January 10, 2011

Review – Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger Vs. Darkdeath Evilman

Review ZHP Unlosing Ranger vs DarkDeath Evilman
Would it shock you to learn that Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger Vs. Darkdeath Evilman was one of the best games I played in 2010? It certainly was the game with the longest, most esoteric title that anyone played in 2010. Beyond the hokey moniker however, there hides a roguelike tactical RPG that is wholly fresh, inventive, and surprisingly accessible.

Z.H.P. is a strange game, to say the least – though I use the term ‘strange’ as both a term of endearment and for descriptive purposes – the pre-title sequence warns you right off the top that the game only contains one battle, but that it’s awesomely epic. This had my interest piqued well before the title sequence and opening story portions fully introduced me to the breadth of Z.H.P.’s overt strangeness.

The opening story is told through Television news updates and eye witness accounts, global attention fixed on the scene of an epic battle that is about to take place between the supreme hero and his arch-villain nemesis. Running late to the epic showdown is our hero however, the Unlosing Ranger, and unfortunately for the well being of all mankind he is unceremoniously hit by a car and killed along the way. With his last breathe he bequeaths the Unlosing Ranger mantle to you, the accident’s sole witness.

Taking up the challenge thrust upon you, you set out for your date with destiny – the final showdown against Darkdeath Evilman, wherein you are instantly killed and sent to a realm known as Bizzarro Earth.


September 24, 2010

Delicious Culture Candy, or Unlosing Ranger – The First Ten Minutes

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 4:06 pm

Z.H.P. : Unlosing Ranger vs. DarkDeath Evilman
Housewives and children set aside their chores and Government’s watch with bated breath as the battle to determine the fate of the world is broadcast live on television. But for all the fanfare, the fated showdown between Demon General Darkdeath Evilman and the invincible Unlosing Ranger is so one-sided, with the Unlosing Ranger being invincible after all, that many simply carry on with their day, even if it includes running over said Ranger on his way to the fight.

NIS has crammed so many bits of cult love into the first ten minutes of Z.H.P. that, perhaps for the first time ever, I laughed like a lunatic at the play of it all before any actual game even begins. The game finds the means to scream at you before you even press start, warning players that there will only be one fight, but that it will be an epic and long one. From there it grabs at super hero tropes and Power Ranger oddities, 80’s apocalypse anime doom, and quick editing that offers cameo appearances from completely random characters, simply because it can.

This is NIS off their medication, with another PSP game with a very strange name (Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman) – though this time it isn’t just a case of being crazy for the sake of it, though that is ever present. There’s fertile ground for the character customization to feed naturally through the parody and knit a sweater of awesome out of the cultural threads on hand.

That the game offers customization options for the “me! me! me!” swarm I often catch myself belonging to, helps invite me into an strategy game with a wealth of customization options – without hammering me over the head at the outset, or in simpler terms, not being nearly so stuffy about it as the genre generally is.

Who doesn’t want to play a hand at customizing the ultimate hero?

As for the game that unfolds beyond the first ten minutes, stay tuned. Or if for some reason you’ve no idea what game I’m talking about, catch up with the trailer after the break.


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