Utawarerumono Zan Image
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58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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3.6

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: Unveil a lost legend in a new light with Utawarerumono: Zan! This action-packed brawler is a reimagination of the story of Haku, a man with no memories, and the great conflict that consumes the land he calls home. Venture through dynamic battlefields, unleash devastating special moves, andUnveil a lost legend in a new light with Utawarerumono: Zan! This action-packed brawler is a reimagination of the story of Haku, a man with no memories, and the great conflict that consumes the land he calls home. Venture through dynamic battlefields, unleash devastating special moves, and experience a grand tale of war and destiny. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. 80
    Utawarerumono: ZAN is a great hack and slash introduction to the greater Utawarerumono storyline. Perhaps not one for series purists given it retreads a previous game's plotline.
  2. 80
    Utawarerumono Zan is obviously a limited game, but as the first attempt to expand the Utawarerumono property beyond its roots, it's a good first step. The action is as fluid and enjoyable as we've ever seen in a Tamsoft game, and your favourite Utawarerumono character's personality and fighting style has been recreated expertly. It might be one for existing fans only, but I would hope that anyone who plays the original visual novels (and you really should) is an "existing fan," and will therefore also love this.
  3. Sep 9, 2019
    72
    If you're a fan of Utawarerumono and like the idea of a Dynasty Warriors spin-off then you're sure to love what ZAN has to offer. Between the rewarding gameplay and the vast amount of content to work through, there's a lot to enjoy.
  4. Sep 23, 2019
    59
    Although the concept of Koeis musou action works with the heroes of Utawarerumono the scuffproof mechanics feel unsophisticated and rather unspectacular.
  5. Oct 9, 2019
    50
    Utawarerumono Zan is a remake of the first episode with muso phase instead of tactical RPG ones. The result is not bad, but the visual novel part suffers from all those changes.
  6. Sep 20, 2019
    50
    Utawarerumono: Zan is only for the most dedicated of fans to the series. Newcomers will be lost by the incredibly brisk and abbreviated story, and even though the combat is fun and the characters unique, there are just so many other Warriors-style games out there that provide fun gameplay and addictive action without slacking on the story. Hardcore Utawarerumono might get more pleasure out of this game than fresh faces would, but are sure to be just as disappointed by how thoroughly the story has been butchered.
  7. Sep 23, 2019
    45
    It feels like a game created mainly to remind people that the franchise still exists, rather than actually satisfy those who'd deign to play it. Utawarerumono fans are better off waiting for Utawarerumono: Prelude ot the Fallen (a remake of the first game in the trilogy due out next year), while newcomers are advised to pick up Mask of Deception and Mask of Truth, or even just watch the anime instead.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Sep 27, 2019
    8
    It's not amazing, but if you're a fan of Utawarerumono and just want to beat up mooks with your favorite characters from Mask of Deception,It's not amazing, but if you're a fan of Utawarerumono and just want to beat up mooks with your favorite characters from Mask of Deception, you'll have a fun time with this.

    To get it out of the way first -- this game covers the events of Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception, but in an extremely abridged form. MoD is a 40-hour visual novel and it takes about 6 hours to beat the story mode in this game. Zan cuts out entire characters and story arcs in order to compress everything down, and it doesn't add anything new. If you're only here for the story -- which is fair, if you're a fan of the visual novels -- there's nothing here for you. If you haven't played MoD, this game is just going to feel choppy and confusing.

    The rest of the game fares much better, though. The graphics are good and the soundtrack is great; it's filled with high-energy remixes of Utaware tracks, and the special edition is almost worth buying for the soundtrack along. The gameplay isn't incredible, but it's fun; you pick a character and run around beating up lots of enemies. There's some variety to missions, and there are some that involve destroying objects or gathering resources instead of killing enemies. Every character is unique and plays differently, and the controls are responsive. Multiplayer also works perfectly well, although you may have trouble finding an online group if you don't have friends who you can get to play the game with you.

