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Project X Zone
Saturday, July 20, 2013
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Developer: Namco Bandai

Distributor: Namco Bandai

Reviewed by: Michael Cohen

Let me start off by saying that this game is clearly not for me, and this review is going to play pretty fast and loose with the idea of journalistic integrity and objectivity.

Project X Zone is a game where a bunch of Namco and Capcom's characters (Street Fighter, Mega Man, Darkstalkers, Tekken, etc.) are all inexplicably thrown together to fight in some random inter-dimensional conflict, across locations from all of their respective properties. In short, it's a giant cross-promotional cash grab in the guise of a "strategy RPG." I use both the terms "strategy" and "RPG" very loosely here, as it's pretty much moving characters on a square grid until they're close enough to attack another character and then initiating combat and essentially mashing buttons until the fight is over.

Maybe there's more to it, but considering the prologue takes two hours to complete, I wasn't about to stick around for forty hours of anime drivel that's trying to pass itself off as a plotline. Don't get me wrong, I love anime, and I love Japanese games. However, Project X Zone represents everything that is wrong with both of those things, all wrapped into one.

It's entirely possible that I'm being unfair, and it's also possible that the North American version loses something in translation, and it's even more possible that I just missed the point of the whole game and sped through some important instructions that would have allowed me to plumb the depths of it's dense roster and setting to find the gems buried therein. But the fact remains that if a game takes two hours of terrible voice acting, surface gameplay, and atrocious writing to establish the concept that all of these characters are fighting each others’ enemies across dimensions, then I'm out. I mean, seriously, this is a plot that the Smash Bros. games manage to establish in the course of a single montage...WITHOUT DIALOGUE!

All that being said, if you like this sort of thing, then go nuts. But if anything I described above is not to your liking, then playing this game will DRIVE YOU NUTS. You have been warned.

Oh, and a character close to my heart, Mega Man, is in it... but in the 3 1/2 hours I played he didn't show up, and neither did any of his cohorts.




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