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ProjectXZone

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I'm going to talk about something non-Vocaloid related. It reminds me that I'm okay right now with the situation with Vocaloid, hence why.

ProjectXZone... A Tekken/Devil May Cry/Darkstalkers/Megaman/whatever fanboys dream. And one of the worst JRPG games I've ever played.

I'm going to start by says that right from the word "go" there are issues with the game that are "typical" among these series/franchise mash-ups. You can't buy them without knowing they are made to cash in on series. In the 90s I liked JRPGs, the few that made it over to Europe were enjoyable and some fond memories. But since the 00s, I've been pulling up the same concerns.

Firstly... Why... Why... Do the JRPG companies insist at putting the ending of the game, or a hint of the ending, in the introduction movie. It pretty much means you end up with no plot twists... Oh... Rival is the main villain? the girl becomes evil... Whatever. Even if its not the end of the game, but the lead up, don't give away your entire games advancement in the intro. These days I just don't even sit through a JRPG intro sometimes through fear of being too spoiled.

I know you don't go into a pokemon game without spoilers, but the difference here is that Pokemons spoilers are the pokemon and the team. Generic team no.234 is not a secret. And the pokemon... Well... You honestly start plotting your team sometimes from the moment the reveals go out so trailers are not a big deal. But series you go into it blind? I don't know the plot, the characters, don't tell me.

So PXZ has some original characters, which is nice but I'm not buying into them. Which is my second big complaint of this game. Why? Because their bland... And on top of that, in the last decade a lot of games now make their character so clattered with details that you can't make head nor hide of their design. One of the reasons I like the Darkstalkers character designs is that they come from the 90s, the "simple" era and therefore thought was put into them standing out without the needless design crap. You can tell the succubus Morrigan Aensland from her character design. This is what makes the 90s character memorable and stand out. A critic once said (don't remember who) that you know you have a great character design when by silhouette alone, you can identify them. It means they stand out and are recognizable.

Then I move onto my 3rd issue... Some of these characters have DISTINCTION, and "power levels" as per such within their series. And others I won't believe for moment are on the same level as others from toher series, you can't take Frank West from Dead Rising (he is in this game) and compare him to Ryu or Ken from Street Fighter... Yet there he is, and he fights as "good" as them in terms of game play. This is the issue about Sonic Heroes that the Sonic fans were going on. Ironically the only ones with power levels are the bosses, who are ridiculously over powered and take several teams of heroes to beat down just 1 of them.

This leads into the joint problem of lack of character distinction.... Some of these characters shouldn't be getting on so well with each other but lots of them are so buddy-buddy, since this game is one of a series of mash-up games, they *do* reference meeting each other previously... But... Really... They that friendly? Even the ones with enemies are too buddy-buddy with their enemies. There is a lack of drama because of this, and aside from character ticks like their catch-word/phrase they are all reduced to being as bland as each other. This is the fault of having a cast of 50 or so characters.

And you can tell the teams who are together or "partnered" are just fan service. The iconic sex icon of Street Fight Chun-Li... And Morrigan Aensland the iconic sex icon of Darkstalkers are partnered with each other. And you can't break these teams up, you're stuck, only the 3rd member of the team can be changed and they are basically filler fluff.... They do one "solo-attack" per fight and that it, no big role or anything. Frank West is with Hsien-Ko, basically a chinese zombie... Gettit... Because his game is about zombies... IT MALES SENSE RIGHT? and most pariing of characters is most popular protagonist male and the most popular protagonist female when their from the same series... Or "rival/buddy" when not. Because the game is a series cash in and therefore only popular characters will do... Though saying that... I've never heard of some of these guys... I did find it funny the knight from Ghouls'N'Ghosts is in the game though, because seeing a guy in red heart underwear is comically against the seriousness of all the other characters.

Basically, I'm a fan of mash-up games like this but this has to be the most boring. I've always found Smash brothers a dull concept for many of the same reasons I'm going on for this game, but due to the way the game is designed you have at least notable "tiers". It lets some characters like Metanight in Brawl get themselves banned from events, yet gives those who have trouble beating the game a chance to beat the game with *someone*. But this being a JRPG means your not going to get that.

In terms of leveling, the term you'll end up using a lot is whomever gets to level 4 first, the game is designed annoyingly in a way that you don't always give a chance to think out character raising and leveling because the way the turns roll means that you can have a character be picked on in 1 turn and loose them.

And if you have to restart the chapter again... God forbid... You can't skip dialogue... And because the game is jumping around the storyline so much to introduce all the different franchises and their characters, it makes less and less sense as the game goes along. You're basically not allowed to focus on one scene and one thing only. At one stage 5 different organisations were and several places were mentioned all in one cut scene. I was like "who are they? Who are they? WHO THE HELL ARE THEY DAMMIT?". The game has a "encyclopedia", but you don't get access to new information until after the cutscene is over with and done. This means you can go 5-10 minutes without knowing a single thing their talking about. *sigh* and in some cases you just don't care... Chung-Li is a cop.. I don't care about which group she is with... Its irrelevant to THIS story going on, why can't you just say "cop" and leave it at that? Instead of throwing it into the air with little explanation while you go on about Frank west and whatever he did 5 seconds later. >_<

So yeah... Its a bland...Cash in game... With nothing to make it stand out other then the cast. I did like the inclusion of the Shining Force characters, sadly their from the games I've never had a chance to play because they didn't get a wide release here in Europe and are not the iconic first few games that I actually care about from the 90s. I mean... Bowie and Max follow that 90s simple-distinct style of design that later games tend to abandon I was going on about.

The character design complaints I said in this remind me of some of the Vocaloid character designs. I actually don't like Miki and Iroha's V4 designs based on this... They took out the things making them distinct from other characters. I can understand with Iroha why they would change her... It feels more in line with the original design, but they didn't include (thankfully) the clutter that make her original design look messy.

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