Project X Zone 2 Preview

Throwing them all together, like a big video game salad.

When a rip in the fabric of the universe can scramble together characters from various game universes—specifically Bandai-Namco, Sega, and Capcom—with no easy way to get back home, what better way to follow their exploits than with a turn-based grid RPG? When I think of all the characters I was able to play within the short demo fight of Project X Zone 2, that’s the question that comes to my mind. How else would protagonists from Mega Man X, Yakuza: Dead Souls, Street Fighter, and a bunch of others co-exist?

The game at E3 2015 was shown as an extremely limited demo, only consisting of a single battle with multiple characters onscreen (namely Juri from Street Fighter IV and Sigma from MMX), so there’s not much information to go on, but it’s clear this will not be a departure from what was done in the original Project X Zone. Players can direct their team, consisting of two characters in one moveable unit—for example, Ryu and Ken fighting side-by-side—that can attack, defend either partially or fully, or do nothing and simply take the full damage. Once in battle, the choices are limited to a grouping of attacks to combo together.

Visually it looks identical to the original, with sprites on the screen and a turn-based battle system focused on teamwork and combos. Each combo attacks with specific moves, but this isn’t a fighting game—players simply select a basic button combination, then have to check the timing to start another attack set, and whether or not to include any back-ups in the form of nearby allies. It’s simple, but looks pretty sweet in action.

Without much information to go on in terms of story (other than, of course, the torn fabric of space/time mumbo-jumbo), there isn’t much to share other than that. If you’re looking for a game that includes the best of Capcom and Bandai Namco, but don’t want an actual fighting game, we’ll have to see how Project X Zone 2 plays out. If the writing is as good as it was in the first, this could scratch the tactical RPG itch for a little while.

The release date for Project X Zone isn’t firm, but it’s set to come out by the end of the year.