capcom’s already unwholesome pre-marital coitus is reaching an entirely new level of damnation as newcomer SEGA joins the fray turning the twosome into a threesome that spans 29 franchises with Project X Zone. This leveled up debauchery, as we reported earlier, is coming westward this time around, presumably emboldened by all that kinky sexual experimentation. It definitely wasn’t SEGA’s doing, since the company can’t be arsed to bring me more Valkyria Chronicles games.
I’m still a bit bitter, but this game is fan service incarnate, so excuse my fan complaining.
Project X Zone (Nintendo 3DS)
So, some wibbly wobblies in the quantum neutrino fields have led to worlds colliding, or something. Original characters Mii and Kogoro have the unique ability to ride these mystical space waves and jump between worlds, while everyone else is getting screwed with, being transported to and fro willy-nilly. Again: fan service. There’s a mild attempt to validate smushing these disparate characters together like action figures in a formative sandbox. There’s an ultimate, nefarious baddie pulling strings. But things are mostly about smushing characters together and saying, “Hahaha, Ryu is totally talking to KOS-MOS, ain’t that wacky?”
It’s not a bad thing, mind. My ears perked up just the same when I heard mention of Zephyr, Leanne, and affable Vashyron from the under acknowledged Resonance of Fate. I got a kick out of Ken Masters and Ryu palling around. When I read the full list, I even got excited upon seeing Valkyria Chronicles, only to realize the characters are apparently from Valkyria Chronicles III. If you remember, it didn’t get a US release.
There is a game behind this fan service, of course. It’s a mix of bog standard, grid-based, turn-based strategy and action. Everything plays out on your typical grid, but attacks take place on a separate screen that requires soft one to one button pressing. Your units operate in defined pairs (Ryu and Ken, Zephyr and Leanne, etc.) and have interchangeable support characters (Vashyron, Ulala from Space Channel 5, etc.) that can be called in with a button press. If the pair you’re controlling engages an enemy with an ally pair adjacent, it’s possible to get all five characters beating down on the poor chumps that decided to be henchmen against as many “heroes” they could cram into a game.
While I didn’t go hands-on with the all Japanese build, I think I was able to wrap my head around the combat, which has some depth beyond statistics and requires dexterity. It’s no fighting game, mind you, but different characters generally attack low, medium, or high, and things like that need to be taken into consideration; for example, you should juggle an enemy into the air if you’re getting ready to call in a support character who attacks high. There are other wrinkles; you can attack straight up and get an extra blow in or you can stun enemies to keep fists flying and meters rising. Filling one meter in particular allows scripted special moves by the pairs, which are generally reflexive of the coolest moves they have in their respective games.
In handling the licensing, Namco worked to ensure a westward voyage would go smoothly, so all the characters from the Japanese release are intact. So too are the bits of voiced Japanese dialogue that punctuate the text heavy title, which will undoubtedly be a treat for fans of these series. Mercifully, there is a huge database of all the characters and the like in the game, which will likely be particularly helpful in covering characters from games that never even made it out of Japan.
Speaking of fan service, Project X Zone’s long anime opening is pretty amazing. Unfortunately, a sprite-based SRPG doesn’t quite live up to that level of insanity -- though the combat does get pretty hectic and cool looking. Still, if you’re somehow finding yourself lacking in games to play this Summer, perhaps because you’re a wizard with the power to stop time, and you’ve already played Fire Emblem: Awakening, I suppose Project X Zone could be worth the novelty (and expected grind).
|9:00 AM on 05.09.2013|
Can you handle this Project X Zone character spotlight?
Project X Zone has a new trailer, and it shows off a ton of characters that will be appearing in the project. If you've been following the game for a while now you won't find any surprises. But for a lot of you some of the a...more
|3:15 PM on 04.11.2013|
Project X Zone rocks out with an English trailer
After a long wait, Project X Zone is nearly here. Set to launch on June 25, this Namco Bandai, Capcom, and Sega crossover will feature characters from Mega Man to Bruce Willis. Namco Bandai has just announced today that "for...more
|3:45 PM on 04.05.2013|
Project X Zone hones in on a June 2013 release
The first step for Banpresto and Monolith Soft's strategy role-playing game Project X Zone was getting it localized. Mission accomplished. Now, Namco Bandai has come out with a firm release date for this mash-up of Capcom, Se...more
|11:00 AM on 01.21.2013|
Project X Zone getting localized, coming to North America
Project X Zone, the crazy crossover game featuring Namco Bandai, Capcom, and Sega characters all working together, is coming to North America! Namco will be bringing the role-playing fighting game hybrid to North American, Eu...more
|1:00 PM on 09.24.2012|
The full Project X Zone intro plus possible localization
You can't have too much Project X Zone! If the hedonically excessive 16-minute trailer didn't get your panties nice and moist, here is the full intro animation. It's your average anime opening, with pop vocals and characters...more
|3:00 PM on 09.21.2012|
TGS: Please give us Project X Zone right NOW
Namco Bandai's upcoming 3DS multi-company mashup, Project X Zone, is an absolute treat, and is one of the best things I've played at Tokyo Game Show 2012. It's too bad that it has yet to be announced for North America. After ...more
|9:00 AM on 07.02.2012|
Get jealous of Japan with this Project X Zone trailer
If you're curious as to how this massive crossover from Namco Bandai, Capcom, and SEGA works, don't hesitate, and watch the above trailer. Although we already had a smaller two minute sample, this giant new 10 minute blowout...more
|7:00 AM on 06.27.2012|
Project X Zone gets a release date, in Japan
"In Japan". Isn't that the worst phrase ever to see on a video game website? Not only is it an indicator that a possible western release is far away, but it doesn't even guarantee one in the first place. Anyways, all of you l...more
|11:00 PM on 04.21.2012|
Project X Zone wants to show you some dramatic combos
The upcoming Capcom/Namco-Bandai/Sega crossover title Project X Zone shares a lot of similarities to the unlocalized PS2 title Namco X Capcom. They're both action/strategy titles with visual and practical elements that make ...more
|10:30 AM on 05.19.2013|
Ghost of a Tale meets funding goal, play your mouse lute!
Ghost of a Tale, the promising game starring a mouse with a LUTE AND A HAT, made its crowdfunding goal of 45.000€ last night. There shall be much rejoicing. The game caught attention through its incredible des...more
|6:00 PM on 05.18.2013|
Mugen Souls hits PlayStation Network next week
Mugen Souls is going digital on PlayStation Network this Tuesday, NIS America has announced. A role-playing game developed by Compile Heart, the story follows a goddess by the name of Chou-Chou in her quest to conquer the uni...more
|4:00 PM on 05.18.2013|
Multiplayer comic-adventure The Yahwg draws near
One of the problems with most narrative-focused games is that after you've played through them once, most of the surprises are over. The Yawhg, the next game from Damian Sommer (Friendship in 4 Colors), looks to circumve...more