PxZ 1 and 2: Writing before Gaming?

Now in various formats over various years I have spoken about Project X Zone and its sequel, Project X Zone….. 2. I mean yes the second one is allegedly subtitled Brave New World but yeah. It’s Zone 2. And that’s okay. Mario has lost his mind over the decades with his main series titles. Its like Street Fighter where it is not one series but a meta-series thing. Hold on

*smacks head with hammer*

That’s better. All clear and focused. Now for those who don’t know these games they are tactial strategic style RPGs. Which means gameplay wise you move around a gird-based level and when close enough to enemies you attack them. PxZ uses a pair of characters as each “unit” and some pairs are both from the same game and some are from different games… Oh Yes that is the big marketing gimmick point of the game and what this article is going to focus on. See Namco, Capcom, and Sega (plus Nintendo in the second game) all contributed characters along with a few original characters from creator MonolithSoft that unite to save all their realms from their various enemies including the villainous original characters.

So as I said I’m not going to review the game-play itself this time. Crossover games done right are excellent and these games are a ton of fun to play. Even for me and I’m not much of a tactics type of guy. I dip my toes into a few Fire Emblem games and these. That is about all I embrace. So what makes PxZ Uno and Dos so much fun? Is the grand story phenomenal? No, it’s not bad but it’s no Chrono Trigger. Nope it is the little dialogues that start the level and bookend the individual battles that makes it all worth spending money on.

The trick is that since these games are out-of-continuity and the O.C.s are for the franchise and aren’t needed to look better than anyone else… everyone is having FUN. Meta-Jokes about the cliches from the individual games are here. Jokes about the quirks of the individual games are here (Arthur from Ghost n’ Goblins and his boxer-clad ways gets highlighted beautifully). Seeing folks from different style worlds and even different genres mix and match in a way that is funny, endearing, and doesn’t insult any fans of the donated characters. Plus the good guy originals are just as fun so they don’t feel like weak add-ons.

The Writing drives the Game. Unlike a Mario or a Sonic or even Street Fighter which shows up here… Heck Megaman X and Zero show up in both games and I’m sorry… but Megaman games are best with minimal story and dialogue. Run and Gun Baby. This game though? For a crossover that is based in the RPG genre which involves lots of story-telling by the nature of the beast… The Writing has to be great. How great? Before playing PxZ 1 I hadn’t played half the games represented and hadn’t heard of some of them (they were legit Japan Exclusive and I’m not really THAT gamer guy) yet I quickly fell in love with the characters.

These games are proof that solid writing can make a game and being a “game scripter” doesn’t mean you are on a level below novelists or movie/TV scripters. Don’t hate and come at me with “Kiddy Games” bias. Play these two games and enjoy the writing. Then tell me it doesn’t equal the fun of most TV shows. That is my challenge I am giving to you folks this time. Open your mind and let the hard work behind the script shine through.

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