I recently sat down with the new RPG from NIS and Compile Heart called Mugen Souls. If you know anything about the games that NIS release, you may know how kooky some of the characters and set pieces can be in their games. Well, rest assured, you will see some very unique things while playing Mugen Souls.
You play as a young girl named Chou-Chou. She is hell-bent on taking over everything in the universe. This universe happens to have seven worlds that contain life forms, monsters, heroes and villains. Chou-Chou’s goal is to use her wits, charms and muscles to make everything do her bidding. When I mean everything, I mean every single thing, even the landmasses that make up the worlds. This storyline also falls into the combat system along with other mechanics.
The combat is much like Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2. You have a certain area to move around during a turn on the battlefield. You then get to choose what kind of attacks you would like to dish out. These can be standard attacks, special attacks that send the enemies flying around the field, combos that have you partnering up with your party members to do insane amounts of damage and hits and many other flashy moves. She can also try to charm her opponents into becoming a new peon for her. To do this you have to use a Moe Attack that basically throws off certain emotions to win the target over. The more peons you have, the more attacks will become available for you.
The mechanics of the game are rather complex at times, but once you dig deeper into them, you’ll start to see exactly what you’re meant to do. After that, you’ll be dropping 300 hit combos for 1000 damage in no time.
The game is as colorful as the characters are. If you’re a fan of Japanese anime, you’ll feel right at home with Mugen Souls. Because Chou-Chou can change into seven different versions of herself on the fly, each with very different emotions, you can see how the other party members might react to constantly changing egos. The game does a decent job of making you shake your head at the situations as it makes you chuckle.
Roaming around and making new peons is not the only thing Mugen Souls has going for it. Much like Disgaea, you can create your very own party members with their own class and stats. There’s a good amount of customization when it comes to this as well. It’s quite possible that you will never create the same character twice.
You can even partake in large-scale airship battles that play out like rock paper scissors. These will test not only what you have accomplished so far in the game, but also how well you can guess what your opponent may do.
Mugen Souls is a very unique game when it comes to story as it is with pretty much all the NIS games. It never takes itself too seriously, and there’s even a character that acts like he’s a hero in an RPG video game. As in, he knows he’s in a video game. There’s a lot of breaking the 4th wall and self-awareness in this game.
Of course, this game won’t be for everyone, the cutesy characters, the exaggerated voice acting and J-pop that will play during the battles may not be for you, but those who love the NIS RPGs everyone has come to know and enjoy will probably have a pretty fun time with a few laughs here and there. Luckily, for those of you who may be interested in Mugen Souls, you won’t have to wait too long. The game launches in North America on October 16th for the PlayStation 3.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.