Following hot on the heels of the Mugen Souls port, the follow on game has now seen a release for itself on Nintendo’s portable. Given 2 years between releases isn’t needed this time around as the games are ported instead, it may feel a little too soon for the sequel. Maybe you’ve not had your fill of Chou-Chou yet? Lets find out.
As this review focuses on the Switch port, ol’ (2014) PS3 review still applies for more info [Here]
Mugen Souls Z follows on from the original as the Undisputed God, Chou-Chou, stumbles upon a new solar system of 12 planets and looks to conquer these new worlds. On one of these worlds an ultimate god, Symra, is awoken by a hero, Noa, and they are the first to meet chou-chou’s wrath. Unfortunately for Chou-Chou though, due to some mishap regarding Symra’s power-sucking coffin, she loses most of her power and is shrunken to become lil Chou-Chou. it transpires that Symra is actually one of 12 gods, with one being on each of the 12 worlds, who’s power when combined would create an ‘Ultimate’ God.
And so your adventure begins as you help to return Chou-Chou’s power & form while gathering the 12 god’s powers in preparation to defeat an awakening evil. The story keeps to this basic premise, and the stereotypical characters all fit their roles within it perfectly. That’s not to say that its a bad thing, far from it, as there’s enough humour from the games returning cast & plentiful innuendos to keep one entertained. While most of the game has similarities with Mugen Souls, the story is the one area that doesn’t really suffer that. There’s plenty of new characters, and changes to original ones, that helps renew the fun of the first game and should keep you interested.
Just like the previous port to Switch, there ain’t going to be much that gets one excited if you have sampled the game on PS3 or PC before. There are some minor improvements over the previous game at least, mainly some added effects here & there, but for the most part it looks pretty much the same. It likely reuses a lot of assets from Mugen Souls, so as you’ll find with the gameplay, the similarities can be a little on the nose.
The audio side of things is also familiar, the cast have returned to voice their roles again and the music could be lifted straight from the original with some minor tweaks for all I know. Another area of improvement though is in performance. Docked is what it is and not worth going over, but portable has a noticeable framerate improvement. while still running at the same 720p, compared to the previous port and doesn’t suffer the same drops. Portable is probably the way to go.
As with everything else to do with this game, gameplay follows on from the previous Mugen Souls relatively closely. You be exploring a dungeon/map to clear the area while hitting events, with a hub area you can return to that sports various shops and extra things to do. Just like the previous game then. The battle system is pretty much the same turn based setup as before. You’re dropped into an area you can move about in and from there a smaller area you can attack in, this gets bigger/smaller for some skills and is fairly similar to a tactical RPG system or more recent JRPG’s.
The similarities also extend to the games other systems, such as the returning G-Castle battles and the moe/captivating system for building up your peons – this has been tweaked a little too as you can now turns planets into peons for example! Having recently reviewed Mugen Souls it was easy to drop back in with this one, but I’d completely forgotten about the early tutorial barrages from my PS3 review that irked more this time around. The first hour of the game is packed with an overwhelming amount of systems being explained to you via tutorial slides which can also hamper story build-up a tad as well. I suppose the flipside to that is the game sports a lot of systems the player can take advantage of, especially with your peons & party, which can provide a lot of depth and customisation if you get to grips with it all.
Mugen Souls Z follows on from Mugen Souls with that same goofiness from Chou-Chou & co that should entertain returning peons, you can even get straight back to work as most of the systems will be familiar to you. The main issue then is that, unlike the original releases, the close proximity of these Switch ports may leave you burnt out quicker than you’d like on this return – Gameplay & graphics, even with some tweaks, is almost identical between the two. There’s still plenty to enjoy otherwise with the fun story and deep systems in place that should make for a great journey on the go – so long as you didn’t finish Mugen Souls yesterday.
A little to similar, but can still be a lot of fun if you enjoy being lil Chou-Chou’s peon.