Mugen Souls

I just made a continent fall in love with me and move so it joined the two others on this planet. That’s right; I am so cute I can create instantaneous continental drift.

In the universe of Mugen Souls, a Japanese-style RPG, you play Lady Chou Chou, a world-conquering tyrant in the form of a petulant little girl. She uses her various charms to turn the inhabitants of the seven worlds (each world is named after the seven colours of the rainbow) into her peons. This is how she will rule the universe.

 
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Some of Chou Chou’s peons retain their form, like her adventuring partners Altis and Ryuto. Others are turned into Shampurus: odd little rabbit heads with spaced-out eyes and chained collars. These servants are used as everything from weapons to being the prow of Chou Chou’s ship. The other characters you subdue are able to be added to your party or you can construct another member from various options using points you collect in the main game.

Yes, the game. How can I describe it? There are so many game mechanics that part way through conquering the first planet there is a joke about the addition of another mechanic. There are so many game mechanics that even when you start the third chapter there are still tutorial pop-ups. There are so many game mechanics that I can’t even begin to describe them all. And that’s not including the ship to ship space battles.

It’s turn-based fighting. Each turn your characters can attack, defend, use items (to heal of power up allies), or use skills (to damage opponents or power up allies). Players can also start linked attacks for massive damage and … interesting … animations. One involves the characters being loaded into a spinning top machine in a parody of Bakugan-style games.

The skill attacks can also use a power-up called “blast off”. These attacks send your opponents skidding around the battleground causing minor damage to anything they hit. Blast-off does deplete and the amount you use depends on how fast and how far they skid.

Chou Chou has a few more powers than her teammates. She can use a large bomb attack called a Peon Ball where a collected ball of peons (that grows during each battle) can be used as an explosive attack that is especially useful against bosses.

She can also attempt a “moe kill”. A moe kill is when she uses her particular charms to turn to convert her enemies into peons or money (G points), or to charm geographic points in order to move continents. I’m not kidding, Chou Chou can make a landmass fall in love with her. She does this by trying to match the emotion they are feeling (as shown by a fairly ambiguous emoticon) and also their tendencies. This is where the game gets weird. Ok that’s totally not true the game gets weird right at the start, but this is quite weird.

Chou Chou charms the enemies by saying three phrases. The more they match the enemy’s emotional state the more likely they will be charmed. Essentially though this means Chou Chou, who looks like a little girl, is seducing her enemies. Moreover Chou Chou can change her form. She has eight different personalities, the main one is Ego and she is joined by Ditsy, Hyper, Sadist, Masochist, Bipolar, Graceful, and Terse (or “Gothic”). If her form matches the enemy’s tendency (for example they like Sadists) then her Moe Kill phrases are more powerful.

This is a Japanese game with anime characters. That means cute girls in sexy clothes. Some, like Chou Chou, look (and sound through the voice acting) like young girls or at best young women. It is then slightly disturbing to see them in sexual circumstances. Chou Chou turning into her (much more buxom) Sadist form to charm her first conversion is a little uncomfortable, or at least would be if you had to explain it to your mum.

Even the opening sequence has Chou Chou and Altis (a female devil turned “angel”) performing a J-Pop-style song and dance, including a sequence where the Shampurus attempt to look up their short skirts (only to be kicked away). This is followed by a scene with Chou Chou and Altis both naked (covered by discreetly placed steam) in an onsen hot spring shamelessly teasing Ryuto (a male peon in love with Chou Chou) until his nose sprays blood (a common thing for anime males upon seeing naked ladies).

Mugen Souls walks a very thin tightrope line of creepy sexuality and quite funny dialogue. For example the first hero you meet (a parody of most RPG heroes) has a penchant for dressing the women of his adventuring party in bikinis; when they complain and ask for actual armour he responds: “But it has a great armour rating”.

Overall Mugen Souls is quite a fun game, though it is a Japanese RPG so expect seemingly endless screens of dialogue that can (thankfully) be skipped through if you don’t mind missing a few jokes. There is also a lot of explaining about exactly what all of the mechanics do from the Explanatory Shampuru. But you get through that and you’ve got a nice colourful game that can be a lot of fun.


Mugen Souls
"A turn-based RPG that gets weird right from the start."
- Mugen Souls
7.9
Good
 
Follow Own it? Rating: M   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 2 Hours


 

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