Earlier this year, I reviewed Mugen Souls for the Nintendo Switch, and now it’s time for the port of its sequel, Mugen Souls Z. Originally released on the PS3, Mugen Souls Z follows suit as a traditional turn-based JRPG combined with its quirky story and comical combat. With “Moe,” fun customizations, and now “poses,” players can experience a new adventure with Chou-Chou and her peons.
After Chou-Chou conquers the seven worlds in Mugen Souls, she begins her journey toward a new set of worlds to conquer. Many sequels often have the previous protagonist or a successor in the starring role. After being defeated by a different goddess, Syrma, Mugen Souls Z dethrones Chou-Chou. In her battle with Syrma, Chou-Chou is trapped in Syrma’s coffin and loses her powers. Syrma’s coffin drains the powers of deities and grants Syrma access to their abilities. Stripped of her powers and in a new chibi form, Chou Chou takes on the role of a side-kick to Syrma, who aims to become the “ultimate” goddess.
The voice acting in Mugen Souls Z makes the story easier to follow along. However, there were moments when I had to fight the temptation of skipping the dialogue. The story is entertaining when the characters have their usual colorful moments of banter or meaningful interactions. Outside of that, some of the dialogue can get tedious or seem dragging on rather than helping the story’s development. The most memorable part of the plot is that Chou-Chou is stuck helping Syrma but also intends to get her powers back.
I enjoyed the combat and mechanics in Mugen Souls Z more than in the original. The tutorials were less clunky and crammed in. With the proper setup, the tutorials were digestible and less overwhelming. The combat and mechanics from first one are still present in Mugen Souls Z. There’s an overworld where players take control of up to four characters and move around to attack enemies within a set range from where the selected character stands. What differs from the previous title is that all the mechanics are not readily available. These mechanics can be unlocked by doing special missions and areas to unlock them.
Peon creations are also back, giving players the ability to create a variety of classes of characters to make their peons. By completing Mugen Field, players can unlock more peon classes to use. Mugen Field is a gauntlet that lets you level up quickly by completing difficult battles and bosses. In addition to these changes, Chou-Chou’s “Moe Kill” is joined by Syrma’s “Fetish Poses.” Syrma’s ability is similar to Chou-Chou’s, with the potential of charming characters. “Fetish Poses” allows Syrma to take on a different pose that converts an enemy into an item or a peon. Beware of the pose you choose. If you read the emotion gauge properly, you can avoid dealing with an enraged enemy with increased stats by choosing the correct pose.
G-Castle Battles also return in Mugen Souls Z! Your base of operations and transport also serves as a battle-ready mecha. This classic battle system features rock-paper-scissors events where players speculate the CPU’s course of action. Hopefully, RNG works in your favor since the DLC does not help with this part of the game. Censored content from the PS3 version, such as the bath-house mini-game, is also available in this port. Use the mini-games, like the bathhouse, to give your party bonuses for a smooth grinding experience. Or you can turn on all of the DLC and breeze through the combat to enjoy the story.
Mugen Souls Z is a port, so don’t expect any major graphic overhauls. The artwork for the visual novel-esque scenes and character designs are stunning. One thing that works well with this port is that the environments are small with a condensed amount of detail. I did experience a couple of frame dips, but that happened more in handheld mode. It’s important to note that the level of fanservice is pretty high, especially in the bathhouse mini-game. The voice acting in Mugen Souls Z is superb. The soundtrack was also pleasant to listen to, but nothing memorable.
Mugen Souls Z gives you hours of content and various customization options. Plus, you get all of the DLC for free with this $40 purchase. Like Mugen Souls, the DLC makes excessive grinding in the game unnecessary. Another perk is that you do not have to play Mugen Souls to understand what is going on in Mugen Souls Z. You could think of the games as having a similar relationship to the anime series Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. It is a treat for those who are familiar with characters in the sequel. Still, it is not necessary to play Mugen Souls to understand the core plot of Mugen Souls Z. For those with an acquired taste for a creative and over-the-top experience with “moe,” peons, and “poses,” Mugen Souls Z might be the title for you.
Mugen Souls Z Review
Mugen Souls Z
Vogue a universal take over with a dash of Moe.
Fun combat and mechanics
Great English and Japanese voice acting
Expansive customization options
Cool artwork and character designs
Takes 5-6 hours of gameplay to get into a good groove