Last month, we looked at Namco Bandai's Project X Zone, an unprecedented crossover game that features characters from Capcom, Namco and Sega universes. In this new article, we'll explore the battle strategies surrounding the game and tell you more about the characters. No matter which company you're a fan of, several favorites will make their way into your party.
Here's how the game works. You move characters around grid-based set-ups similar to traditional RPGs. You'll have two characters per friendly unit (also known as a Pair Unit) and the ability to use a third character called a Solo Unit for once-per-battle situations. You'll move around wherever you want within the range of the map, and you'll also find treasure chests along the way, as well as breakable objects that temporarily impede your progress.
As for the battles, Namco used its familiar Cross Active Battle System. You tap the A button in conjunction with a direction on the Circle Pad, which in turn allows you to perform up to five basic attack combinations on your enemies. It's a system that's relatively easy to get into and fun to master – especially with some of the tougher foes.
In addition, you’ll take advantage of a Support Attack, where an ally helps when necessary, and Cross Hit, which causes your opponent to freeze up, allowing you the opportunity to strike simultaneously with other members of the party. Critical hits play a crucial part in battle, as you destroy targets in mid-air before they hit the ground, delivering even more damage before they have a chance to retaliate.
While attacking foes, you have the ability to build up a Cross Power gauge that gives you experience points. Once it fills up, you can activate your character's special attacks and also utilize defensive measures that can save you from taking powerful hits from your enemies.
The Cross Hits are the best battle tactic you have. Activated properly, you can fill this gauge quicker than using traditional attacks, up to 150 percent.
When it comes to forming battle parties, you can mix characters up – like Frank West from Dead Rising and Chun Li from the Street Fighter series – but it helps to have similar characters in your party, such as Dante from Devil May Cry and Demetri Maximoff from Darkstalkers. Mix and match however you please, just as long as you keep general battle techniques in mind.
Watching some of these battles unfold is visually stimulating, especially when you deliver one of your special attacks through the activation of the Cross Power gauge. Keep a close eye on your health through a meter tucked away in the left corner, and your battle strength and attack success with a meter on the right.
Upon completing each fight, you'll be able to see how you've progressed between the maximum hits you earn with an attack, which hits were the most critical and how you did on your Cross Hits. You'll level up as well, making your characters even more powerful.
Though the battles seem overwhelming at times, it never gets to the point of overkill. Project X Zone has a comfortable vibe and a sense of humor that's quite uncommon with most RPG games these days. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take the quest seriously – you obviously should – but it's nice to know that the game will put a smile on your face while also keeping your thumbs busy.
With its wonderful tactics, easygoing story and hours of thrilling combat, Project X Zone should be a fun role-playing game to get you through the summer. We just hope Sonic the Hedgehog teams with Mega Man like he does in their ongoing comic book series.
Project X Zone arrives in stores for Nintendo 3DS on June 25th. A digital eShop release appears likely.