The menu theme from the sequel, "New World Project", is so epic it gets reused as the main song during the game's final level.
The rearrangements for most featured songs in Brave New World have been praised by fans and critics alike for being composed exceptionally well. Being all live-recorded, it brings in one of most earwormy and diverse arrangements through four legendary companies' history.
Base-Breaking Character: Some fans see Kogoro and Mii as Flat Characters who fade into the background (despite being the main characters) as the party grows larger, making them unappealing and unvaried compared to other pairings. Others see them as an underdeveloped, but still interesting duo whose dynamic should have been appropriately explored in the sequel. The fact that Brave New World shows the Koryuuji mansion late in the game yet the two don't make an appearance and are only mentioned in passing only peeved Kogoro/Mii fans more.
Best Level Ever: Stage 27 ("The Dimensional Cliff") from the first game is practically one of the best parts. A lot of Mooks that are way too close to each other with not a lot of health that you can use MAP attacks with impunity, Phantom finally joins the party for Haken and Kaguya's MAP attack (though you can't use it here), Vile is in his Ride Armorand also a boss fight on foot, all to the tune ofRocks! Unfortunately, the spoiler's not present in the localization.
On the Les Yay side, some artists will pair Estelle with Lucina, though this one's more obvious thanks to the numerous amount of times the two interacted in Brave New World, such as holding hands while jumping on a catapult.
Cry for the Devil: Vile may be a cruel, murderous psychopath, but it's hard not to feel a twinge of pity for him when his single-minded obsession with beating X just leads to him dying all over again. Knowing that he's basically been half-mad since the day he was born also can add to this. Then again, see Unintentionally Unsympathetic below.
Ending Fatigue: The penultimate stage and the final stage of both games will tire players out before they finally see the ending.
Enjoy The Story, Skip The Game: The gameplay is much contested due to being repetitive and quite long. However, many say it's worth it to see so many characters from different franchises interact in a single story that meshes aspects of all their worlds together.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Despite low sales domestically, Namco Bandai did decide to localize it in the West due to the surprising amount of interest abroad. Post-localization, some Namco Bandai press releases remarked that sales were high enough a sequel could be feasible. Project × Zone 2 was eventually announced following a leak, and the publisher immediately confirmed that it too would be localized.
Metal Face/Mumkhar describing Bionis and Mechonis being fused and then destroyed via Ouma's 101 Embryo Project would accurately describe the Intersection, which fused the new Xenoblade 1 world Shulk created after Zanza's defeat and Alrest from its sequel into Xenoblade Chronicles 3's Aionios, only for Origin, an ark created in a joint venture by Melia and Nia in order to preserve their peoples' lives and knowledge, to be infected by Z, a living computer virus created by the people's fears of not wanting the worlds to defuse.
Heartwarming in Hindsight: Reiji and Xiaomu's Multi Attack concludes with her wearing a wedding dress. At the end of 2, she's seen wearing it again, but this time as a real bride as she and Reiji are married.
The theme song of the first game is sung by Yoko Takahashi. Come the sequel, Xiaomu ends up making a Neon Genesis Evangelion reference by stating "I'm a cruel angel, and my thesis is you're dead meat!", a nod to Evangelion opening theme song "A Cruel Angel's Thesis", also sung by Takahashi.
During Chapter 29 of the second game, Ryu taps into the Power ofNothingness to break Bison's Psycho Power control over Ken and Estelle. Come Street Fighter V, Ryu uses the same power in the end to destroy Bison and his Psycho Power for good.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Players disappointed with the first game's bare-boned, sluggish combat weren't impressed with how Project × Zone 2 isn't much different in its basic premise. Some went so far as to warn newcomers from picking up the sequel despite the improvements addressing most of the complaints from its predecessor.
Land a Critical Hit on an enemy and watch as a lot of "POWS!" come from successive hits and at the yellow numbers signifying a critical is scored (that, and an extra 5% of Experience Points are earned for each one in the first game, 10% in the second).
"Cross Hit"; even better is both a Cross Hit and a Critical Hit occurs during the same Combo.
