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Project X Zone First Look (Nintendo 3DS)

Published 1 year, 4 months ago by Robert Workman

Crossover titles aren't as uncommon as you may think in the game industry.  We've seen Capcom mix it up with Tekken, SNK and Marvel in fighting games and Capcom also teamed up with Namco for the 2005 role-playing adventure Namco x Capcom…though the game sadly never saw a U.S. release.

However, Namco isn't letting the same mistake happen again.  Its latest crossover game, Project X Zone, is getting a release worldwide this time around and not only are Capcom characters mixing it up within Namco's universe, but various personalities from the Sega universe will also be thrown in for good measure.  It should be an interesting mash-up, one that'll get you through the mid-Summer blues when it arrives next month for the Nintendo 3DS.

Though the story hasn't been completely revealed yet, it'll revolve around how these three universes managed to run into one another through some sort of magical "event".  Characters will form alliances in order to figure out what happened, while also battling familiar (and new) enemies along the way.

Each company has lent plenty of familiar faces from their gaming worlds to take part in Project X Zone.  From the Capcom camp you'll see Resident Evil's Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine team up with Arthur from the Ghosts n' Goblins series.  From Sega, Ulala from Space Channel 5 will be stopping by along with Bahn from the classic brawler Fighting Vipers and Toma and Cyrille from Shining Force EXA.  As for Namco, there is no shortage of Tekken superstars jumping into action, including Alisa Bosconovitch and Heihachi.  This is just the tip of the digital iceberg, with over 200 characters included altogether.

When you're not working your way through Project X Zone's various worlds (which are also inspired by games from Sega, Namco and Capcom) you'll find yourself in grid-based battles, similar to the ones from Namco x Capcom.  In this tactical RPG, two characters are able to join together in a Pair Unit and act as the main combatants against whatever enemy they're up against.  Meanwhile, a third singular unit can also be used occasionally to add some extra firepower during tougher battles.

These tie in to the Cross Active Battle System, which you'll use to try and win each encounter.  Pressing the A button combined with actions tied to the 3DS' Circle Pad will enable you to execute five basic attack combos, depending on what style your characters use.  (They're all different – for instance, Street Fighter characters use more up-close attacks than Resident Evil ones.)  Using these abilities, you can also call in for a Support Attack where a single unit third-party rushes in.  If you prefer, you can also try for a Cross Hit where you to stop a target in its place (through freezing) and perform a multi-strike attack from various units.  This is definitely a strategy worth embracing for stronger enemies.

The most vital part of a battle is the Crucial Hit.  This delivers the most powerful blow you can land on a foe that can really turn the tide, especially if you're low on health.  You'll pull this off by starting up your next attack just as your enemy is hit by your initial attack.  Timing is everything when it comes to the Crucial Hit, so don't be too bummed if you don't get it off right the first time around.  This is a game where learning during a battle will help you down the road.

During the course of each battle, characters earn additional Cross Power while attacking enemies.  Once filled up, you'll be able to unleash even more special attacks along with defensive moves to soften incoming blows and save some of your health.  If you fill this meter and execute a Cross Hit while it's activated, your damage will boost by 150 percent.

Some improvements have been made from the original Namco x Capcom formula so it isn't so punishing this time around.  Project X Zone now allows you to move freely within the range on your field map and doesn't penalize you when you want to access treasure chests or grab destructible objects before you initiate your attack run.  We know a few people that weren't too fond of how limiting this was the first time around…

Best of all, the possibilities from your team combinations are endless.  You can pair up Arthur with Mega Man to really crush opponents from a distance, or even call upon older favorites like Bruno Deringer from Dynamite Deka (aka Die Hard Arcade) and Vile from Mega Man X.  The only question we have now is whether more popular favorites will make an appearance somewhere, like Namco's iconic Pac-Man and Sega's speedy mascot Sonic the Hedgehog.

Though Project X Zone sounds plenty weird compared to conventional RPG's, fans of the companies involved will no doubt feel right at home with what Namco's cooking up here.  Be sure to take a trip into the Zone when the game hits stores on June 25th.

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