|Game Name||Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman|
Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman is a RPG video game published by NIS America released on October 25th, 2010 for the PlayStation Portable.
Review by CheeseCake:
Z.H.P Unlosing Ranger is developed by Nippon Ichi Software and localized by NIS America.
In the year 20XX, a prophecy told of an infant who would be the catalyst for an unprecedented danger to the world. “The child born on 6AM on the 6th day of the 6th month shall wield unlimited power in order to save the world.” The people called this infant, Super Baby, and pampered her as their savior. This peace would not last long as the Demon General: Darkdeath Evilman comes to kidnap the child.
Now onto the actual story.
You, the unnamed protagonist, witness the death of Absolute Victory Unlosing Ranger, Pirihiko Ichimonji, from a quite random motor accident. He glances at you and decides you need to take on the role of the Unlosing Ranger. Pirihiko was initially supposed to fight Darkdeath but he died…. So now you have to challenge him. During your first battle, the graphics looks oddly….old school. And you died!!!!! But don’t worry, you were transported to a secret facility where you will be training yourself to continuously challenge Darkdeath.
So What is this Exactly?
Z.H.P is a third person dungeon crawler that uses a randomly-generated dungeon system. It uses a grid-based movement system.
It’s really hard to explain all the complicated mechanics of this game since the characters explain it much better in the actual dialogue at a decent pace.
The Game Mechanics
The Home Base
Your secret training facility. Most of the major NPCs will be available here after progressing through the story and set up their facilities. (There will be a limited base editor later to do this when you actually gain facilities)There are facilities like Home, Blacksmith, Dark Clinic, and The Caravan,These facilities provide assistance in the Dungeons with the Facil. option in Battle Menu. For example, Home provides a free lunch when you’re low on food. Blacksmith lets you repair one piece of equipment in the middle of dungeons.Character Customization: Equipment
You can use all sorts of equipment from Swords, Daggers, and Spears to Guns, Fists, Grappling Hooks. And that’s just weapons. They can also use Head Gear, Leggings, Back Accessories, and Body. All the equipment have actual uses so it’s not all about looks.Each piece of Equipment has stat % boosts, and a Passive/Active Skill/Special on it. Most of them are Actives and the animations are Disgaea/Super Robot Taisen level over-the-top flashiness. The Equipment has Durability on it and when it lowers to a certain point, it’s effectiveness is diminished and you would have to repair it at the Blacksmith.(Honestly, obtaining new equipment is more cost effective than actually repairing.)The Stats are HP, SAT, SDF, LAT, LDF, HIT, and SPD.
HP: Increases your overall health.
SAT: Melee ATK. Affects weapons that are physical in nature like Daggers, Swords, and Arm weapons.
SDF: Melee DEF. Protects you against physical close range attacks.
LAT: Ranged ATK: Affects weapons that are ranged in nature such as Staves and Guns.
LDF: Ranged DEF: Protects against long ranged attacks
HIT: Your accuracy obviously.
SPD: This determines you Evade rate.Saved Deaths
The first thing I should tell you is this game has a unique death system. Instead of receiving a Game Over upon death, you are sent back to your Home Base with MOST of your equipment and Inventory gone.
Don’t even try to restart. Your death has been auto-saved. Closing the game in the middle of a dungeon gives the same effects of death and you also lose save progress, lol.
This is the thing most people had gripes about but this is what dungeon crawlers were like back then. It was a sort of challenge and an actual punishment for losing. Game Overs just allowed you to restart your save file but this makes you lose something.
The dungeons are randomly-generated. The story dungeons are usually 5-15 floors and the enemies are weak cake in the beginning so you should grind on them a little before moving on to the higher floors.
You travel in four directions in a grid based movement system. The enemies usually have to either be in front of you or in their line of sight to attack you so when you’re one space apart is is best to move in another direction until they’re directly in front of you so you can perform the first attack.
You have to cast your Specials first. Select Cast and a Special first. This uses up one turn and you can unleash it on the enemy next turn. If you don’t want to wait, you can cast your Special somewhere else and use it when necessary
Like you, enemies also have Special Attacks/Skills like you. They stop and charge first for one turn then attack you with a really powerful attack, usually half your HP. You can block the attacks with the Block option in the Battle Menu but this only blocks Specials. Normal attacks still hit you so it’s really a little hard to use in crowds when multiple enemies are charging up their Specials.
There also items lying around in dungeons. Picking them up and using them is your privilege in a dungeon crawler. The loot is your life force.
In the later dungeons, item traps can appear on some rooms. These go from making you drop some items(which you can reloot afterwards) and poisoning you to making you Pitfall 1 Floor and making to get back up there
The Staircase is the exit to the next floor.
Dungeon Levels and Total Levels and the Advantages of Killing Yourself
Dungeon Level is obviously the level of your character in dungeons. Total Level is the confusing part when attempting to explain. The character’s dungeon level is reset to Level 1 every dungeon run.
When you finish a dungeon or die, your current dungeon level gets added onto the Total Level. This is how the grind in this game works, accumulating Total Levels. Total Levels at certain thresholds raise your base stats so Death is actually beneficial to some degree.
Dungeon Levels allow you to gain stat gains based to your base stats from Total Levels.
In conclusion, you should grind Total Levels. (You can go to any dungeon with barely any equipment and slay everything in sight. You can die in the process or finish the dungeon and you will have no, if any, losses.)
Character Customization: The Shadowgram
“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster”.
This is the ol’ Hero gains powers through body modification trope. You use the Dark Clinic to access your Shadowgram and convert your equipment into stat tiles to boost your base stats since Total Level thresholds get steeper as you get to high levels. Although sacrificing all those nice equipment might sound bad at the start, in the long run, it will give back so much as the extra base stats accumulate.
The Final Boss Fights (Emphasis on More Than One Hahaha)
The point of this entire game is to defeat Darkdeath Evilman but you keep losing.(And barely escape an early death)
You will literally fight him about 12 or 13 times and eventually defeat him.(It isn’t even a spoiler that you suck manufactured ass)
The graphics will get better as you progress through the story because the Sponsors don’t think you suck as much as the last time you fought Darkdeath.
On your 2nd run of the game, you will be much more powerful. If you fight Darkdeath with a certain amount of combined base stats, you actually defeat him and get an alternate ending. There’s an alternate ending for each Episode minus the Final Episode’s True Ending.
The official Z.H.P: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman trailer.( It’s actually pretty funny, especially at 2:14)
“You die.., and die again.”