Mind Zero Review

Unleash your MINDs

Mind Zero Screen 9

Finally arriving on western shores, Mind Zero is that so unfortunately common JRPG, the one that flies under the radar for many. Developers Acquire and ZeroDiv have created a dungeon crawler with a striking resemblance to the Persona series, taking certain aspects from other JRPGs, yet somehow setting to itself apart in various ways. But, crucially, does it have what it takes to be that unique JRPG that gains a deserved cult following, or is it just another title bound to obscurity.

Mind Zero follows a stereotypical cast of high school students, all the way up to a detective, as they defend the human realm from creatures called MINDs. To battle these wild MINDs, they must use their persona-like MINDs to combat them, sound familiar? While defending the human realm, this team of JRPG tropes must uncover the truth behind what these MINDs are, and how they’re finding a way into the human realm.

For those looking to get to action quickly will, quite honestly, be disappointed. This is a slow starter, you’ll probably even dread the first few hours spent with Mind Zero. However, things do pick-up gradually, and soon the world and characters have you intrigued. and, as the story progress, you begin to learn more about your team and the stories that made them who they are today – usually told through rather throwaway dialogue, or occasionally conversations of interest.

Working in a similar fashion to Etrian Odyssey, or Demon GazeMind Zero’s gameplay is that of a dungeon crawler from the first-person perspective. You explore various dungeons, each with multiple floors, choosing to continue with the main story or run off completing side-quests. Once you enter a battle, things go turn-based, and this is where Mind Zero really shines.

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Battles require you to really think strategically, by using the power of your MINDs (see what I did there), you can shield your more fragile characters. And thanks to a MINDs’ variety of skills, you can launch some rather decent offensives, which is something your standard party member cannot. However, once your MIND dies, you’re defenceless. Therefore it’s important to remember to activate and deactivate your MIND accordingly. Thinking ahead of your enemies is crucial, especially with the spikes in difficulty as you progress through the story.

MINDs’ skills are also quite customizable. Levelling up allows your MIND to gain an additional skill slot. Here you can equip a whole manner of attained skills, usually acquired through battle or found in chests. As you’d expect, this means you can balance your team accordingly, having well-rounded individuals, or members dedicated to a specific set of skills like healing or buffs, elemental attacks or just plain brute force.

Graphically, Mind Zero really doesn’t benefit much from being on PlayStation Vita. It really does just look like a PSP game, with characters looking quite blocky with stiff animations to boot. On the plus side, the beautiful and detailed character portraits and stylish menu layout really do make up for it; and voice acting for each character goes well with their stereotypes, be in English or Japanese. The soundtrack, on the other hand, is a bit hit-or-miss, with certain tracks offering some well composed songs alongside some really to hard-to-listen tracks that annoy.

Mind Zero is a good JRPG dungeon crawler. But that’s really about it. It’s just good. It doesn’t excel where others have failed, nor does it fail where others have failed. It may be taking on the well-established Persona series, and borrowing some ideas from it heavily, but for those looking for another JRPG for their Vita collection, Mind Zero is quite simply the answer you’re looking for. Just come into it with an open mind first.

TheGamersHub Score
Reviewer: Chris C
+ Pros

+ Intriguing story

+ Deep strategic combat

+ Beautiful and detailed character portraits

- Cons

- Blocky character and enemy models with stiff animations

- Very slow beginning

- Borrows heavily from other JRPGs


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