Project X Zone 2
Top Critic Average
Project X Zone 2 is a hilarious but sometimes tiresome genre mashup of every crossover you ever wanted.
Judged against other tactics games, there are so many better options on the 3DS that Project X Zone 2 doesn't rate. Don't come expecting deep gameplay or even inventive updates to distinguish it from the previous game. PXZ2 is much more interested in matching up a diverse set of mascots for maximum humor and references to classic Japanese game series, which it skillfully handles most of the time. Nostalgia can only take PXZ2 so far in a lengthy campaign of average strategy gameplay, but it's an engaging old-school reunion while it lasts.
The line-up of characters is the stuff of fanboy dreams, but the gameplay is enough to send you to sleep – if not give you nightmares.
Your mileage depends heavily on your appreciation of the characters and callbacks to familiar games. The tactical gameplay doesn't stand on its own, but the character interactions are fun
Project X Zone 2 embraces its extensive cast of characters, but it often falls into exhaustion due to its nonsensical plot and overreliance on its combat system.
A single battle in Project X Zone 2 can drag on forever, and its overarching story doesn't make much sense. Still, its hilarious character interactions and chaotic fights embody what a video game should be: Fun.
Project X Zone 2 succeeds by following the simple sequel formula that many developers seem to ignore: use what worked with the first game and try to fix everything that didn't. This is flat out a better game than its predecessor. It's better paced, the action is more eye-catching, and the story is told in such a way that you don't have to be familiar with the properties covered to enjoy it. Plus it has Segata Sanshiro and his amazing Sega Saturn. Let's see those losers in Hoshido and Nohr try and match that.
I understand I shouldn't expect the depth of SRPGs like Disgaea to build up a team from scratch, but I would like to feel like I was a part of the situation and not simply watching like a coach from the sidelines. Once that's a possibility, I will totally be onboard with PXZ as a series. But as enjoyable as this can be one battle each sitting, it overstays its welcome. But I'm happy it exists, and takes the concept that established characters can be played with like the Play-Doh these devs may have snacks on as children.
Project X Zone 2 is a videogame for videogame fans. It's not likely to present you with a huge challenge, nor does it take an immense amount of skill to be any good at it, with the tactical gameplay a far cry from genre greats such as Fire Emblem or Shin Megami Tensei. However there's a vast number of characters and content for fans of a particular ilk to revel in, and the spectacular battling is a highlight that never fails to amuse.
Fan service isn't always for everyone, and with Project X Zone 2 overflowing with it, people are going to be turned off. I honestly don't think it could be any other way, though. Project X Zone 2 isn't for newcomers to its various represented series. It's for fans that have stuck by these venerable franchises for years. It shows how rewarding a zany bordering on nonsensical crossover can be, and it's unfortunate that more developers feel they can't take the risk to potentially alienate audiences with other properties.