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Mugen Souls Z Review


The spoilt rotten Super Powerful Undisputed God Chou-Chou and her gang of Peon slaves return once again for another barmy star spanning adventure. Following some months from her successful conquering of the seven planets, Chou-Chou has again got itchy feet, wanting to stretch her awesome godliness across the stars she sets out in her G-Castle to find new worlds, which happens rather quickly with the discovery of a series of 12 planets. Rushing headlong into this new adventure of ruling over all of the 12 planets Chou-Chou quickly finds herself in deep water, coming across an Ultimate God that resides on the first world she visits; upset by this pitiful god Chou-Chou acts rashly and manages to have her powers stolen by a mysterious coffin, though her head strong attitude refuses to accept defeat she then manages to manipulate the local god Syrma to do her bidding, trying to regain her lost powers at the same time as conquering the universe, this time as the Miniature Undisputed God Chou-Chou.



Though there is a decent game here in Mugen Souls Z, it is hidden behind far too much static talking heads cut scenes, expanding the story at a snail’s pace with the first couple of hours really dragging with not much in the way of hands on action taking place. Even when you are finally granted access to wander around the worlds it does not really change much with the pattern of the game generally being land on a new planet, walk around getting into fights whilst looking for the next story trigger, resulting in lots and lots of talking. I mention this early on in the review as it is a real struggle to get through these parts, however tucked behind the eccentric story (which at times feels crazy for crazy sake) the game hosts plenty of decent gameplay mechanics that will always bring you back and slog through the story.

The game is really split into a few key gameplay areas that many JRPG fans and fans of the previous Mugen Souls game will be familiar with; the over long static cut scenes, the home base of the G-Castle where you can purchase new items, level up your characters in Mugen Field dungeon style raids and also at times get involved in a paper/scissors/stone style battle with other space battle ships. You then have the field areas in where you wander around the planets and finally the actual battles; either being triggered by a cut scene or by coming across a roaming monster in real time on the field map this is where the game really shines, piling different battle mechanics.



As with most JRPG’s, the game makes you take turns with each of your characters, choosing from each of your characters abilities, be it attack, defence, item use or one of the many special moves available to you however rather than a static battle you are able to move each of your characters around the battle arena, choosing who to take on and also making use of the many stat altering crystals that litter the areas. Whilst the bulk of the battles are a standard fare, the powers of Chou-Chou the Miniature Undisputed God have not all been taken and even though she is not directly playable, Chou-Chou manages to guide Syrma in the way of charming enemies and then converting enemies into Peons. This is done by shouting slogans at a desired enemy, slowly building up three bars of influence, one to capture and convert to a Peon which then unleashes a devastating power from Syrma’s coffin, another sends the enemy into a vicious frenzy and the third converts them into handy items. The trick in converting enemies into whatever you require is taking note of each of their fetishes, as shouting the wrong slogans can boost the wrong bars. To appeal to their fetishes Syrma is able to alter her appearance and personality from a sadist, masochist, ditzy, hyper, graceful and bipolar; with each fetish pose granting different effects on the enemies charm gauges, requiring a little trial and error to get the right balance and also the required outcome. Though a little confusing at first, this element really changes the way you approach each battle and really manages to inject a fresh feel to the tried and tested turn based mechanics.

For fans of the original Mugen Souls game there are plenty of improvements in the sequel and many of you will know what the general pace of the game is like and will gain the most enjoyment; newcomers however have a huge learning curve to overcome though this is aided by a very knowledgeable and easy to follow help guide. Visually the game also feels a little bit of a let-down, with wonderful anime intro’s and characters, the worlds in which you visit are a little bland and really do not push the power of the PS3. If you can overcome the shortcomings there is an enjoyable JRPG tucked away here that will entertain for a long time to come.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS3)


Pros

+ JRPG fans will get the most from this.
+ Funny, if a little strange at times.

Cons

- Aside from the decent anime characters, the rest of the environments feel very dated.
- Can get a little overwhelming with all of the various modes and options.

Edited On 26 May, 2014

Comments
( 4 )
 TruDarkAssassin's avatar
TruDarkAssassin 3 years ago
looks like a game then for the die hard fans, who will get the most from it , it's not my type of game i would normal'y play but i can see the appeal
Zombieflamingo's avatar
Zombieflamingo 3 years ago
I still have the first to play but I do enjoy a good JRPG just havent had the time to sit down and play one recently.
Light Heavensword's avatar
Light Heavensword 3 years ago
I like the art style, it looks cute and i was thinking of getting this game along with the Tales games.
Akemi no Zero's avatar
Akemi no Zero 3 years ago
Definitely need this but have to start the original first know.

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