Mugen Souls Z (PS3)

MUGEN_BOXChou-Chou may just be a little girl with pink hair, but she’s also a powerful goddess deity who took over seven worlds in her first RPG adventure.  However, she quickly tires of ruling over her worlds, and wants to conquer more.  By entering a dimensional portal, she and her peons find another universe with twelve worlds to take over.  But on the very first world, she encounters another girl who claims to be a deity as well.  This new girl, Syrma, carries around a strange coffin, and when Chou-Chou goes inside, the coffin drains her powers! Chou-Chou is transformed into a tiny version of herself, and must enlist Syrma and a host of other wacky characters to help her get her powers back and conquer twelve new worlds along the way in this anime-inspired RPG sequel for the PS3.

On the outset, the game looks like your typical Japanese RPG. Walk around 3-D locales, talk to people and gather clues and items, and then venture forth into fields and dungeon mazes battling monsters in turn-based fashion for experience points and other goodies.

But it’s really the battles that die-hard RPG fans will probably find most interesting, as there are a lot of rules and twists to remember as you fight. Chou-Chou may have lost her powers, but she can have Syrma learn and use the abilities she once had.  Not only can Syrma attack enemies, but you can also press the Square button to have Syrma turn baddies into obedient peons. To do this, you’ll need to pick three phrases to affect the enemy. Choose the right ones and the enemies will turn into your peons, which look like little rabbit things. Depending on your choices, you may also turn enemies into items or even make them mad, so be careful. Just like Chou-Chou did in the first game, Syrma can also switch to different forms to increase her chances of changing enemies into peons.

Peons have many uses. You can have them attack enemies in battle, use them to power-up your allies and flying robot castle (useful for the large airship battles during climatic points in the story). And the more peons you have, the more powerful you’ll be. While other party members can’t turn things into peons, they can still attack enemies and use skills.

I loved the colorful graphics and peppy music in this game. And they do a better job of easing you into the complicated nuances of the battles, but it was still a lot to remember.  It does help to be familiar with the first game, too.  However, there is way too much dialogue.  Battles are also tougher, so you’ll have to do a lot of time-consuming level grinding.  Plus I found the humor a bit juvenile and immature, but I’m probably not the target audience for this game. If you love mature anime and the original Mugen Souls and enjoyed Hyperdimension Neptunia as well (both games were made by the same folks), you may want to check out Mugen Souls Z anyway.

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Kid Factor:

Mugen Souls Z is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence, Language, Partial Nudity, and Sexual Themes. While you do battle lots of monsters, the violence is mostly silly. Characters do curse from time to time, and the crude humor is what you’d expect in cartoons like Family Guy or mature themed anime shows. Some characters outfits are a bit skimpy, but everything is still presented in that campy anime style. But the best reason why this game is better for teens and older gamers is the complexity of the gameplay.

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