Mugen Souls Z – Review

Chou-chou and crew return for their second adventure which much like the first game which transcended from the PS3 to the Nintendo Switch. Mugen Souls Z is a direct sequel that carries a lot of the same mechanics over into its second adventure, however instead of seven planets to explore this time around you get to go to twelve.

playable character exploring the open zones
playable character standing in the exploration field, with mini map in top right

Following the events of the first game, Chou-Chou and crew take a well-deserved break (conquering planets is never easy after all). However, while they are enjoying some well-deserved rest trouble strikes, causing the team to spring back into action and for Chou-chou to claim a new goal and conquer a new galaxy known as the 12 Stars galaxy.

battle scene of combo attack and combo damage

Thematically right out the gate, this title is just as silly, over the top and bizarre as its predecessor and constantly keeps that memento burning strong. Even during tender moments between characters dialogue never remains too serious for too long despite plot points getting heavy at times.

scene of player using captivate on the enemy

The gameplay remains mostly unchanged from its open zone exploration to the battling system being next to the same. it is your standard open zone exploration with enemies on the field to run into to initiate combat, and the battles are the good ole RPGs style that you know and love (well kind of, you can actually choose where to move on the field to get into range of out of range and plan your attacks, although the enemy can also do the same).

battle scene with HUD  showing characters and enemy turn order, and health

There are of course mechanical changes here and there, minor but execute the same function yet more understandable while also leaving an element of luck out, for example when ‘dominating’ an enemy to make them Chou-Chou’s peon there is a bar that shows you which attribute will be affected by your selected choice ahead of the selection instead of trial and error until you work out the perfect combination.

tastefullly cencored hot spring scene

If you enjoyed the spaceship battles from the first game then they are certainly here again, except this time your ship turns into a giant Gundam-esque robot. Again the ship battles also function the same as before which is a variation to rock paper/paper/scissors, you and the foe both have in essence the same type of attacks and one will be beat the other (unless you select the same but that ends in a stalemate) the idea is to keep coming out on top and reading what the enemy is going to do to counter accordingly. 

shot of characters about to launch a team attack

The art and music both retain that whimsical look and bopping soundtrack that will keep your eyes and ears happy as you slay through various creatures or dominate them to turn them into peons again. The cast also returns to reprise their roles in full English if you don’t wish to sit and read all the dialogue. Certain parts like the frame rate being a teeny bit choppy in handheld mode while being stable when docked, and all the art essentially being the same, does lead me to believe that the sequel may have been done on the exact same engine, even down to the combat feeling identical, if a little tweaked. I’d wager if you played both games next to each other without knowing which is which, you could almost assume they are the same game. This may sound negative but it’s far from it, I appreciate the journey of Chou-chou feeling consistent throughout the franchise.

shot of gundam styled robot ready to launch an attack

Mugen Souls Z is a fantastic game which I am glad has finally been brought to a modern system like the entry before it with all dlc to boot, and on handheld no less!

Needless to say, this is an enjoyable game on its own but so much more if you enjoyed the first game. I can say with full sincerity that having both games on a handheld console is truly a good time, with stakes, humour and a stable combat system.

9/10 star rating

Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Developers: Compile Heart, Idea Factory, COCONE
Series: Mugen Souls
Publishers: East Asiasoft Limited, Compile Heart, Ghostlight, NIS America





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