The appearance of Iris in Chapter 29 of the first game would be surprisingly poignant, if not for the fact Zero says "What am I fighting for?" at one point; thus, it doesn't hold as much impact as it could have been. However, considering the game's tendency to make Call-Backs and Shout-Outs, this might have been intentional. (It also helps that, for fans who were only aware of the meme due to the English version of X4, the voice acting is much better this time around, thanks to Ryōtarō Okiayu's performance.)
The Heroic Sacrifice by Arthur in the climax of the chapter "Operation Crackdown" would have been more dramatic had it not been ruined for the Interface Spoiler of this character still being listed as a party member when players check on their units while preparing for the next chapter.
Neneko's battle theme, "Curiosity and the Cat", while catchy, is REALLY out of place during battles.
In Chapter 39 in the second game, you finally defeat Aya-Me for good: as expected, they say their farewells, but their death animation involves them rising up into the air before they explode like most other boss enemies. This is somewhat silly by itself, but it's even sillier if they happen to be positioned under one of the bus stops in the level when they take the final blow, causing them to briefly rise into the air and then explode much quicker after giving their speech, giving the impression that them hitting their head on the bus stop canopy was what caused them to ultimately explode.
Sequel Difficulty Drop: The second game is easier than the first, mostly because bosses and enemies aren't as ridiculously durable as they were in the first game, you don't have to fight as many of them at the same time and because of the existence of shops and the ability to retain your gold if you quit out of a level, allowing you to spam items much more freely. There's also the fact that all buffing skills increase your stats far more than they did in the first game.
So Okay, It's Average: The consensus is that while there are improvements over many issues Namco × Capcom had, there are still a number of pressing problems with the gameplay. Sure, the Crossover interaction between all heroic and villainous characters are great, but the pacing becomes excruciatingly slow during later parts of a playthrough due to the sheer number of enemies and how much health they have. It doesn't help that players can never skip attack animations since this Turn-Based Strategy game requires active button inputs for combat.
Some of the villains' last words upon being defeated for the last time, especially if players have played their source games. Notable examples are Aya-me and Vile in the first game, Saya in the sequel.
Granted he's the Final Boss, but Meden in the first game takes the icing on the cake. On Normal Mode (i.e. your first playthrough), he's got 200,000 Hit Points; regenerates his Cross Point gauge faster than players can, which guarantees his counter attack is going to be his Limit Break, an incredibly wide attack range to strike any Pair Unit from where he's at; hits like a truck (from full health to almost death state even with a defense buff); and when players get next to him, the only way to attack him is either directly in front of him or have a unit capable of attacking an extra panel away. Knock him down to 25% health and he starts summoning "Mooks," as in the same sub-bosses players previously defeated a while ago before getting to him. The upside is players can skip destroying the sub-bosses since the objective is to simply beat the boss; the Mooks are there more for intimidation purposes. However, for those players who are completionists and want to wipe the field clean of everything, they better prep themselves as they'll be taking potshots from the boss, while praying he doesn't get a full Cross Point gauge on his turn. Just when players think they're safe, they'll likely get attacked with a Limit Break from each of the sub-bosses, too. This is one hell of a ride.
In Brave New World, some bosses can turn into this since almost all of them have some sort of unique property that's generally a pain to deal with, especially if players fight them in challenge stages:
Azure Kite deals counter damage depending on the amount of damage dealt to him, which thankfully cannot defeat Pair Units, but will almost invariably drop their HP To One.
Nemesis has large chunks of Regenerating Health between turns, making a fight against it difficult if players can't take it down in a single turn.
Sigma drains all Cross Points after attacking him, forcing players to finish their turn with a Limit Break, even if they'd rather save it for something else other than Sigma if they don't want to lose all of it.
Chapter 16, "Detestable Golden Sunny Demon", requires destroying all four Stehoneys because they have the key to Astaroth's room. The problem is they're positioned far away on the map and will likely get the first move during the turn while players' Pair Units are struggling to get to them. If one Stehoney gets to the gate, Game Over. Spamming skills that improve mobility and attack range is a requirement for this mission.
