Project X Zone is a bizarre mashup between Capcom, Namco Bandai, and Sega characters. The plot revolves around heroes like Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter, Chris and Jill from Resident Evil, and others, meeting up randomly to stop a greater evil. Realities are colliding and as cool as this may sound the plot never evolves much. The dialogue, however, can be witty, if not ultimately cheesy. It’s a story that, if given more thought, could have been a great one like the greatest crossover hit, Kingdom Hearts.
Imagine if a tactical RPG had the mechanics of a fighting game and there would be PXZ. Players will move characters around the grid, click a monster, and perform a set of moves in order to build up points to unleash skills. Players can also use items and said skills, like healing and buffs, before combat is initiated. It’s a complex system that, given the time, can be mastered by anyone. It’s fast, frantic, and insanely fun. The rub comes with the amount of enemies in each chapter. It starts off small, but becomes increasingly repetitive and uneven, making what was once a fun battle system, into a mediocre, painful chore. Thankfully this doesn’t happen until the later half of the game.
Possibly, above all else, PXZ’s production value is amazing. With over one hundred heroes, villains, and monsters, this game is a licensing nightmare. The sprites are beautiful, the action hectic, the 3D mesmerizing, and the splashes of color dazzle the eyes. Even without English audio, the text and Japanese audio is great along with the collection of music from the games represented. And for those unfamiliar with said series, there’s an in game dictionary. Art direction aside, its not the best looking graphically. Plus its linear structure and uneven battles drag it down.
Project X Zone was a daunting task that proved successful. The spastic action and excellent cast of characters make this game shine. Unfortunately, a confusing, stilted story and an uneven battle layout hold it back. Still, for fans of Capcom, Namco Bandai, and Sega, well, this is a fan’s dream come. Where else can Mega Man team up with Bruce Willis in order to defeat armies of zombies?
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on July 15, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.