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A little rough gem with a lot of style

Who is Mystery Man Zero? Zero, or better ZERO, is a creature with a the face of a man, but the body of a machine, and the soul of a demon. He is a slick man. Charming and mysterious, calm but dangerous and he is sent with his partner Jonah, to hunt a dangerous demons.
He'll meet many other characters like the receptionist Eve and the mystic Fiji, civilians and demon hunters that will help him against lots of supernatural foes, and in the meantime he'll discovered his own origins...

Art is simply perfect: the author created a dark modern urban setting (ok it's Sci-fi but the appearance is more modern/cyberpunk, and this is a rare thing) with a great use and choice of the tilesets and lights. I absolutely approve the use of the portraits taken from Persona, some have different expressions and they also match perfectly with the charsets, characters are interesting and full of personality. I think that Yeaster made good games (someday I'll review the others), like Onyx, Onyx 2 Clinging Soul, Vanity, Total Chaos and Complete chaos... but for the graphic choices I've always been put off: there are mixed styles used for the charsets, sometimes they even do not match the sprite, and while the story may be good and really Persona-style, there was something in the graphics that made me uncomfortable and turned me off.
This isn't the case of Mystery Man Zero at all! Everything is coherent and done with attention to detail (no flashy bright colors here!), I was only astonished because at first I expected an horror game (the locations are really dark, and the enemies are a bunch of bizarre monsters - they said DEMONS! Sprites are taken from Persona and Phantasy Star, a good choice since they are not cute/super deformed opponents, but realistic, weird and fits well with the style) instead it's a sort of futuristic noir story with aliens, starring a sort of blindfolded special agent with and allies.
Dialogues are simple and effective and despite the serious tone of the quest there is some humor too!

I approve the music choice (mainly from Persona, too) that is very appropriated especially during combat, and since I mentioned combat, let's talk about it: most enemies are visible on the map (even if with a generic icon that won't tell you the ype and number) and confrontation can be avoided at will, but I suggest not to, since you can find yourself underleveled, and some parts have a serie of combat encounters that you are obliged to do (no flee option), not to mention the obligatory boss battles that sometimes are really hard if you do not grind enough!

There isn't a deep strategy involved, characters (that you do not choose but they are automatically changed depending on the different events.) have weak standard attacks and abilities always do lots of damage (or heal you), so you have to used them to kill the opponents as quickly as possibile, since some of them do a lot of damage but they are quite weak (but not as weak a your normal attacks).

Luckily There are some spots (blue glowing "X") on the floors that will completely heal the party of every damage and condition, and you can save the game at every phone you find, and I think this is a nice touch since you'll immediately know where you can do that, without strange save icons!

Mapping is ok, in my opinion. While the charset and art choice were stellar, I think that the maps are decent like in all Yeaster's games, nothing else. Most of them are just modern dungeons fulls of opponents that you can avoid/destroy to progress until the boss.
I found little variety on the character's abilities, almost all are offensive, used to cause damage (just a couple possess healing abilities), I know that some enemies are weaker against some elements but I see no reason not to unleash all of them against the stronger opponents... and also the weaker ones, if you have some regeneration spot nearby!
Maybe this only due to the fact that this is a demo, and for the same reason I found the story to be ok... so far (evil aliens/demons... it's always them!)! I'm pretty rue everything would be even better if this was completed, from this point of view.

I also did not like the necessity of the little blue arrows that indicate where you can go, I think that these are useless since Zero himself will say something when you try to access an area you are not suppose to enter. And speaking about areas, I miss a real city map. Some other games like Moloch City and the japanese Psycho Platoon (not to mention E. Eve Returns the Heaven and D. Doomsday Door) had nice modern/post apocalyptic city maps that were useful to navigate quickly from a district to the other, while here you've to pass through a couple of screens just to reach some areas.

The "resurrection item" (white pill, if I am right, in this game there are LOTS of different pills!) says to cure the Handicapped state... except that there is no Handicapped state, but it's called Unconscious. Ok, it's a simple mistake but at first I was not sure what it was its use...

This is a good looking game that lacks a little "something" to be perfect. I do not know, maybe some diversions/minigames, more equipment, a map, or... probably an ending. Still it's simple but good and since I've had fun playing it, I thinkl it will keep you interested and involved in the story, despite the linearity.

I have to admit that Yeaster did a great job here, improving almost every aspect of his other games, and this is, in my opinion, his masterpiece.


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Aw, thank you! I'll try to finish this one day. I'll work on it bit by bit like I did 'Sunnydale.'
Aw, thank you! I'll try to finish this one day. I'll work on it bit by bit like I did 'Sunnydale.'

Don't worry, take your time I still had a lot of fun with this version.

Few makers put so much care on details and style, I only remember another game that reach this level, and it uses Fire Emblem portraits and matching rpgmaker charsets.
It's rather uncommon, even rare if you search for non-fantasy jrpgs, and that's what I appreciate A LOT!
so it's ok! Thanks
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