Zanki Zero: Last Beginning Image
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72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critic Reviews What's this?

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6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Summary: Play from the POV of one of eight protagonists in each chapter and explore the dungeons, towers, and islands to uncover the deadly sins of the protagonists' pasts. Hunt for materials & food while fending off monsters in real-time battle environments; but don't forget to eat, sleep, & go toPlay from the POV of one of eight protagonists in each chapter and explore the dungeons, towers, and islands to uncover the deadly sins of the protagonists' pasts. Hunt for materials & food while fending off monsters in real-time battle environments; but don't forget to eat, sleep, & go to the bathroom (seriously, it's bad for your health & fatal for your party). With every life cycle lasting only 13 days, each clone’s stats, abilities, and capabilities differ as they grow from youths to old age. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. 100
    Zanki Zero isn't really "new"; underneath the dungeon crawler window dressing it's too similar to its predecessors thematically to stand out as a bold new statement. The dungeon crawling elements work well enough, however, and it's hard to complain that the creators are sticking to their traditions when these games are so intensely intriguing and intelligent. Zanki Zero offers every bit the brilliance that Danganronpa did.
  2. Apr 15, 2019
    85
    A fantastic dungeon crawler that provides an interesting story and allows you to focus on the aspects you enjoy the most.
  3. Jun 2, 2019
    75
    Zanki Zero drops the investigations for average survival RPG gameplay and explores themes of life, death, and rebirth with a sadistic story that goes places that Danganronpa wouldn't dare explore.
  4. Apr 16, 2019
    70
    It’s the game’s zany but gripping narrative that’s the real star of the show, though. If science fiction interwoven with tales of family, loss, relationships and survival sounds like your thing, then Zanki Zero is worth a look.
  5. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    May 3, 2019
    70
    There are great ideas at play, you’ll laugh from time to time, and it’s definitely a story you’ll want to follow to the end. However, where the Danganronpa games are deliciously dark and furiously inventive, Zanki often leans on sexual innuendo to entertain when it really doesn’t need to, like a fire juggler who keeps making boob and willy jokes. [Issue#162, p.82]
  6. Jul 3, 2019
    67
    Even with its glaring flaws, no one could accuse Zanki Zero of lacking ideas. All the characters are constantly reborn clones, and their past (very brief) lives significantly impact what they do in their next lives. Plus, even though the storyline does nothing for me, it’s rare to see a game tackling themes like this head on, so I’m sure that should count for something.
  7. Jun 11, 2019
    35
    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a bit of a disaster. It looks nice on its surface, but the initially-promising setup soon devolves into complete drudgery thanks to inferior dungeon crawling, poor combat and a cast I had no empathy for whatsoever. My interest in the overall mystery got snuffed out long before it was solved.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Feb 19, 2020
    10
    This game was fantastic, they really hit it outta the park. The characters were great and you really get to understand them through out theThis game was fantastic, they really hit it outta the park. The characters were great and you really get to understand them through out the game. Its sad, happy and dark and had awesome moments and twists. If you like danganronpa characters and story this game will be right up your ally. Expand
  2. Apr 18, 2019
    10
    this game is heavily underrated, it's a bit tough to get into, but once you do, you're in for a wild ride.

    the combat system is unique, and
    this game is heavily underrated, it's a bit tough to get into, but once you do, you're in for a wild ride.

    the combat system is unique, and it works well with every other element in the game.

    but the best selling point, is the story and character design, it will stick with you.
    Expand
  3. Apr 11, 2019
    10
    Another outstanding game from the creators of dangan ronpa. The story is captivating and the characters are very interesting.
  4. Aug 15, 2020
    9
    This game is intense. Idk how anyone can say it's boring unless what you're used to is MMORPGs or creation sims where sometimes you have toThis game is intense. Idk how anyone can say it's boring unless what you're used to is MMORPGs or creation sims where sometimes you have to keep track of many several things at once. Even still, this game throws a lot at you when you start; it's a learning curve akin to "you'll either learn it, or you won't". Luckily there is a generous difficulty gauge. From some devs at Lancarse (Etrian Odyssey, several 3DS Shin Megami Tensei titles) & the writer from Danganronpa fame, Takayuki Sugawara, here we have a modern day dungeon crawler. Being posed as an old school dungeon crawler, OBVIOUSLY the graphics aren't too much to get excited for. Altogether this game is a mystery survival horror/dungeon crawler/visual novel, which is a mouthful, but I feel like that is the most accurate description. The character designs are great, even some boss designs are memorable. Great voice acting, but the real winner to write home about is the story. A pretty huge portion of ZZ is reading, if it's not the story itself, it's tutorials or one of the many journals & notes you can find. While these notes aren't always directly plot related, they do an excellent job at maintaining immersion. Sony censored a scene or two away, mostly involving young children having underwear exposed; without getting too much into the spoiler heavy plot, there are points where this happens in a non sexual manor, but was taken out of the localized versions. It's ludicrous that so many people railed against this game for that censorship, I've even seen some try to claim gameplay mechanics were removed, but this is a total lie. If "boycotting" is your way of not supporting Sony's compulsion to do such a thing, that's fine. But it's gotten out of hand how many of these "user reviews" give out zeros because they are butthurt. It's also fine if you legitimately don't enjoy the game, despite how unlikely that is if you knew anything about the game or the developers involved. For old school dungeon crawler fans, the gameplay might be a walk in the park. But for anyone unfamiliar with this genre I will say buckle up. Truly I don't think anyone was ready for this insane story though, if you have any personal trauma, this game might hit a little close to home. Incredible game, watch out for Monokuma c; Expand
  5. Apr 9, 2019
    8
    I only played about 8 hours and reached chapter 3 (or stage 3) so my review is obviously incomplete, but those 8 hours went so fast I barelyI only played about 8 hours and reached chapter 3 (or stage 3) so my review is obviously incomplete, but those 8 hours went so fast I barely noticed: the game surprised me despite its rather weird concept and the story and characters hooked me to discover more.

