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The Nintendo 3DS's Project X Zone released to Japanese markets in late 2012, but at a recent Namco Bandai event, the publisher announced that the Sega, Capcom, Namco Bandai crossover will be coming to the US shores. The tactical RPG is a massive culmination of characters from multiple series, including more than 50 characters from the Resident Evil, Darkstalkers, Sakura Wars, Tales of Vesperia, and Tekken franchises.
Characters from the series will encounter one another as all of their respective worlds converge. A mysterious evil force is mashing their universes together, and it will be up to your heroes to discover how to stop it. The crossover premise creates some interesting encounters between the famous game characters and forces them to work together in designated pair groups.
The gameplay works similarly to a traditional tactical RPG. You'll position your characters on a grid while combating various enemies. The characters are grouped together as pairs or as special single units. For example, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine are one team, Mega Man X and Zero form another, and characters like Arthur (Ghosts 'n Goblins) or Valkyrie are single units. The single units can be added to any pair group, which adds a bit of variety to your squads. So, Arthur can join up with Ryu and Ken to create a unique fighting unit.
When one of your unit's enters a battle, whether attacking or defending, you'll have a variety of tactical options to choose from. If you are attacking, you'll choose three attacks from your set. Timing your attacks appropriately awards you certain bonuses like critical hits and combo chains as you bounce enemies off stage walls and juggle them in the air. If you have a single unit attached to your pair group, you can also call that unit into the battle at any time, essentially having three characters attacking simultaneously. Also, if you placed two of your units directly adjacent to one another on the tactical grid, the second team will be able to assist the other in battle. So you could have up to five characters attacking an enemy at one time.
The developers have focused on bringing a huge amount of fan service to Project X Zone. Although the US version will not feature full voice-over dialogue in english (dialogue will be Japanese with English subtitles), each of the characters are said to retain their unique personalities. Most of the fun is seeing how the well known personalities mesh through the dialogue. Outside of the hero characters, you'll also encounter and battle villains from the various franchises as well, including Vile from the Mega Man X series, and Nemesis from the Resident Evil games. It will be interesting to see how those characters react to say, Frank West (Dead Rising), when the game releases for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013.
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