Is it just me, or is this game made by crazy people?

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Homelessbird

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#1  Edited By Homelessbird

So I didn't spend any time with the first Project X Zone, as all I heard about it was that it was underwhelming, but I was bored last night and a little devil sitting on my shoulder made me purchase the sequel and download it.

Holy crap. I was not ready for what I got.

Where do I even begin? Why did they make every character a pair of characters? I get that it lets them fit in more people, and thus more hot fanservice, but it necessarily makes every battle feel like a clusterfuck, especially when you add in Solo characters and Support characters. Valkyrie Profile combat is fun, but you have to be able to see what's going on. Also - why would you make a combo/juggling based game where you can only hit a button 3 - 6 times during combat? The juggling is sort of satisfying, but it would be a lot more if I was doing those 30 hit combos myself, or at least in a way that felt more interactive.

Why is everything so intentionally confusing? I just started the game and I'm doing 5000 damage to an enemy in one turn, killing everything instantly - then 8-9 battles in, I suddenly run into dudes who are doing that much to my entire party with one move. I almost lost, and I felt like I learned absolutely nothing. I thought I understood how to do group attacks, but it feels like sometimes it wont let me and I don't know why. There is a meter called "XP" that is apparently completely separate from "EXP" - I thought I was spending experience points to do special moves for a while. Also, they provided pretty much no explanation of why I would want to cancel moves - I get the general idea (from fighting games), but the tutorial was pretty much "you might wanna do this sometimes - I dunno - it's real hard!" And I haven't even tried to fathom some of the mechanics like ZOC yet.

Why is there so much fucking story? This is a game where the dudes from .hack and Resonance of Fate are hanging out with Heihachi Mishima and Strider. All you have to do is have guys show up and say a catchphrase or something. WHY ARE THERE 400 PARAGRAPHS BETWEEN, AND SOMETIMES DURING, EVERY SINGLE MISSION? They're trying to justify this incredibly elaborate storyline and make everything make sense, but WHYYYYY??? It's inherently stupid. Every time someone shows up and is asked why they're here, they have to drop a thousand lines of backstory, but I couldn't care any less about any of it. Just have 'em go "I dunno, let's fight!" That's all I want. I don't want to hear about the convergence between the timelines of 4 different games about ninjas. I don't need to have Morrigan power up a magatama so Maya from Phoenix Wright can use it in battle. Not to mention the unbearable original characters - especially the scantily-clad catgirl whose special move is talking about how awesome her hips are. I mean, the localization team is clearly trying their best, but christ.

Credit where credit is due, the game does have an absolute shitpile of tutorials that will probably help me with all of this when I collect the patience to read through them, but MAN. This thing is a real hot mess. Which is not to say that I don't like it - it holds a curious fascination for me - but whaaaaaaaat is going ON with this thing? Who are the weirdos that would produce this?

Anybody else playing it? Have you had the same confusing, yet strangely compelling experience that I have? Or does it all make sense to you off the bat? Am I just old? Have I lost touch with JRPGs? Am I the crazy people?

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LeStephan

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That was basically my reaction to the first game, seems not much has changed :P

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JimmySmiths

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They main reason I played the first game was because of Frank West and Chris and Jill. It's very much a cookie cutter crossover SRPG. Super Robot is probably the best, and that still doesn't really have much of a coherent story. Enjoy the fan service and the SRPG gameplay. I honestly just skipped the dialogue between characters I didn't like because the story got so overbearing and dull.

Also, if this is anything like the first one, there are actually like 10 million story missions. That game just never fucking ended.

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Homelessbird

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@jimmysmiths: @lestephan: Well it's good to hear that I'm not just missing something. It's not that I was expecting a coherent story - I was just expecting them to try less hard, and to sound less like fanfiction. But I'll keep on trucking with it (and yeah, probably skipping a lot of dialogue). And I GUESS I'll go read those tutorials. Woof.

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Eder

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I got through the first game. I feel you man I felt the exact same way. They hey is what @jimmysmithssaid; just skip the dialog until there is VO. I'm sure that just like the first one it makes no goddamned sense.

