Monolith Soft once again takes the helm in this crossover strategy RPG filled to the brim with fan service in Project X Zone 2: Brave New World. I had a chance to play a little of it at this year's E3 2015 event and get a taste of how combat felt in the sequel.
Gameplay in the sequel remains largely the same. You move your character around a small grid that allows more freedom of movement in that barrier. While movement is seen with a top-down perspective, transitions into encounters bring full character sprites that harken back to the Neo-Geo days.
Different attacks are mapped to the handheld's D-Pad which can be customized to suit someone's play-style. New in the sequel is the ability to use the Circle Pad paired with the A button to perform combos. This adds a layer of depth and smoothness to the battles.
Each enemy has a shield around them that must be broken through before they are able to take damage. This means you can't simple button mash your way through especially during the more difficult battles.
I was informed by a representative that the producer had big plans for the combat that didn't make it in time for the hands-on demo. We should hopefully be hearing more on that soon.
The big draw here is the localization. I was already seeing a host of inside jokes and references made between the different pairs. There was one between Yuri and Flynn from Tales of Vesperia who say they should call upon their friends to help them in battle, including Captain Schwann and "..what's-her-name. Was there a pirate girl?". Pour one out for Patty.
Over the course of the game, characters from the roster showed up to take different sides in the hunt for this precious item. While Project X Zone 2 is clearly being billed as a sequel, there has been no word if it will follow the same events considering how the original ended.
The sequel boasts an even larger roster this time. Characters from series such as Yakuza, Sakura Wars, Phoenix Wright, and God Eater 2 make an appearance, with more character announcements to be made in the coming months. Monolith Soft has also promised to address the larger concerns about the original including its confusing story.
Project X Zone 2 is set to be released worldwide later this year for the Nintendo 3DS. We will have more news on the game as it is released.