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?