Heres what I did to get through it because I love watching special fighting game attacks: Have all your characters fight normally and build up XP meter for your favorite characters to do their special attacks. In my case I couldn't get enough of Ryu - Ken, X - Zero, Chris - Jill, Kosmos - T elos and Frank West special attacks.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Because Japan!

The answer is always Japan.

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Homelessbird

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#8  Edited By Homelessbird

@eder: For sure, that's been my strategy so far. I just hope it doesn't get so challenging that I have to keep watching the main characters' special attack - it triggers an animation wherein the cat lady says "My hips are super cute" or words to that effect, and it makes me feel sad

@sparky_buzzsaw: Definitely, but I feel like this is a step up from the normal "oh, Japan, you so crazy" reaction that I have. This game is like what you'd get if you got a bunch of crazy otakus/weeaboos and shut them in a building for 6 months with a pile of money and absolutely no supervision. Like I keep expecting someone's Sonic OC to show up.

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oldenglishc

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Please tell me it still has fake Bruce Willis from the Die Hard arcade game.

The first one started out great. Then the maps got waaaaay too big and boring. Then I stopped playing. But man, those sprites look good. I'll buy this one when it's on sale.

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DonChipotle

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I'm sorry, friend. You have fallen into the same trap people that played the first one fell into.

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Homelessbird

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@donchipotle: Yeah, I suppose I did. I did it knowingly, though. And honestly, this thing is fascinating on some level. Maybe not 40 bucks fascinating, but hey.

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poobumbutt

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#12  Edited By poobumbutt

Everything here seems in line with my feelings from the first PCZ. I actually like the idea of stupid amounts of story, because if you're gonna go stupid, go all the way, and I don't mind reading. That said, if the gameplay isn't fun, then grinding through a mission to see more of the wacko plot starts to seem less inviting. Other than that, I don't see much else to get out of this game.

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kishinfoulux

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I enjoy the dialogue since the translation is a hoot. I just love when you have characters from various franchises interacting with one another. Also thankfully this game has fixed the problems that plagued the first game, specifically hp sponge bosses and massive hordes of enemies. Plus there's a shop and equipment now. I'm digging it quite a bit.

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Dixavd

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#14  Edited By Dixavd

I just see .hack characters and think "I should play this out of principle - please bring .hack back!" Then I look at screenshots and think "what the hell is this game?" Finally I watch a small amount of gameplay and go... "nope."

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Quantris

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I'm enjoying it quite a bit. But yes it is crazy...what did you expect? Pretty much any crossover game is.

There's some pretty funny writing, and lots of easter eggs in dialogues (meaning, try mixing up who your solos are teamed with).

So far I was most surprised by Segata Sanshiro which as far as I'm concerned was a genius pick. The "scene" with Sakura was particularly great (if you knew what it was mimicking)! Also, this game is working on me in the sense that it's making me want to check out some of the series that I haven't ever played, like Sakura Taisen or God Eater.

The battles definitely get a bit grindy, because typically you're not in danger of dying but there will be a bunch of enemies. I play it in short bursts (like a mission at a time).

I think the complaint about opaque systems is valid (though I thought the game explained XP/EP/special attacks pretty clearly); in particular equipping skills and using active skills aren't really that well-surfaced, but are key to making the game interesting & fighting tactically. Another thing is that in many missions (not all), you have more options for who's on the field than what it starts you with. So check the "customize" option at the start, esp. if you don't like a particular pair or you have a favorite / someone with key skills (e.g. Heihachi who can punch through blocks).

I think if you're the kind of player who enjoys finding tactics to efficiently kill enemies (e.g. planning XP meter to get a bunch of specials out, or stun-locking a heavy-hitting boss) then there's something here for you. The story is bonkers and sort of repetitive (go to place, fight some guys, oh no more guys appeared). So definitely you need to enjoy the aspect of setting up combinations during your turn to avoid getting bored.

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MATATAT

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I like most of the ideas on paper but then I played the demo of the first game and was like Hugh yeah I dunno about this game.

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FrostyRyan

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I had to write a professional review for the first game back when I worked for a small journalistic gaming site.

I still have nightmares.

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