Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 2 review: Fantastic action packed classics return on the Nintendo Switch – Eugene Sowah

Nippon Ichi Software, who are predominantly known for their Disgaea series, have gone into their vault of obscure games to re-release two cult titles for the Nintendo Switch.

Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 2 will feature two classic titles, Makai Kingdom: Reclaimed and Rebound and Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman.

Makai Kingdom: Reclaimed and Rebound first appeared on the Playstation 2 in 2005 whilst Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman was initially released on the PSP in 2010.

Both of these titles feature an anime aesthetic and creative storytelling that Nippon Ichi Software is famous for.

They both include dual audio with Japanese and English voiceovers being present.

The anime-style voice acting elevates each character, giving them life, especially in Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman.

The games may differ in gameplay but they share many similarities with Disgaea, mainly being strategy JRPGs that play out on an isometric grid.

Makai Kingdom: Reclaimed and Rebound features Nippon Ichi Software clever comedy writing


Nippon Ichi Software)

Although Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman is more of a roguelike game with some JRPG elements thrown

These classics were each praised for their creativity and the sheer amount of content available, so this is definitely a great opportunity for fans of Nippon Ichi Software.

The first game is Makai Kingdom: Reclaimed and Rebound is a spin-off of the Disgaea series that follows a powerful Overlord called Zetta who attempts to stop the destruction of his Netherworld.

He travels to the Forbidden Library to prevent this from happening, whilst there he finds a Scared Tome that can control reality. In this book, he finds a passage that says his own stupidity would be the downfall of his Netherworld.

Infuriated by this, he burns the book, only to remember immediately afterwards that destroying the book would destroy his world.

To save the tome he confines his soul within it and ventures out on an adventure to seek out other Overlords for assistance in reconstructing his Netherworld.

The character creation system is very complex


Nippon Ichi Software)

This journey will pit Zetta against rebel armies, other overlords and powerful beings in epic battles that will have life changing consequences.

Makai Kingdom: Reclaimed and Rebound seems like a really dark tale but in fact, it is probably one of the funniest games I’ve played.

Fans of the Disgaea series will be right at home with the crass humour and larger than life characters that make up this comedic but gripping adventure.

The gameplay is very similar to Phantom Brave and Disgaea: Hour of Darkness where characters summoned in battle have the freedom to move within a circle set by the characters’ movement points.

The aim of each level is to try and defeat all the enemies on each randomly generated map or get enough points to take over the maps.

Players will have access to mostly eight characters at a time with some stages restricting this. Each of these characters will be able to execute specific attacks depending on their equipped weapon.

The gameplay is very much like Disgaea with a few extra additions


Nippon Ichi Software)

There are various character classes and a variety of weapons each with its own expansive sets.

Each character class has four weapon types that they can use in battle and will be able to gain access to new moves as they become more proficient with that weapon.

Character creation or recruitment can be rather complex as it requires players to find the right item to transmute it into the desired character.

The trouble is there are so many items to choose from each with various stats that will determine how powerful your character is.

This massive amount of choice is great to have as players can mix and match so many different character classes resulting in multiple strategies, but that in itself gets convoluted, and players are bound to get overwhelmed.

Players will also be able to reincarnate their characters to move them up a tier, but this system can also be quite complex.

There are so many character combinations and strategies to be discovered


Nippon Ichi Software)

Combat does feel very similar to other games from Nippon Ichi Software’s back catalogue, with skills like being able to lift and throw characters for ring outs.

However Makai Kingdom: Reclaimed and Rebound does have its own unique features such as being able to build Facilities.

Facilities are buildings that can be placed on the map and store mass amounts of characters, items and vehicles. Each of the Facilities comes with its own special characteristics and abilities that will aid players in battle.

Players will be able to take cover inside or above them and the Facilities can be used as a wall to slow down enemies.

Another extra feature is being able to create Vehicles, which allow characters to move further and unleash powerful attacks. However, these vehicles will count as part of the player’s character limit for each stage.

This version of the game also includes Petta mode


Nippon Ichi Software)

They are a great addition but can be a pain to level up and heal if damaged, so they can be a huge risk if not efficient.

In this new version of the game, Nippon Ichi Software has included new characters and the PSP’s version Petta mode, which adds Zetta’s daughter and extra scenarios.

Makai Kingdom: Reclaimed and Rebound is a very long story that is filled with multiple endings.

Beating the main game isn’t such a difficult task in itself but if players want to find all the hidden bosses and stages, they will need to put in a hefty amount of hours.

Makai Kingdom: Reclaimed and Rebound is a fun title that mixes the best mechanics from Nippon Ichi Software’s past games while presenting new ideas. The endless amount of content will please any fans of the genre.

Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman is another hilarious story from Nippon Ichi Software


Nippon Ichi Software)

The second game is Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman which steps away from the gothic setting that Nippon Ichi Software is known for.

Rather this story follows a simple main protagonist, who after the death of the hero Absolute Victory Unlosing Ranger inherits his title.

After the freak car accident that killed the previous hero, the main character is tasked with defeating Demon General Darkdeath Evilman and rescuing Super Baby.

However, the main character is instantly defeated which puts him on a path to become stronger to eventually defeat the Demon General.

Like most games from Nippon Ichi Software, the writing and comedic acting is top tier here with the brazen cast of characters really standing out from a lot of their other games.

Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman is really entertaining with enough variation within its story to not feel too similar to other games from Nippon Ichi Software.

There is an heavy emphasis on customisation


Nippon Ichi Software)

Unlike other games from Nippon Ichi Software, Z.H.P. is a roguelike dungeon crawler that takes place on a similar isometric map.

The crux of gameplay consists of players traversing randomly generated dungeons in an attempt to reach the Demon General for the destined final showdown.

Every time a player dies their character will be revived at Level 1 but all their stats will carry over, much like the reincarnation system from Disgaea.

However, players will lose all their non-saved items and gain a trauma, which means that your character will gain a phobia of the enemy type that killed him resulting in higher damage from that type in your next run.

Gameplay may be somewhat different but many themes and mechanics return from past games such as being able to lift and throw enemies.

At the end of each chapter, the player must return to Earth to challenge the Demon General in a turn-based RPG battle which is a fun surprise after all the dungeon crawling.

Battles take place in randomly generated dungeons


Nippon Ichi Software)

But the main beauty of Z.H.P. is the depth of customisation available to make your character as strong as it can be.

Players will have access to an abundance of items that they can mix and match to create a very unique hero.

It’s actually insane the amount of equipment and costumes available which may seem a little daunting at first but will keep players on their toes, striving to find the right combination.

The hero also has access to a Shadowgram which is a system that allows players to attach items to their character in the form of chips, resulting in permanent stat bonuses.

During each mission, players will also have access to their home base where they can upgrade at various different facilities.

Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman is a great new spin on Nippon Ichi Software’s signature formula to create something that is new and brilliant while being familiar.

The depth of the customisation will keep players engaged for hours on end to find that perfect combination if there is one.

Verdict 4/5

Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 2 is a great bundle of classic titles that showcase some of Nippon Ichi Software’s strongest titles outside of the Disgaea series.

I strongly recommend that fans of the genre and their work pick these up as they provide hours of endless fun and complex challenges with plenty of replay value.

Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 2 is out on the Nintendo Switch 13 May

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