Project X Zone Hands On: Street Fighter In Sakura Wars’ World

By Spencer . January 23, 2013 . 4:10pm

pxsidea-1 Project X Zone is scheduled to come out in English this summer. We played a little bit of the Japanese version and one of the stages is set in the Great Imperial Playhouse from Sakura Wars.


The mission starts with Soma from Gods Eater Burst and Ryu from Street Fighter talking about what kind of world this is. Players get the following teams (arranged by initial turn order):


Gods Eater team Soma and Alisa + solo unit Lindow

.hack team Kite and BlackRose

Valkyria team Kurt and Riela + solo unit Imca

Sakura Taisen team Gemini Sunrise and Erica Fontaine + solo unit Ulala

Street Fighter team Ryu and Ken + solo unit Devilotte


Units in Project X Zone come in pairs, but you can make a three person team by adding a solo unit. In the demo, solo units are set, but you can pair Space Channel 5’s Ulala with Ryu and Ken if you want.



Project X Zone uses a tactical RPG system. Players move active units like Soma and Alisa on the map using the slide pad. Holding B while moving a unit makes the character dash. The d-pad zooms in and out and rotates the map. You can also use the touch screen to scan the map and view other units on the battlefield. If you want to scan all of the enemy units its probably faster to press L or R to cycle through them. The bottom screen shows the turn order for all of the characters too.


The teams I saw in Project X Zone can attack enemies up to two squares away, so you don’t have to stand up to an enemy to strike them. It’s important to have an ally unit in your yellow (attack) range. This allows you to summon a partner for one attack during a skirmish. If you have a solo unit too, you can have five characters on the screen mauling one enemy. All of your team’s attacks are done with the A button, but you can change the attack if you press up+A or right+A. You call in a solo unit with the L button and a support unit with R. The key to fights is chaining your attacks.



While you can mash the A button, you actually do less damage that way. Every time you press A and input a new command you cancel your combo into a new attack. So, mashing A limits the amount of damage you do. When you get your XP (not to be confused with EXP for experience points!) full, you can do a super attack like Data Drain. Super meter attacks always connect with your combo, but you have to wait until all partner and solo characters are off screen before you can use a super move.


After the first enemy encounter, Sakura and Ichiro show up who Erica and Gemini recognize. Their reunion is interrupted when Ayame, a villain from the Sakura Wars universe, shows up with three alien-like creatures.


image Project X Zone doesn’t waste time showing attack animations for regular enemies like Gods Eater Burst’s Ogretails or Space Channel 5’s Moralians. Since Ayame is a boss character, the game shows he whipping your ally characters. When an enemy attacks a unit you can block to reduce damage by spending 20 XP. If you’re an offensive player, you can counterattack for 20 XP, but counterattacks aren’t full attacks. You only get one turn for you and a solo unit to strike. If a character is about to die, you might want to use full defense which completely shields a character from an attack at the cost of 60 XP. Alternatively, you can choose none of these options to preserve XP for a super move, which costs 100 XP to do. Weak enemies do the same amount of damage as healthy enemies, so like other strategy RPGs you want to focus on eliminating units first. Incapacitated ally units remain on the map, but turn green so you can’t move them.


Since Ayame was the targetm I tried to ignore the small fry enemies and moved my units to support Sakura and Ichiro who were closer to Ayame. It took a few turns to move all of my units into battle position, but when they were ready I relentlessly attacked Ayame. Each skirmish whittled down about 15% of her HP (thanks to support units) and after two turns Ayame was finished. Victory, but that was only a slice of Project X Zone.

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  • Ereek

    Ohayou~ Ohayou~ Bonjour~~!

    I can’t wait for Team Sakura Taisen.

    • pressstart

      Same here! It’s my #1 reason for wanting this game!!! With them retaining their original Japanese voices, squeeeee!!!!

    • MrTyrant

      “Ohayou~ Ohayou~ Bonjour~~!”

      My Ogami face at that moment:

      • MrSirFeatherFang

        I need to play this…

      • Göran Isacson

        I have no idea what I just watched, but judging from the guys expression I am not alone in that sentiment.

        • MrTyrant

          You just watched Erika amazing morning dance. You will never have a nun waking you up like that in your room.

