Review: Zanki Zero Last Beginning (PlayStation 4)

Explore the ruins, dungeons, and islands in this post-apocalyptic world through the POV of eight protagonists as they fight for survival and search for meaning in their never-ending cycles of life and death.

Pros:

  • Vibrant Anime graphics.
  • 8.99gb download size.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • 3 difficulties that affect enemies, hazards, and rewards.
  • Text speed-auto, manual and skip.
  • Constant tutorial pop-ups.
  • Dungeon crawler gameplay.
  • Map- fills in as you play and adds points of interests and you can add your own unique markers.
  • Beautiful cutscenes.
  • Pixel art is blended into the world and used for avatars and items and really pop.
  • Base- central base of operations that you can expand/upgrade unlocking new options.
  • Team formation layout menu.
  • Mechanics at play- health/hunger/stress/bladder/weight.
  • Real-Time combat attacks both normal and special work on timers and you can do chain attacks.
  • Sp-earn from leveling up and spend them on new abilities.
  • Controls-move with the d-pad.
  • Collect crafting materials from enemies and found in the world.
  • The inventory system is split with each character having their own storage.
  • Characters typically live 13 days and you can’t stop this but you can attempt to recoup memories/abilities and transfer them to a new character.
  • The lovable cast of characters.
  • Aging and elapsed days happen as you travel through dungeon floors, you can see your character age and change as you progress.
  • Visual treat.
  • Really well paced and well-told story.
  • Fun to play.
  • Combat is fun.
  • Love the mix of pixel and current graphics.
  • Beautiful world.
  • Quite a bit of freedom.

Cons:

  • Long initial load.
  • Slow starter.
  • A lot going on.
  • Saving is slow.
  • No Japanese voice option.
  • So many meters to watch and manage.
  • Spent more time looking at the map rather than the game.
  • Little replayability once you dust the story.
  • Difficulty spikes.
  • Little variation.

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Accessibility - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
9/10

Summary

Zanki Zero is a fun game, one that instantly grabs you thanks to beautiful sunny surroundings and the blend of pixel and cell shaded graphics. It really is a visual treat. I love games where you fill in the world as you play and that is just what happens here, yes you find yourself looking at the map more as the world isn’t always clear enough on available routes but still the atmosphere and dungeon layouts are so compelling. You get a lot of game for your money and with the way storytelling is done, you do have a degree of control over how it progresses but also how you interact with the world. Zanki Zero doesn’t really advance the genre or so anything that different but what it does do is give you a polished top of the pile dungeon crawling experience that is hard to put down.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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