Looks like Capcom and Namco are taking another kick at the Namco x Capcom can, and inviting Sega along for the ride.
The game is an SRPG for the 3DS, and screens indicate it will follow the Namco x Capcom formula, which itself is kind of a more action heavy, less strategic take on Banpresto's (who are now owned by Namco) Super Robot Wars games. Which are already pretty light on real strategy to begin with. These games do not follow the Tactics Ogre model of SRPGs, but are instead an excuse for fan-favourite characters to pull off spiffy looking special attacks against enemies that are pretty much damage sponges.
I'm sure most of you remember Namco x Capcom, at least in passing. It was a really neat idea, but was never localized. It was also not that great of a game, once you get past the pretty good sprite work. The actual gameplay was very repetitive. I played an import copy way back when it was released and even the few hours I put into it showed that it would not have lasting appeal. Everything about it just took so long, and the cool parts, where the player can actually press buttons and make shit happen, were too brief. A lot of SRPGs suffer from being way too slow, even SWR games can have that problem (but at least there are options to speed things up).
The game is not
a sequel to Namco x Capcom, which is one of the reasons it's named Project X Zone and not Namco x Capcom x Sega. That means that the original characters created to be the main protagonists for Namco x Capcom won't be back (at least not as the main characters). Since there are no story details there's no way to tell who will lead this one, or if they'll make up some new characters to do the narrative heavy lifting. According to the Famitsu interview the game is 50% complete.
Haven't found any real details about the game's story yet, but the 3 companies have released their initial character rosters. This is the interesting part, because unlike Namco x Capcom, which was full up with characters from obscure and Japanese-only games and franchises, pretty much every character announced so far would be at least familiar to a Western audience. Makes localization seem a bit more likely?
Keep in mind that, like Namco x Capcom, most of the time each unit will be a combination of 2 characters.
Capcom. Are they still trolling fans? Or are they getting better? You decide. They've announced Ryu + Ken, Megaman X + Megaman Zero, Demitri (Darkstalkers, was in Namco x Capcom) + Dante (looks like DMC1 Dante), and Chris Redfield + Jill Valentine (from Revelations, so that's still large Chris, but at least Jill has her proper hair colour). Yeah, so the Jill most people like, but still no Megaman.
Namco. In Namco x Capcom there were a lot of obscure Namco characters from Tower of Druaga and a bunch of Japanese only games and Tales characters from games that never got localized. This time their initial roster looks like it would have a much wider appeal: Sanger Somvold (a SRW character that's actually been in a game released outside of Japan, and without his robot in normal combat), Jin + Xiaoyu (Tekken), KOS-MOS + T-elos (evil KOS-MOS), Yuri + Estel (Tales of Vesperia), and Kaito + Black Rose (./hack). No Soulcalibur characters yet, but otherwise a very reasonable starting lineup.
Sega is the new kid here, and you'd think they might have less characters to bring to the table in a more serious and action heavy game like this. I mean, Sonic would be pretty out of place. But still manage to bring characters that Western audiences can at least potentially be familiar with. Their roster: Akira + Pai (Virtua Fighter), Shinguji Sakurai + Ogami Ichiro (Sakura Wars, and without spirit armour), Kurt + Riela (Valkyria Chronicles), and Toma + Cyrille (Shining Forces EXA) along with Ulala from Space Channel 5.
There are magazine scans here
and more Famitsu pics here
The producers are Tatsuya Kitabayashi from Capcom, who has worked on a bunch of their stuff including some Megaman X games, was the producer for Megaman Legends 3 before it was cancelled, and worked on Steel Battalions, along with Yasushi Yamashita from Sega, and Kensuke Tsukanaka from Namco.
What Namco x Capcom looked like in action: