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E3 2013: Project X Zone (Hands-On)

Posted by: Matt at 6/12/2013 12:15 AM
     Tucked away in the Namco Bandai press room was a lone 3DS, packed with an insane roster of characters from Sega, Namco, and Capcom franchises. With gameplay based off the Super Robot Wars OG Saga games, Project X Zone (pronounced Project Cross Zone) is a crazy mash-up of universes that collide in a massive Strategy RPG that feels like one part RPG, one part fighting game, and all kinds of ridiculous. A few rounds in to this game, and I was instantly hooked.

     The short demo gave me access to a stage a couple of hours in to the game, and so a large chunk of the roster was unlocked, and I was up against Juri Han from Street Fighter 4, and Alisa Boskonovitch. The story wasn't really much of a focus on the demo, with a brief introduction, and short conclusion after the map was cleared of enemies, but the gameplay was on full display.

      Characters from various game worlds are paired up, so you'll see franchise favorites like Ken and Ryu from Street Fighter, Kite and Black Rose from dotHack, Akira and Pai from Virtua Fighter, and characters from Valkyria Chronicles, God Eater Burst, Tekken, Darkstalkers, Devil May Cry, and a whole lot more. These characters team up to take on the Kouma, a race of alien beings. Where they come from and what they're after isn't immediately clear, but they certainly have the numbers to be a serious threat to everyone who would fight against them.

    To fight, players move their characters on the map to strategic positions within their range. After initiating a fight, players use the A button combined with the directional pad to perform attacks. These attacks are fairly long sequences that are meant to be strung together with other attacks, or with other adjacent characters who can be called in to assist you. These attacks are meant to keep enemies in the air, keeping them from being able to defend and dealing extra damage. The sprite work of these characters is fantastic, and the 3D effects are looking pretty good.

    Project X Zone will be out later this month, check back with us soon for a full review.