EastAsiaSoft brings Mugen Souls to the Nintendo Switch. This turn-based JRPG follows the traditional JRPG model of taking a party out into the wild, jumping into random encounters and fights, and grinding away to level up your party members, abilities, and gear. Bringing in fanservice and a ton of “Moe,” Mugen Souls quickly reels its players in with a solid intro and good presentation.
Mugen Souls is a colorful and quirky story. Players join Chou-Chou on her mission to conquer the universe and its seven worlds. Claiming herself to be the “Undisputed God,” Chou-Chou is accompanied by Altis, Ryuto, and Shampuru. Each world is named after each day of the week (in Japanese) and has a unique environment and theme. As players journey throughout the universe, they are able to add additional characters to Chou-Chou’s vassal count. These characters were either the demon lords or heroes of each respective area. Add this to Chou-Chou’s seven different forms and personalities, players get to see a vast amount of unique personalities from the characters this game offers.
The majority of the game is voice-acted which makes the game easier to follow along. The voice acting also brings out the entertaining moments and each character’s colorful and quirky personalities. I was disappointed that the secondary characters did not get as much screen time outside their worlds. It felt like they were only there to enhance the gameplay rather than contribute to the story as it developed. The story for Mugen Souls is quite entertaining. However, it can become pretty forgettable outside of Chou-Chou’s main quest for complete domination.
I have to say that the gameplay system for Mugen Souls is highly detailed. The core battle system is self-explanatory, but some of the game’s extra combat features might need a quick refresher from the help log. Players take control of up to four characters and can move around to attack enemies within a set range from where a selected character is standing. You can also use various weapons ranging from a sword or staff to dual blades and guns. All weapons have associated skills and proficiencies that you can use to fit your playstyle.
Mugen Souls offers a combat system of various tools that players can use to turn the tide of battle. Players can have characters do a combo or team attack, use their unique skills, or use a character’s “Moe Kill.” “Moe Kill” is an attack that exploits an enemy’s weaknesses to convert, kill, or weaken them. Mugen Souls also has a Fever Mode you can unlock using the crystals on the field. Overlooking the haphazard introduction of each combat feature, there is a lot that sets Mugen Souls apart from other JRPGs.
Outside of combat, players experience different hub worlds of the seven worlds Chou-Chou ambitiously seeks to conquer. The game also has airship battles. You can upgrade Chou-Chou’s “G-Castle” ship with different weapons and modules for future airship battles in the game. Mugen Souls also has an avatar creation system that allows you to create yourself or an original character in the game. You can find costumes worldwide or purchase them through the in-game store to customize your avatar or the main characters over time. Last but not least, is the “Hot Springs” system. Hot springs also allow you to use items such as soap and sponges to boost your characters’ stats. If you can overlook the fanservice, the boosts are worth it.
It’s important to note that this Nintendo Switch port has no major graphic overhauls. The CG artwork and 3D character model designs are still pleasant to the eyes. I encountered some issues in the hub world area where I would get frame drops or lag. Players can mitigate this by playing the game with the Nintendo Switch docked and on a monitor/tv instead of a handheld. I also recommend playing it docked as the game’s UI is not handheld-friendly.
My biggest pet peeve with this title is the “cram school tutorial” model. This could prove to be frustrating to try and digest so much information at once. The voice acting and soundtrack remain the same from the original release by NIS America on the PlayStation 3. The game’s soundtrack features the same fun J-Pop tracks you’d experience from other NIS titles, such as Poison Control.
Given that it is the “Definitive Edition,” EastAsiaSoft’s Nintendo Switch port of Mugen Souls comes with all of the game’s DLC for free. Accessible through the “Extra Content” menu in the main menu, players can expand their customizations and unlocks. The DLC also provides items that will give players a quick run-through of the game. This is helpful for those who desire to avoid having to do some heavy grinding. Although I nitpicked some things here, I truly enjoyed my experience with the game. Mugen Souls might be for you if you’re searching for a fun, niche JRPG to enjoy and pass the time. It might be an acquired taste for some, but it is a colorful, creative, and over-the-top enjoyable experience.
Mugen Souls Review
If you read the manual, you can take over the universe with Moe.