Review: Utawarerumono Zan (PS4)

Gameplay

When you start a battle, it can be fast-paced if you have not played a similar game, like Dynasty Warriors or Hyrule Warriors. You have a group up to four characters, and you are up against wave after wave of enemies. The battles can often be 50 against 4, which is a lot of fun though I wish the enemy would attack more to make it challenging.

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Switching between characters is as simple as pressing a direction with the D-pad, and each has his or her own fighting style and special moves. This also makes the battles enjoyable since you can test different ways of winning. Focus on earning items, as they upgrade your ATK, DEF, HP and other skills.

You can also earn music tracks from a section of the game that lets you pay in-game currency for scrolls and upgrades. Some of the music has Japanese instrumentals, which are nice and match the environment, though it would be nice if there was an option to shuffle them since the only way to listen to them is to select them manually at the start of the game.

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The graphics could have been better, as it looks like a PS Vita port. There are some scenes which have better graphics, but overall the character designs look very similar. I know this is based on an anime so the eyes are often larger, but the females’ eyes just looked too disproportionate to their heads. The content is relatively clean. The dialogue features some cursing from a few characters, but it’s relatively minimal. I am not done with the game, but so far there hasn’t been any fanservice except for some disproportional body types on some females.

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Wrapping It Up

If you are looking for a fun way to beat up ninjas, thieves, and other baddies with anime characters in ancient Japan, then this is the game for you! Unfortunately, the plot has holes everywhere and will leave you scratching your head, but there are lots of extra missions and features to keep you busy regardless, and ending that is stronger than the rest of the game would lead you to believe is coming.

Score: C-


Thank you NIS America for providing this game for review. You can pick up your own copy on Amazon!

2 thoughts on “Review: Utawarerumono Zan (PS4)

  1. For what it’s worth, this game technically only adapts Mask of Deception; it doesn’t get into Mask of Truth at all. It actually also doesn’t even cover the entire ending to MoD, but, to be fair, it cuts out huge chunks of the rest of the game; a lot of story and character development was lost in compressing a 40-hour visual novel down into a 6-hour action game.

    The VNs themselves are really fantastic, though, and if what you saw of Zan’s ending (which was actually adapted pretty well, unlike the rest of the game) intrigued you, I’d recommend checking them out.

    1. Thanks for your insight. I haven’t played anything else of the series aside from Zan, so my knowledge is limited but I still feel they should have added more content. Making it 6 hours is too short, it could have been much longer.

      But its all good, it was fun for what it was, I am just objective with plot in games.

      I will check out the VN for it 🙂

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