I am a big fan of turn-based strategy games. If you are like a die-hard RPG gamer like me, then you would enjoy this one review about the most intriguing RPG ever made, with its trademark humor, brilliant plot and wonderfully endearing characters. The game I am referring to here is the famed Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger Vs Darkdeath Evilman. This game is brought to you by the creators of the very popular game series “Disgaea”. This debuted in Japan in 2003. Nippon Ichi software is well known for its RPG games, which leave you under its spell. The game can keep you under its hook, with its magnificent plots and wonderful visual effects. Plus with a large amount of custom content and wonderful dialogues, you’ve got a hit. I am pretty sure that you will stay glued to your PSP, playing this game with vigor and zeal, like me.
The game, Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger Vs Darkdeath Evilman is very unique. NIS is known for its humor, and this clearly shows in all aspects of game-play. The story is based upon a very simple theme – build your “character” and destroy the antagonist. To add a little spice to it, a story-arc is presented to the player. You start off as an unknown citizen in the fictitious world, a person without any credence, but as fortune would have it, you have been entrusted with the transformation belt by the protagonist, Pirohiko Ichimonji. The Unlosing Ranger is on his way to fight the Darkdeath Evilman Tanaka. As fate would have it, the unloosing ranger loses his fight with the dark death evilman and is killed in battle. You, then become the Unlosing Ranger and you are now entrusted with the job of saving the entire planet from impending doom.
Set in two parallel universes, the Earth and Bizarro Earth, the game has a very unique style. Bizarro Earth bears an uncanny resemblance to our planet. The epic battle between you, the hero of the game and the DarkDeath Evilman takes place on Earth, but you get to build up your character, strengths, power-ups and health in Bizarro Earth and not on Earth. There is a catch, however, whenever you battle DarkDeath, the events which ensue will happen on Bizarro Earth as well. The fight might be tough, but when the going gets tough the tough get going. Fortune favors the bold they say, and there are nonplayable characters who help you along the way. Etranger, Dangerama, and Noa along with the ghost of the original unloosing Ranger(who gives advice you on several occasions throughout the game as you embark on your quest) are all there to help you defeat Darkdeath Evilman. When you encounter DarkDeath for the first time, all the hopes of vanquishing him in this fight have to be thrown into the dumpster, because your character is still not strong and your defeat is imminent. Building your character is fun. You can literally build everything from scratch and then use the character you’ve created to fight and eventually defeat the enemy. Customizing your character, literally “building” it from scratch, makes the game fun to play. You can attach anything from a driller arm, or tank leg or a cannon enhancement, replacing your otherwise visceral organs. The game-play is wonderful; the dungeons and the traps contained in them are totally randomized, so you encounter a different environment altogether when you play the game again. The game also has a fancy fog of war, revealing enemies only when you explore the map. Additionally, to restrict free roaming, you are burdened with hunger – there is a hunger meter which makes it harder to move about freely. Energy points (EN) are spent whilst you travel, making it even more realistic. You can build your own base to start with and slowly expand your horizons as you progress further within the game. You start the game with a blacksmith, a general store and of course, your very own residence (fully functional, comes with a wife even!!) The visuals are pretty decent, often reminiscent of the old strategy games in the beginning but building up pace as you move along. User interactivity and gameplay is enhanced by random positioning of game elements. The game engine comes up with an entirely different theme every time, so there is no monotony.
Sounds easy does it not? But it isn’t that easy when you play it. The game’s progress is halted at various intervals by encounters with Darkdeath and the end result is inevitably your death – this means you are once again banished to Bizarro earth. The game is based upon a turn-based algorithm. So every move you make will also give enemies on the screen, a turn to make theirs. At the end of each level, your level is added up with the number of levels you gained. Dungeons imply boss fights and puzzles – you need to solve puzzles to get to the end of the dungeon where you’ll meet the boss. You may also end up finding the treasure room or the enemy headquarters as you progress through every dungeon. Now to sum it all up: Infinite combinations of weapons and body parts + random dungeons and traps + NIS trademark humor = Fun for hours together. Priced at 65 dollars, it is well worth the amount of money that you play. The game is easily one of the most popular games around, with its characteristic humor and intriguing gameplay. Z.H.P is a terrific turn-based strategy RPG packed with an excellent re-playable mode; a must-own for the PSP.