Project X Zone 2

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Project X Zone 2 Game Poster Image
Tactical role-playing game has weak story, boring fights.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Standard "good vs. evil" plot with heavy focus on teamwork. Characters of all different backgrounds, natures, personalities find a way to work together for greater good.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters cover a huge range, from criminal overlords to superhero androids, everything in between. While some characters may not be great role models, even those with more villainous natures help save the world.

Ease of Play

Mostly turn-based, giving player time to plan moves, but still a lot of precise timing involved in battles to make most of combos, team-up moves. Lots of micromanagement needed in keeping characters equipped with most effective skills, equipment.

Violence

Fighting central to gameplay, with teams battling monsters, soldiers, other characters. Characters presented in a cartoonish manner. While there may be occasional flashes of blood, no gratuitous carnage, gore; defeated enemies simply vanish from the battlefield.

Sex

Many female characters presented in a sexualized manner, wearing revealing clothing with emphasis on cleavage. Dialogue between some characters also makes regular sexually suggestive references.

Language

Occasional use of "s--t."

Consumerism

Continuation of game franchise, including large cast of characters pulled from multiple games, publishers. Most characters also star in their own franchises, and most have anime, comics, toys, other collectible merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Project X Zone 2 is a tactical role-playing game that brings together more than 50 video game characters from four publishers (Bandai Namco, Sega, Capcom, and Nintendo). Characters fight rivals and enemies using martial arts, swords, guns, magic, and just about everything else under the sun. While the fight scenes are over the top with lots of show and effects, there's very little in the way of actual blood shown. The game does feature a good amoung of sexual references and themes, from the revealing outfits of many female characters to the blatant innuendo in some of the characters' dialogue. Profanity and some offensive language, such as "s--t," are occasionally used. There's also a lot of micromanagement needed for the turn-based gameplay, which could frustrate some players.

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What's it about?

When unusual gold chains begin to appear throughout space and time, one thing is clear: The walls between worlds have been breached once again. That means it's time for another cross-dimensional, cross-company crossover. PROJECT X ZONE 2 brings together the heroes from four publishers and more than 30 video games, as they team up to discover the origin of the mysterious chains, stop the villains trying to take advantage of the situation, and hopefully save more than one universe in the process.

Is it any good?

When it comes to most role-playing epics, the story is deep, complex, engaging, and core to the game. That's not the case with Project X Zone 2. Here, the story is little more than a thinly veiled excuse to throw together a menagerie of characters who otherwise have no rhyme or reason to be seen together. You know the plot is an afterthought when even the characters make fun of it in their dialogue. This is about fan service, pure and simple. And to a certain degree, it works. It's actually a lot of fun to see how all the characters interact, cracking jokes at each other's expense and pointing out the absurdity of the situation. Some of these interactions are a little more juvenile or sexist than others, but overall they're good for a few laughs.

From a gameplay perspective, Project X Zone 2 is a pretty solid tactical turn-based strategy game. Battles take place on large grids with plenty of room to move around and try to gain an advantage. The combat is interesting as well, with timing and button-mashing elements more akin to a fighting game than a role-playing game. All the moves are flashy, over the top, and fun to watch … at least the first few times. Unfortunately, these battles rarely change over the course of the game, so something that seems exciting early on wears out its welcome after the 50th time. Eventually, the game becomes more of a monotonous chore, and you're left going through the motions and passing the time between wisecracks and tangled plot threads.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about teamwork. What are some ways that people of different backgrounds, values, and personalities can work together, and what advantages come from working with a diverse team?

  • Talk about commercialism in entertainment. Does the game's collection of characters generate interest in other franchises, and is that interest just a product of marketing or genuine interest?

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