    Zanki Zero is a sort of blend between Zero Escape and Danganronpa - both games made by Spike Chunsoft themselves - so the style is somewhat similar when it comes to setting or at least the mentality behind the whole game: 8 people are stuck in a place called Garage Island and, supposedly, they are the last survivor of the human race and they have to help save it by using the Extend Machine in order to complete their missions. At first, they think it's a game but soon they discover that everything is more than real when two of the cast dies.

    Zanki Zero is an RPG but to be honest it has barely any RPG elements in it: leveling doesn't actually grants status bonuses but only unlocks better proficiencies and stats like better attack or cooking, meaning that you won't be grinding any levels and instead you'll be grinding mats and food for your survival. It's better to say that ZZ is more of an action adventure game, where you'll fight enemies in dungeons while also seeing cutscenes, mostly with grunts, and proceed with the plot.

    I want to start with the combat because I heard really bad comments on it, saying that it looks like etrian odyssey or other dungeon crawler RPGs...well they're partially right but it's closer to games like Dungeon Master or Legend of Grimrock instead: you don't have random battles and you can move freely during combat, which is on grids, and it's important to be able to move around while attacking or else you can die in this game. And yes, you will die...which is probably the weirdest mechanic of the entire game.

    I said that there's no progress from leveling, but that's because it's tied to the Extend Machine and its Shigabane system, which essentially rewards you for...dying. Literally.
    Whenever one character dies, their death will be recorded into the machine and the next body they'll come out will have perks that increase their stats: dying of old age grants a general buff to all stats but, for instance, dying from a physical attack might reduce the damage next time, or dying from stress or lack of sleep might give you more stamina, and so forth. In other words, you must die, a lot, in order to get the good stats and you might be grinding deaths in order to get them since there's over a hundred of them!

    Unfortunately, it's not infinite: you need to use your SCORE to clone your new body and while not expensive at first the more shigabane you get, the expensive it gets. You get SCORE from beating enemies and thankfully they do respawn, although randomly and not always timely so you can grind those score points.
    Add the fact that your characters will die after 13 days, you'll eventually have to understand the system and manage its perks properly.

    But honestly, what draws me into the game it's the story: the 8 characters aren't exactly well defined at first but the more you play, the more you want to know about them. Each dungeon is, supposedly about sin and each character is their representation, which means that not only you'll get to know them in depth but you'll also be playing from their PoV!
    Yep, each chapter (or stage) will make you play from the perspective of another survivor and you'll get to see their feelings, thoughts and mental process: you're not going to stuck with the "main" protagonist like most VN games but you'll keep jumping to each character until their story is complete. It's interesting and really hooks you in because you know what they're thinking and the game will show each part of their backstory in stylized scenes with dark figures and no voicing, which is both weird and fascinating. I played 8 hours straight because I just wanted to know what's going to happen, why did this happen, or if that character did something wrong, or why is something wrong. Even though they really don't seem to grow a lot afterward but maybe it's too early to say it.

    So, do I recommend it? Honestly yes, I do, but you must realize that this game is a little different than your usual jrpgs and it requires a little bit of patience to understand its system: the combat is simple, extremely simple, but it's also extremely simple to die from enemies (2-3 shots and you're dead) and the Clione mechanic makes the game about high-risk high reward, but that's something I haven't fully tested as of now.

    The best I can describe it is, Zanki Zero is an action adventure game with semi-survival elements and visual novel hints too, that while not perfectly flawless they make a rather intriguing and bizarre mix that I can't wait to discover more about it!.

    And considering Danganronpa and Zero Escape were already weird on their own, I hope to get the same here!
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  6. May 14, 2019
    6
    Zanki Zero has a decent story. Enough to warrant a full playthrough anyways. The story kept me entertained and motivated to complete the game,Zanki Zero has a decent story. Enough to warrant a full playthrough anyways. The story kept me entertained and motivated to complete the game, but the combat and dungeons were rather subpar. Not everything can be unlocked on a first playthrough, so multiple playthroughs are possible, albeit repetitive.

    Pros:
    -Story
    -Multiple difficulties to choose from (can even avoid combat outside of bosses almost entirely).
    -Notes ( there are things called notes that you can collect during the game that make the final chapter rather interesting)

    Cons:
    -Combat (extremely boring, real time grid based combat)
    -Dungeons ( rather lackluster, nothing particularly memorable)
    -Puzzles (mainly boring switches)
    -Open end (game sets itself up for a potential sequel, not necessarily a negative for everyone).
    -Limited supplies (Certain items are limited per chapter. Because of this you may find yourself having to wait a few chapters till you can upgrade)
    -Inventory ( Can be upgraded, but due to the limited supplies, you may be stuck with too many items and not enough space to store them till you can upgrade)

    Overall I'd recommend renting the game, or buying it at a discount. It is a decent game with a good story hindered by terrible combat and dungeons.

    (My review has nothing to do with censorship)
    Expand
  7. Apr 27, 2019
    2
    As a fan of all works of spike chunksoft I really wanted to like this game but is tedious and boring.
    The survival aspect is tedious and
    As a fan of all works of spike chunksoft I really wanted to like this game but is tedious and boring.
    The survival aspect is tedious and repetivie, dungeon are nes level of lazyness. Just walk and press switches, nothing more. The story is interesting but not enough to go over this torture. Just gonna watch gameplays.
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See all 9 User Reviews