Mugen Souls Z is the highly anticipated sequel to Compile Heart’s anime-style role playing game that graced the PS3 in 2012. After receiving much feedback, the developer has vastly improved the sequel and made the game more appealing to casual RPG fans and gamers new to the Mugen Souls series. The result of their dedication and hard work is evident in this second instalment that features gorgeous art and an immersive gameplay system.
The story beings with Chou-Chou in her quest for universe domination before everything gets chaotic as she falls herself trapped within the confines of a coffin. Due to these events, you take charge of Syrma, a young girl who is known as the True Ultimate Goddess who oversees the 12 Stars Galaxy and carries a coffin everywhere she goes. As fate would have it, she encounters Chou-Chou who is imprisoned by her excessive greed after trying to steal Syrma’s treasured coffin. The rest of the game chronicles their adventures together as you learn more about them and their history as the events immediately follow the events of the original game.
Combat is fast-paced as battles consist of both turn-based attacks and free-roaming maneuvers as you engage, taunt, defend or flee from enemies on the field. Compared to the original, battles are more engaging as unique attacks and commands are faster, bigger and more deadly and accurate when unleashed on unsuspecting foes. The Blast Off gauge is present at the start of every battle that is tied to the skills you use in every counter that decreases depending on their usage levels. Higher player level caps and the ability to unleash ungodly amounts of damage on your enemies make the combat incredibly fun and addictive. If killing isn’t your cup of tea, players have the option of charming their enemies that effectively turns them into shampuru or peons to do your bidding.
The G-Castle serves the purpose as your main base and the place where ship battles take place when the enemy engages you. As you progress, the G-Castle aka your ship can be upgraded by utilizing the right combination of G-parts and machinery components that can be acquired through the weapon or artillery store. Though bosses and ship battles are tougher this time around, the spoils gained by them will allow you to unlock additional floors on the G-Castle for battles on the ship itself. Battles get especially interesting with the inclusion of special crystals, Peon creation and exploiting your enemies by striking unique poses.
Visually, the game is vibrant, colorful and very pleasing to the eye for many anime and RPG fans. The game is brimming with positive energy and a fun atmosphere that may come across as predictable and cliché at times. Certain cut scenes are long and may be dragged out and requires a bit of patience before you’re able to take the reins again of your lead character. The music is whimsical and is appropriate for the game’s comical and tense moments when managing your G-Castle and fighting enemies on-board your ship as well as during your travels.
Mugen Souls Z is a fun game to play when it is enjoyed in short gaming sessions. Though the pacing and character dialogue could use some fine tuning, it’s the combat system and the ability to upgrade your characters, ships and special abilities that will take precedence over the plot and infused humor. The game is a commendable improvement over the original for RPG fans looking to sink their teeth into another Mugen Souls adventure.
PROS – Whimsical Characters, Immersive Combat, Great Visuals
CONS – Lengthy Cut Scenes, Long Dialogue
SCORE – 75%