I was so close to beating this game, but I might as well write what I can and not miss another deadline for this blog.
It's been a week and a half since I got this game, and about 50 hours or so of playtime since then. And I've got another hour if I had to guess to get through the very last section of the final chapter (at least I hope it is final). Needless to say, I have had a ton of fun with Project X Zone despite all the flaws that it has.
More than anything, fan service (of both varieties) is what drives this game. The story itself doesn't have much to it compared to the characters and their interactions with each other. You'll recognize plenty of characters, most likely on the Capcom side, and also not recognize the rest of the cast. Compared to other cross over games, the series represented in this game are pretty obscure. From Neneko in Yumeria, to
John McClaine Bruno Delinger from Dynamite Deka, there are some very weird picks. But as it is Banpresto's bread and butter, they know how to make great interactions between these characters and make their pair ups work really well.
When playing the game, all your units are in pairs of two, and some of these make sense because they're characters from the same franchise, like Ryu/Ken or Akira/Pai. But then you get to teams like Frank West/Hsien-Ko or Demitri/Dante, which initially would make it seem like they ran out of characters for their respective franchises to team up with and just slapdashedly put them together. There's usually a joke or two associated with why they're teamed up that way, some more meta than others, and it absolutely works. Pretty much not a single member of the cast feels out of place.
This game also has had an effect on me similar to the Super Robot Wars games. The SRW games got me interested in checking out a bunch of different giant robot anime. This game has me interested in checking out the different series represented. The one I'm most interested to check out is Sakura Wars, as I found the characters shown in Project X Zone to be pretty great, especially Erica Fontaine. Other games that have me curious include Resonance of Fate, and then a very morbid curiosity in the Xenosaga franchise. Plus I hear a lot of good things about Tales of Vesperia, so I should look into that as well (though that requires me getting a 360 since the PS3 version is Japan only).
The fan service and detail in the animations is fantastic, and against all odds has carried me all the way through this 50 hour plus endeavor. While it's not there initially, the chapter lengths become ridiculously long at times, the most I've gone through being 2 hours per chapter. And these usually have your objectives seemingly being changed at the last minute or a billion enemy reinforcements showing up when you haven't even finished half of the first wave. It's not hard by any means, but it's so tedious and drawn out. I don't mind so much that there's little strategy elsewhere in the game since the combat and fan service is really fun, but this game is FAR too long for its own good.
With that all said, I am so glad this game got a release outside of Japan. I've been treated to some fantastic references and interactions between these characters, and I'm now interested to check out the games from where these characters come. It's probably not likely since this game sold very poorly in Japan from what I heard, but I'd already be down for a sequel with a new cast and everything. Banpresto knows how to do their crossovers quite well.
And the Rest
Yeah, Project X Zone has pretty much consumed my time for the last week. Just waiting for more games that I've got coming.
Only a month and a half until I move down to Redmond and get set up for DigiPen. Roommate assignments were supposed to be earlier this week, but student housing apparently is still getting an influx of people coming in, so now the date for assignments is the 15th. Oh well.
Also, I was given a rather extended break from work for the weekend. We recently got some new employees and with the extra manpower we got on the morning crew we ended up being so ahead of schedule that I got to go home an hour early on Wednesday. And I was even supposed to work on July 4th, but they let me have that day off as well, and I'll be back to work on Tuesday. On one hand, it's nice to have this long of a break, but on the other hand, my paycheck is gonna be considerably smaller than it was in previous weeks. I just know that the money I take from that and put towards SMT IV probably won't be enough to get me faster shipping. Oh well.
And that's it. With Project X Zone all but completed, it's now waiting for other games I'm planning to play. That copy of F-Zero X should be coming sometime in the next week, and then Drakengard is the next game I'll have Gamefly send me (yeah, Drakengard. That'll be an interesting one). And of course Shin Megami Tensei IV can't come out soon enough.