    The worst aspect of the game is the lack of content. Like I mentioned earlier, you can beat the story mode in under 6 hours, and even if you do all of the optional content in the game, you can get the platinum trophy in 15. It's nice if you want a quick platinum, but it's up to you whether that's worth paying full price for the game.
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  2. Sep 17, 2019
    7
    Snappy Game Reviews - Utawarerumusou? 

    The hard to pronounce and just as difficult to type Utawarerumono series has managed to pique my
    Snappy Game Reviews - Utawarerumusou? 

    The hard to pronounce and just as difficult to type Utawarerumono series has managed to pique my interest ever since it released on the PS4 because of its gorgeous artwork and also because it looked like a turn-based strategy game like Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics. The thing that kept me from ever picking these games up was the fact that everyone kept bringing up how these were mostly visual novels with tidbits of gameplay thrown in between. This by itself wouldn't put me off as I've played and enjoyed many visual novels in the past but the theme of feudal japan war drama didn't win me over. However, the idea of beating people up in feudal japan by mashing buttons did seem like something up my alley, which is why I felt excited about Utawarerumono: Zan, a hack-and-slash game that reimagines the events of Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception.

    The game starts right away with some exposition about the main character who one day finds himself wandering around a snowy area without any memories of his past or himself. Just as he was about to get killed by a monster he's saved by a girl wielding mysterious powers named Kuon. She names the amnesic man Haku and they set off on a journey together. Right after these two characters are introduced you're thrown into a bug extermination mission with two other fellows only to have another shift of events right after. I knew beforehand that there would be no way someone could pull off an abridged version of sorts of a visual novel that would make any sense for someone unfamiliar to the source material but I had no idea how jarring it would be. The plot kept jumping everywhere and made no sense after the first few chapters, at this point I simply stopped trying to understand what was going on and simply enjoyed the gameplay and the visuals. Zan is clearly targeted to fans of the series but despite this, there's still a lot to appreciate in this hack-and-slash.

    As stated before, Zan is an action game where you slice and dice hundreds of enemies at a time in the same vein as Dynasty Warriors and other musou. Most of the time you'll be chaining combos with the square and triangle buttons while avoiding taking damage to build up your chain meter and reap bigger rewards. Said rewards might be standard power-ups, materials or money which can be used in a gacha system to obtain new equipment or randomly improve the one that you already own. By taking down enemies you'll also build a special gauge which allows you to do either a special attack that varies depending on which character you're controlling at that time, for example, Haku has a very helpful healing aura while the righteous warrior Ukon has a super fancy slice attack that inflicts a ton of damage. There's also a finisher technique that every character has after reaching level 25 but by then you'll be nearly done with the main story anyway so you'll only put it to good use if you dabble in the extra modes or decide to play the game a second time on a harder difficulty setting.
    While the gameplay was mostly what you'd expect from a game of the genre I was really surprised by the mission variety on offer in Zan. Besides your typical getting from point A to point B and killing a given amount of a certain enemy type there were a couple of different missions that really stood out such as the one where you're running away from a giant bug and another one where you have to destroy vents in order to freeze a lab room. All of this high octane action is presented in a very slick and smooth 3D engine that never faltered during my time with the game. It might not push the hardware to its limits but highly stylized games like Zan don't really need that level of detail to look great.

    Beating the main story won't take you too long even if you're not familiar with the genre, we were able to complete all its nearly 20 chapters and see the credits roll in about 5-6 hours. The game was a lot more forgiving than other games in the genre, despite having a bit of a difficulty spike towards the end I'd say I had a harder time keeping up with the plot. Once you're done with the main game mode you might want to max out every character and unlock a couple of extra things such as BGM's in Free Play (which can be played online with up to four people) or go through the story once again in a higher difficulty, other than that there are a few in-game achievements that you might want to look out for and little else.

    Utawarerumono: Zan was a surprisingly fun albeit confusing for someone unfamiliar with the series. Aquaplus and Tamsoft really outdid themselves in terms of mission variety and character move-sets making Zan my favourite of their vast repertoire without breaking any new ground and at the cost of feeling somewhat formulaic. Now if you excuse me, I need to get myself ready for when Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen comes out.
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