Thursday, 7 January 2016

Mind Zero

So at time of writing this post I JUST beat this game.  I killed the final boss on my way home from work in the train and managed to watch the ending before arriving at my nearest station.  God bless portable systems.

Mind Zero (Or Mind=Zero or whatever the fuck) is a low budget RPG for Playstation Vita.  Usually Vita games cost about 3-5000 yen in the stores but this one was only 1000 and with my Vita library being a bit small I snapped it up and had no idea what to expect.  What I found was a fairly decent game with something horribly rage inducing at the end. 

Mind Zero follows the adventures of Takanashi Kei and his high school chums as they get roped into a strange adventure.  Popping up around bits of Saitama are strange doors that lead to a strange world full of monsters and our heroes are granted the ability to use their MINDs inorder to combat the monsters and stop them from running rampant in our world.  If you have ever played a Persona game then a MIND is essentially the same thing and that's the sad fate for this game is that it's pretty much constantly being compared to Persona 4 as a result.  Anyway, another group of MIND users show up and they are being a bunch of dicks and it all culminates in your buddy being kidnapped so it's up to you to rescue your friend and put an end to this strange groups nefarious schemes.

The game itself is a dungeon crawl sort of thing with all the exploring being done in first person.  When you get into combat you can switch between your MIND or your character although you'll only ever want to use MIND because the only thing your characters can do is use items and suck at fighting.  So you do a bit of story, explore a dungeon, kill a boss and then rinse repeat until you beat the game.  Things do get a little repetitive and the game sucks to try and play in long stints but if you use it to kill a train ride or fill your lunch break then it manages to stay enjoyable throughout.

Other features include a skill system where you get cards in combat and then head to a shop to level them up or change them into stronger skills.  The game has a total of 4 skills that are at all worth any kind of effort and then about a hundred useless sacks of crap that you'll never ever need or use.  I meticulously made sure that my characters were properly skilled out and everything was leveled up but I only ended up using 4 of the available skills because everything is piss easy.  There are also some side quests but they pretty much all involve going into a previously cleared dungeon and finding an item.  It's tedious as fuck so after the first 6 or so of these I just started using guides to find the shit because fuck wandering around  the same environment for another hour or 2 just to find a useless item to tick a useless thing off a list of requests.

Despite my bitching, I did actually enjoy playing the game, it definitely made my lunch breaks and train rides to work much more fun.  That said, there is one thing that really pissed me off and there is going to be some spoilers in case you care so...

!!! SPOILERS !!!

The game isn't fucking finished.  You get to the end of the game, confront the final boss and smash his face in.  He says a few last words, dies and then the bitch you've been trying to rescue the whole game gets sucked through a door of evil and we never find out what happens.  Then it cuts to a support character and his buddy and he gets blown up inside his car which is followed by the fucking credits reel. 

None of the mysteries the game put forth are answered and none of the problems that the characters are facing are resolved.  I guess this means that there's going to be a sequel but this shit pisses me the fuck off.  I play this many hours of an RPG to not get at least some kind of ending.  At least let me rescue the girl and have the characters ponder how fucked the world will be if they don't do something about that big fucking door that opened, you don't need to leave me completely in the dark about what happens next.  I might not even care enough to buy your next fucking dungeon crawling Persona rip off.


All in all, Mind Zero is a low budget game that is fun to play but has some glaring flaws and poses no challenge to anyone who's even looked at a JRPG before.  If you can get it for mega cheap like I did then check it out but if the asking price is anything more than about £7 then ignore and pick up something better for your Vita.  Finally, I know that it's been released in the west but I can't comment on the quality of the translation because I played it all in Japanese, so someone should let me know how that turned out.

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