Mugen Souls Z is the direct sequel to 2012’s Mugen Souls and is as bit crazy as the original. The game again stars the “Undisputed Goddess” of the Universe Chou-Chou, joined by new characters as she journeys to spread her control to every corner of the Universe.
Mugen Souls Z stars off a bit after the original ended as Chou-Chou stumbles her way across to a mysterious planet. There she encounters a treasure hunter called Nao. Nao and Chou-Chou then stumble across a rare artifact which happens to be a coffin housing Syrma, a self-proclaimed “Ultimate Goddess”. Chou-Chou being the spoiled brat that she is obviously wants the coffin to herself, but the instead coffin turns her into a mini version of herself. With Syrma reanimated, an evil and mysterious power awakens and now its up to the two Goddesses and their crew to take care of the problem.
Like many of the JRPGs we’ve been getting lately, Mugen Souls Z’s story is not very impressive. Typical Japanese cliches are present as expected, and certainly not helped at all by the shallow cast of characters. The dialogue is not very well done, corny and get plain downright annoying during the longer cutscenes.
The game has a very unique graphics style with chibi character models. The art is gorgeous and character models are sufficiently detailed, but the backgrounds and environments are disappointing. The game is very colorful though, making it easy to cover up the shortcomings.
Mugen Souls Z features a very lack luster turn based battle system similar to the previous game. The game allows players to travel to different worlds in your ship for furthering the story or doing sidequests. On your travels you will be facing a lot of monsters which roam around the maps allowing you to choose between facing or avoid them. When the battle starts, the rules are similar to your typical turn based RPG as in the character with the highest speed attacks first. Each character has their own attack, magic, defense, etc stats making them unique from each other.
The battle system isn’t exactly bad and I liked the free roam movements but later on it gets way too complex. Ultimate Soul, Fever, and Damage Carnival gauges can get a bit hectic to manage altogether on but if successfully done can yield to rewards. There is one serious flaw in the battle system however, Syma’s overpowered Captivate ability which allows you to easily take out standards monsters with full exp, turn them into peons and rake in the items. Items are later used to upgrade the G-Castle where the bases of operations lie. Captivate however won’t work during boss fights where the group is forced to fight regularly, so an over-reliance can really cause problems down the line.
The game’s cast aren’t the only characters you can take in battle, the previously mentioned peons can be customized and taken into battle as well. Similar to the Disgaea series, these peons offer a different take on battles when you’re bored with using your regular team. Your characters can be customized in a wide variety of ways, other than the usual weapons and accessories, Mugen Souls Z has a very complex Clothing system. Clothes obtained change the look of your character and offer various bonuses, but like most RPGs they tend to get more and more ridiculous as you progress in the game.
Mugen Souls Z offers a ton of replay ability; there are a huge number of worlds to explore, items to collect and the grind to level up characters to level 9999. The game can be a very hardcore RPG for those who require it to be.
Mugen Souls Z is a very Japanese game, full of fan service and cliches. Fans of the genre and culture may not mind the game’s story and setting that much, but this game is defiantly not for you if you want this to be your gateway into these type of games. As an RPG Mugen Souls Z isn’t bad either, it has its moments but some technical problems like occasional frame rate drops and design issues tend to cut down on the enjoyability factor a bit. Lastly if you’ve played previous games in the series and liked them, then Z is a pretty decent sequel and you should check it out.