Ever wonder to yourself, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool to see KOS-MOS fight alongside Ryu?" or "Who would win in a fight between Megaman and Druaga?" Now such burning questions and many more can be answered as Namco and Capcom franchises come together in the biggest fanboy dream game yet. Namco X Capcom is a strategy RPG for the PlayStation 2 released in Japan
last May and developed by Monolith Soft, the makers of Xenosaga and Baten Kaitos.
It is heralded as the "ultimate game crossover," and considering the
sheer amount of characters and the wacky storyline that weaves them
all together, it is a fitting claim. In the spirit of Super Robot
Wars, the game includes over 200 characters from over two dozen Namco and Capcom franchises that
fight together in a strategy RPG setting. Expect to control armies consisting of characters from Street Fighter, Vampire Chronicles, Soul Calibur, Xenosaga, and Dig Dug just to name a few.
How can all these characters fit into the same story you ask? The story involves the existence of several worlds which is home to one or more franchises. There is the "real" world which is home to characters like Ryu, Cammy, Bruce, Regina, and KOS-MOS and Shion, who travel back in time to the present time period. A demon world is the home of Mitsurugi, Taki, Morigan, Dimitri, and the Tower of Druaga. The game stars two original
characters, Reiji and Shagamu who live in Japan. However,
other characters must arrive from their respective worlds: Mitsurugi,
Dimitri, Morigan and others are fighting to the top floor of the Tower
of Druaga in order to get to Shibuya in Tokyo while Ryu, Ken, Bruce, and Regina are on their way aboard the Gun Survivor 4 cruise ship . All these groups of
characters eventually meet up in Japan where the story takes off.
As wild as it sounds already, apparently Monolith Soft went to painstaking efforts to work all the different franchises into the story effectively; don't expect
characters to show up and join you out of nowhere - somehow it will all
|"Namco X Capcom includes over 200 characters from over two dozen Namco and Capcom franchises."
Campaigning against the worst creatures from so many games in settings like the Tower of Druaga and the village from Ghosts 'n Goblins is no easy task Your characters will have to team up to create their own battle units such as Ken and Ryu or Shion and KOS-MOS. However, don't expect these units to include characters from the same game, they often include characters from different franchises fighting together (unfortunately, you do not create your own battle units). The goal of each stage, similar to other SRPGs, is to wipe out all the enemy units, although, be prepared for surprise reinforcements and other twists that make some stages longer than they appear, sometimes lasting up to three hours. The option to save during battle is an appreciated feature.
Turns for each unit are decided by
their AP. Certain actions require a certain amount of AP; for
example, moving a short distance requires little AP while moving and
attacking requires more. The more AP used the longer it takes for
that unit to take its turn again (essentially, it is the same system
used recently in Stella Deus). To spice things up from the simple command based system of gameplay, attacking and defending are loosely interactive. Characters have up to five standard moves that are performed with input combinations from the D-pad and circle
button. The number of attack chances you get depends on the speed of
the character. Of course, some characters have both ranged and melee
attacks against single and multiple targets. As enemy units attack your units, you can press indicated directions on the D-pad in order to block some of the damage.
The graphics are similar to many other SRPGs on the PlayStation 2. Sprites are used instead of polygonal characters which move around a grid-based system. When characters attack each
other, the grid view is removed for a 2D battle stage so you can see
the attack sequences delivered in their full glory. Much like Super
Robot Wars, the characters use over-the-top animations to deliver their attacks, complete with flashy special effects. The music is full of the character themes players will recognize from their respective games. Your favorite tunes from each of these franchises are
cleverly used in attack sequences.
The game is divided into chapters; including 5 prologues and 47
stages. Between each stage your characters appear as large anime characters to discuss and progress the
story. Each character has about 3 to 5 frames in which they can
express emotions such as fear, joy, anger, etc. There
is some voice acting in Japanese, but much of the story is
told through heavy text. Reportedly, this game is very long, reaching into the 60 to 70 hour mark.
Namco X Capcom was given a rating of 7,7,7,7 by the popular Japanese magazine,
Famitsu. Comparably, this is an average or decent score for their
standards. One might consider this to be a much better game when
considering the nostalgia and coolness factor of having all these
characters in the same game. Unfortunately, there are no plans to
release this game outisde of Japan at this time.
For a working list of all the characters included in Namco X Capcom, check out the link to the discussion!