NIS Classics Volume 2 is another addition to the ongoing compilations NIS has as of late, bringing their older titles to modern consoles and to a newer generation.
The games in this edition are ZHP and Makai Kingdom. ZHP is roguelite while Makai Kingdom is the typical NIS JRPG strategy game. Both games as before are the typical attack and dethrone God types theme.
ZHP focuses on a superhero concept that parodies the tropes of what superhero culture were in the 2000s like in Viewtiful Joe. Makai Kingdom is a spin off from the Disgaea series and ZHP is also part of the Disgaea universe. ZHP is beginner friendly for those new to roguelites since it eases you in as the tutorials are easy enough to understand for new and veterans of the genre. ZHP was also the first roguelite by NIS and it eventually paved the way for the Guided Fate series of roguelites by NIS.
The Home Base is where players can navigate the games numerous dungeons, sell and store items they collected and interact with NPCs. The home base can be customized with a variety of facilities, each of which features a unique mechanic that players can use to help them in dungeons. The facilities themselves can be further customized by changing the NPCs in charge of the facilities' functions.
The characters can be customized in ZHP and this is an important part of the gameplay. Items can be equipped that can alter the main characters appearance and abilities. The grid-based Body Modification system can be used to boost the player’s base attributes and improve other aspect such as an increased item-carrying capacity or improve the performance of some equipment.
At the end of each chapter, the player must return to Earth and fight gleefully named Darkdeath Evilman. These battles are different from the main gameplay in that they are based on turn-based RPG battles. The visual style of these battles changes at various points in the story which makes it more enjoyable.
Etanger in ZHP was really obnoxious and instead of being comedic they came across as condescending and just someone you honestly rather get away from. Even the hero’s own family were so unpleasant I honestly just skipped whatever scene they were in just to avoid how cringey they were. Etanger belonged in the netherworld as an overlord trainer than really a hero trainer.
Makai Kingdom is focused on earning as much points as possible in randomly generated maps to take out as much enemies as you can. It’s the typical strategy formula as mentioed for a NIS JRPG and you can earn extensions to the map depending on how much you discovered while on it in battle. While admittedly I am pretty inexperienced with the genre of roguelites, I can’t say I am particularly fond of losing items and grinding progress anytime I may die. You can still level up and get stat bonuses after dying something you can still see somewhat in Disgaea 6. You earn a random kind of fear depending on the type of enemy that killed you and the only way to get rid of it is to defeat the same kind of enemy that killed you. Otherwise, the characters were tropey as ever and the voice acting fits them too and pretty much as always much of the villains are cartoonishly evil.
The artstyle and character designs of both games were very outstanding while the music was enjoyable.
Overall, it was another decent compilation of the games and the newer generation of gamers can experience a bit of game history.
It gets 4 out of 5 stars.
Next up will be NIS Classics Volume 3. Rhapsody A Musical Adventure, will get a huge focus especially given how lately there seems to be a revitalized interest in the Shoujo side of Japanese pop culture.