Project X Zone, pronounced "Project Cross Zone," is a strategy RPG published by Namco Bandai for the Nintendo 3DS and is a spiritual successor to the PlayStation 2 game, Namco x Capcom. The game features dozens of characters from Capcom, Namco, and Sega franchises fighting it out in large scale battles. Project X Zone was developed by Banpresto & Monolith Software and was released in Japan on October, 2012. Namco Bandai released the game in North America on June 25, 2013, and a release in Europe and Australia will follow in July of 2013.
As a strategy RPG, Project X Zone follows many of the basic tenants of the genre. The player commands multiple units on a battlefield divided into a grid. Each "unit" is comprised of a two-character team and an optional solo assist character. To advance through the game, the player must complete each battle by fulfilling the primary objectives while avoiding the battle defeat conditions.
When a unit initiates battle, the game cuts to a battle screen with a profile view. The unit can launch attacks by pressing various button combinations displayed on the touch screen. If another of the player's units is within range, they can provide an assist attack if the player presses the R button. If the attacking unit has a solo character, said character can also be summoned by pressing the L button. With precise enough timing, the player can ensure the next combo includes several critical hits by activating the attack at the exact moment before the enemy recovers from the previous combo.
During battle, the unit will build up an XP gauge. When the gauge hits 100%, the player can launch a special attack for extra damage. The player can also activate a Multi-Attack if the XP gauge is at 100% before starting combat - this special attack can hit between 2-4 units for heavy damage. If the player activates a combo and one or both of their Solo and Support attacks, the additional hits puts the enemy into a "Cross" state which freezes them in place and allows the XP gauge to continue past 100% to a maximum of 150%.
When on defense, if the player has enough XP remaining, the player's unit is presented with up to four options:
- Counter (Cost of 20%): After the enemy unit deals damage, the player gets an abbreviated attack round to lash out with a counterattack.
- Defend (Cost of 20%): The player's unit will guard against the attack and receive less damage.
- Full Defense (Cost of 60%): The player's unit will go on full guard, reducing damage significantly.
- Nothing: The player may optionally choose not to perform any action and simply take normal damage.
Project X Zone's localization only affects the game's text. The extensive vocal dialog has been kept in the original Japanese.
Project X Zone's playable characters consist of a large roster from a variety of different games. These characters all come from different games made by Capcom, Namco, and Sega.
The game will also feature many different enemy characters from various Capcom, Namco and Sega franchises.
In addition to the above characters and franchises, several more make small cameos or are referenced by the game:
- Gain Ground: Several stages are set in the virtual world of Sega's Gain Ground.
- Alien Storm: Ulala's Solo Attack includes Scooter from Sega's Alien Storm.
- Space Harrier: Ulala's Solo Attack includes Space Harrier from Sega's game of the same name.
- Fantasy Zone: Ulala's Solo Attack includes Opa-Opa from Sega's Fantasy Zone series.
- Hyper Dyne: Side Arms: Devilot's Solo Attack includes many mecha, including the Mobilesuits of this Capcom shooter.
- Tech Romancer: Devilot's Solo Attack includes G. Kaiser from Capcom's Tech Romancer.