          • Göran Isacson

            The strangest thing is that I’m not sure if I’m glad or sad about that fact.

  • I haven’t even played Space Channel 5, but I’m so excited to see Ulala again. She just looks like she’ll be fun!

    • Kibbitz

      Her support attack is amusing, she summons Oppa Oppa from Fantasy Zone, the Space Harrier guy and the robot from Alien Storm to aid in the attack. In a way, because of this, she’s the only one to represent old era Sega, everything else Sega here is from the Saturn era onwards.

  • Haseyo

    This is a good breakdown, I’ll use it as a miniguide for now. Comon UPS, get here already ; ;

  • IshimaruKaito


  • Kibbitz

    Some additional notes to supplement Spencer’s points.

    1) Attack ranges for units range from 1-4, your guys usually have 2 to 3. This can be boosted via use of specific skills, but IIRC it still cannot exceed 4 no matter how you try to stack it.

    2) You can only get support attacks from allies if they’re in any of the 8 squares surrounding your unit, simply having them in your attack range doesn’t work.

    3) If you look at the 3rd image in this article, you can see 3 circles above your XP gauge on the bottom right. Those circles represent the unique attacks that you can make by pressing A or A and a specific direction. You start with A, A+Left and A+Right and 3 attacks. As you level up, you’ll get A+Up and A+Down, and can perform up to 5 attacks per turn. These attacks all have different properties in terms of how much XP/Super gauge they build, damage, guardbreaking, stun or knockback, so experimenting with them is helpful and indeed, part of the fun.

    Every time you use an attack, the marker is greyed out to indicate that you’ve done it this turn. If you use all the different attacks that your pair can do, they actually reset the counter and allow you one last free attack, so it’s usually best to try to use every move in your arsenal for the free hit. There are, though, a few times where it’s more worthwhile to try to go for knockback, stun or gauge building, so that’s something to think about.

    4) Support attacks aren’t there just for damage, they also mean a lot to your XP gauge. Your XP gauge usually caps out at 100%, and the only way to push it up to 150% is to build gauge via Cross combos. This is done by hitting the enemy with both your pair’s attacks and that of any supporting character, be it from another pair nearby or the attached solo unit.

    5) The number of attacks you can do on a counterattack is equal to the number of attacks you can do regularly -2. There are specific characters with skills that give +1 to Counterattack, so that can drop to a -1, I don’t think you can fully negate the penalty.

    6) Your characters will get more active and passive skills as they level up. Pay attention to your passives (they’re called AUTO skills here.) Some of them trigger when your XP gauge is at a certain level while others trigger when the pair’s HP is at a certain level. For example, the X and Zero pair has the following where X’s increases all stats by 10% when XP is at 120% or higher, while Zero’s decreases all active skill costs by 20% when XP is at 100% or lower. This gives you an incentive to manipulate your XP gauge and HP as needed for some of these AUTO skills to trigger.

    7) The XP gauge mentioned is a common gauge shared by all allied characters on the map, so you really need to be a little mindful of it when managing it since it’s pretty easy to have most of your XP sapped away doing Defends on enemy turns. The enemy also has a similar bar in the lower left corner, called EP, which also caps out at 150%. Hitting enemies and having them hit you increases that, and just like you, certain enemies can throw AOEs or Supers once enough EP is accumulated (100 for the super, can’t remember the AOEs). Managing that helps a lot in later stages.

    There’s a lot of small little details and nuances to this game that you can make use of which can make your life a lot easier, all of this is available in a tutorial section in the database section if you’re willing to read.

    • Covnam

      Are attacks set up like in Super Robot Taisen OG Saga Endless Frontier? (if you’re familiar with that game…)

      • Kibbitz

        I assume when you say setup, you mean setting up queues of attacks and picking from the ones you’ve made in combat and then just timing your A presses. If so, no, it’s not, it’s like Namco x Capcom where your attack options are mapped to A and A+direction, so when you want to input another attack, you press A or A+direction for the attack you want if it’s available and if you have spare attacks left.

        • Covnam

          Awww, that’s too bad. I really enjoyed that system and from the way it looked I hoped it was using a similar setup. Thanks for clarifying that.

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