Mugen Souls Tales – Part IV: Fight Club
In the first three parts of our Mugen Souls preview we talked about all the various elements of the game except combat. We saved this part of the gameplay for last because it is probably the most important part and in reality 90 percent of the gameplay will be spent fighting either in the main storyline worlds or in the Mugen Field.
Combat is pretty straightforward: you use your basic attacks, skills, magic, and special attacks to take down enemies and win the round. Battles are played out in turns, and a character’s level of speediness determines the order of things. Basic attacks are straightforward enough and come in short, medium and long range (guns, spears, swords, etc.) depending on what weapon you use.
Skills and magic use mana and do considerably more damage than regular attacks. Some only hit one target while others are capable of hitting multiple targets on a large portion of the battlefield. Special attacks are high profile damage dealing attacks that use the Mugen you have gained during a round along with mana. These skills at higher levels can take out a boss character in one turn.
Finally there are link attacks which don’t always do a lot of damage (at least at low levels). These link attacks allow multiple characters to team up to do goofy highly animated attacks if they are in the general vicinity of each other and the target enemy.
There are other things that the main character can do that are important like using the Peon Ball. As you collect peons your ball grows and when you meet the right criteria in a given battle it will become available as an option. The Peon Ball at high levels is a devastating attack against the entire field and it seldom ever misses. In other words, it will wipe out anything on the map that isn’t on your team.
Finally there’s an interesting system in the game that allows you to send enemies up in the air called “Blast Off.” These special attacks allow you to bounce enemies around the ground or in the air. On the ground there are other enemies and crystals that you can aim at and destroy for bonus cash and Mugen Points. In the air there are special objects that you can hit that have random effects; you could earn an item, accidently add another enemy into the field or earn extra Mugen Points and cash.
That’s pretty much all there is to combat, but there are lots of secrets to fighting against enemies – particularly in the Mugen Field – that make the gameplay a lot easier to deal with. For example, if you have read the previous previews you know that you can spend money to upgrade weapons and armor. Upgrading a sword so that it has 80,000 attack on it directly affects combat, so that attack that only did a base of 1000 damage will suddenly do so much more that you no longer have to do any math. It becomes a given that most enemies will not survive a single attack from you.
Of course some enemies that have a natural immunity to certain types of attacks, so sometimes your best skill will do zero damage. There are other kinds of skills and magic that provides support, heal you, bring you back from the dead, and buff you in various ways. If you happen to die you can simply opt to switch your dead character out for a fresh recruit from your standby roster. If all else fails you can always retreat from a battle as a last resort, though most boss battles will not allow you to be such a craven coward…
I should also mention that most battlefields have crystals on them. Some of those crystals have good effects and some don’t. The crystals that steal HP or mana away can prove to be a real challenge because they punish you on every turn you are near them. It is important to get away from these crystals as soon as possible to avoid taking damage. If you can’t do that, then the best thing you can do is bounce an enemy off it and move it away from you using a skills that support Blast Off. Unfortunately you can’t attack these crystals directly so it’s going to take some aim and some calculation to move crystals without hitting your own teammates…
Finally, let’s talk about ship to ship battles. Once in awhile (in both the main story campaign and in the Mugen Field) you will encounter ship to ship battles. These battles pit your crew against an enemy ship using a variety of defensive and offensive maneuvers. As with the Peon Ball, the more Peonx you have on hand the more hit points and attacks your ship will have access to.
While the game gives you visual hints attempting to predict what the enemy might do on the next turn, your best bet is to go with your gut and to pay attention to what the enemy is most fond of using in the first couple of rounds. Finding the pattern is key to beating an enemy rather quickly and with minimal damage to your own vessel.
Skills at your disposal include ship buffs and debuffs, healing, shields that block attacks, shields that absorb attacks and turn that damage into hit points, straight forward attacks, piercing attacks (which can break through shields), fast attacks and more. As you win battles and collect peons, your ship’s hit points and special skills will expand to the point where only the toughest of space pirates can survive a fight with your ship. Ship combat is very “rock, paper, scissors” in the way attacks work so learning the behavior of your enemy early on in a battle is key to winning quickly and decisively. While I was playing I did figure out that there is one tactic that seems to work best against most attackers, but we’ll save that information for another time…
And that’s Mugen Souls combat in a nutshell. It’s not overly complicated but it can be as deep and strategic as you want it to be depending on all the other choices you make in the game – like how you spend your money and how many peons you’ve collected…
We will have a review of the game in October when the game is finally released on PS3. In the meantime check out the rest of our Mugen Souls Tales below:Preview, PS3, RPG, Video Games comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.