I love crossovers. Whether it’s Super Smash Brothers, Capcom vs SNk, King of Fighters, Warriors Orochi, Marvel vs Capcom, Tatsunoko vs Capcom, or really, anything vs Capcom, there is just something special about taking players from one company and either putting them against or teaming them up with characters from another company. Thus, when Project X Zone hit the Nintendo 3ds in 2012, bringing together characters from Capcom, Sega, and Namco, I had to check it out. I was not disappointed. Of course in 2015 when a sequel was announced with a 2016 release date, that became an instant must-watch game for 2016. Again, I was not disappointed.
Project X Zone is a Strategy RPG that’s easy to pick up and play. ‘Easy to pick up and play’ isn’t a word you hear associated with most strategy RPGS, but that describes Project X Zone 2. Characters are grouped into teams of 2 with an optional 3rd person able to provide support attacks. A character’s turn doesn’t end until they end it manually or attack an enemy, leaving them free to use items, break barriers, and open treasure chests as long as they are withing walking range. When you do go into battle, your objective is to use your team’s special moves to inflict as much damage as possible. That’s not to say the game isn’t challenging, but the challenge comes form places other than battling enemies most of the time. This time around players can visit a shop in between levels and upgrade their abilities. While the game does get challenging in the later levels, it’s not as overwhelming and frustrating as it got toward the end of the previous title.
Like its predecessor, there is a plot, but it’s little more than an excuse to have characters from Resident Evil and Tales of Vesperia team up with characters from Virtua Fighter and Resonance of Fate to take on enemies from Legend of Valkyrie and Devil May Cry. PXZ2 has a different selection of characters than its predecessor. While .Hack’s Blackrose, Rival School’s Batsu, and the Valkyria Chronicles gang among others are sitting this one out, Leon Kennedy, Yakuza Kiryu Kazama, and Phoenix Wright make up for it. Of course I miss John Mcclaine…er… Bruno Dellinger, the game does have SEGATA FUCKING SANSHIRO!!! This time around it’s not just Sega, Capcom, and Namco that’s been invited to the party. Characters from Nintendo’s Fire Emblem and Xenoblade Chronicles also join the team. The in-game ‘crosspedia’ does a great job of explaining the characters, concepts, and enemies that you encounter in the game.
Once again, you might only recognize a third of the people in this game, but you’ll enjoy the sheer crossover insanity. The game also has the added effect of making players check out the original games that the characters come from, such as God Eater and Resonance of Fate. Bandai/Namco producer Kensuke Tsukanaka has expressed interest in continuing the series. Maybe we’ll see characters from Splatterhouse, Final Fight, or even Golden Axe. Maybe characters from American publishers like Ubi Soft’s Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell. Who wouldn’t love to see Devil May Cry’s Dante team up with Sam Fisher and Ezio? A Guy can dream can’t he?