Top Critic Average
Utawarerumono ZAN is a great example of a way to turn a tactical strategy RPG into a much more action-oriented gameplay experience. I had way more fun this time around than I did a few years ago playing through the original release. I do hope that the developers are able to do with the other games in the series what they did with this one, because the stories have all been so excellent. If you’ve not played the original release, it’s still recommended to go back and do so to see where it all began, especially because the character development is a lot more in-depth with deeper RPG elements.
Overall, Utawarerumono Zan is a bit of an awkward title to give a score to. On the one hand, as someone who has played the other games in the series and knows the plot, it’s really fun without needing to slog through a bunch of text. For new players however, the lack of fleshed out storytelling may leave a bitter taste and feel a bit underwhelming. The series was really made on the story telling, and would do well with more of it, even if it’s in something like a “sidestories” section, so you can have that faster gameplay for those who can’t sit through two hours of intricate characters before needing to shake someone down for loot and exp. Doesn’t stop me from wanting to pick up another title if they do the same thing with “Mask of Truth” though!
Anyone looking for an anime brawler will find this one to be a very good one. It is not to be played for its highly-compressed retelling of a former story, nor its short length; but for mindless action and fighting it delivers fairly well. The combat is fun with enough to it to stay fairly interesting for the ten or so hours it takes to beat, just be warned there isn't some great adventure to partake in here.
A basic adventure that relies more on the feelings from the source to sell it. For some this will be enough, just don’t expect the most fulfilling story if you have no experience with the franchise.
Utawarerumono: Zan is a decent action RPG that doesn't take too long to beat, but at full retail price, it feels like an overly expensive endeavour -- especially for existing fans of the series.
Utawarerumono: ZAN is a condensed version of must-read visual novel SRPG that doesn’t quite stick with you as much as the original. Sure, you’ll get the gist of the characters and the situation at hand, but nothing really stands out in the game storywise.
For a fan of the series this is still a pleasant diversion, even though we don't think it's worth the full price. For a new player, this doesn't seem like the ideal title to get introduced to the series.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Utawarerumono: Zan is only for the most dedicated of fans to the series. Newcomers will be lost by the incredibly brisk and abbreviated story, and even though the combat is fun and the characters unique, there are just so many other Warriors-style games out there that provide fun gameplay and addictive action without slacking on the story. Hardcore Utawarerumono might get more pleasure out of this game than fresh faces would, but are sure to be just as disappointed by how thoroughly the story has been butchered.
Utawarerumono Zan is a remake of the first episode with muso phase instead of tactical RPG ones. The result is not bad, but the visual novel part suffers from all thoses changes.
Review in French | Read full review
Utawarerumono: Zan is a perfect combination on paper, but its execution is so flawed that it should quickly fade away in one of the busiest months of the year in gaming.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Utawarerumono is a property that deserves greater awareness, but unfortunately Utawarerumono Zan is unlikely to help. It might serve some as a brief reminder of events, but taken in a vacuum neither the storytelling nor gameplay do enough to warrant much attention.
Even for returning fans, this is just a retread of the same plot of Mask of Deception, a short tale that doesn’t leave much left but the grind of optional missions. Sure, there’s some fun to be had in taking out armies with a colossal sparrow, but it’s something that might be more palatable at a lower price point.
Ultimately, it doesn't feel like Utawarerumono: ZAN effectively serves any part of its prospective audience. It's inadequate as a gateway game for newcomers to the franchise, and despite some decent graphics and interesting musou-gameplay twists, it lacks the substance to attract existing fans. It feels like a game created mainly to remind people that the franchise still exists, rather than actually satisfy those who'd deign to play it. Utawarerumono fans are better off waiting for the remake of the original game in the series, while newcomers are advised to pick up the game, or watch the anime instead.
I really don’t know who this game is for, aside from already devoted fans of the franchise. I’m sure there are plenty of Utawarerumono fans out there, but this game didn’t seem to make any attempt at pulling in new ones.