The stretch of stages where the party must collect the fragments of Aura can be pretty tense since it must be done in 15 turns, and there's only a third of the party available for three of the four missions. In particular is the third one where Coco Tapioca must be defeated in 15 turns. What makes this tricky is he's surrounded by Mooks that can deal Status Effects, with Saya and her flunkies flanking from the party's rear, picking off the team and probably forcing players to divide the already minimized party to keep them at bay. The narrow passageway in the middle of the area where Mooks love to swarm and has a sub-boss doesn't help.
Chapter 29, "An Unbeatable Love". You get your entire army against a large group of Feydooms, as well as Skeith Zero and two "clone" Skeiths that are only slightly weaker than the original. On Turn 3, Vile joins with a wave of Mega Man X enemies, and thanks to Iris showing up, Zero has a Heroic BSoD on the far end of the battlefield. The player has five turns to either reach Zero or defeat Vile (which requires depleting his life bar twice, since he is on his Ride Armor) before a Game Over.
Chapter 40, "Treasure on the Horizon", is unique in that it has no unexpected bosses or surprise reinforcements, but the objective of the map is to defeat 24 copies of Juri Han, Alisa Bosconovitch, Heihachi, Sanger, Saya and T-elos, all of whom are bosses with around 90,000 Hit Points. If players haven't been smart with healing items, prepare for some pain.
In Chapter 16, "Thicker Than Water", the Stehoneys must be defeated before they reach the goal or it's a Game Over. Mooks will be guarding them; and once enough are defeated, Nemesis and Ustanak show up, with the former having Regenerating Health.
Chapter 22, "The Demons Within", features a Brainwashed and Crazy Estelle, whom players must prevent from reaching M. Bison. During the chapter, Sylphie will appear and summon Vile and other Mooks; at the same time, Estelle cannot be knocked out of play by any other character in the party except Yuri Lowell and Flynn or they get an instant Game Over. To top it off, Zagi enters the picture later, and the Nemesis returns again and is just as hard as it was in the previous chapters.
The final level, "Arisu in Destinyland", is abnormally difficult compared to the rest of the game. The arena is covered in a red fluid that damages characters when walked over, which adds up in the long run. Also, the places where the playable characters spawn are bombs which will explode if even a single enemy steps on it, leading to an instant game over. To make matters worse, Metal Face, Sigma, Ranmaru, Kamuz and Pyron spawn right in front of them and dash at the bombs the moment they see an opening. The final boss itself hits like a truck, has an attack range that covers almost the entire map, has a whopping 400000 HP, can summon more enemies almost every turn, and is completely invulnerable unless Saya, who is at the very edge of the level, is killed. But to hurt Saya herself, Sheath, Dokugozu and Dokumezu must be defeated first.
The sequel introduces more NPCs who make one or two minor appearances, but had the potential to be playable or influence the plot in more than one way. This includes Ada Wong, who many wanted to be a Pair Unit with Leon; Tiki, who many agree should've been a Solo character; and Miles Edgeworth, who is reduced to a cameo in one chapter and in the ending.
In the first game, Juri claims she has a new target now that Seth has been killed. This heavily implies that her alliance with Bison in the sequel was a façade for her to get close enough to murder him, similar to her role in Street Fighter X Tekken. However, this plot point goes nowhere and she randomly disappears after being fought on Ylisse.
Natsu's inclusion in PXZ2 follows her backstory from Soulcalibur V — searching for her master Taki, who disappeared after embarking on a journey to the west. With Taki's previous playability in Namco × Capcom and enduring popularity among the Soul Series fandom (complete with N×C vets commenting on the similarities and differences between Taki and Natsu), one would think student and teacher would reunite over the course of the game, finally giving the two kunoichi a chance to interact after SCV showed nothing of their on-screen relationship. Alas, this possibility is dashed almost immediately after Natsu brings it up in Prologue 3, with Hiryu informing the girl that Taki has already returned to her time and Natsu not resuming her search until the epilogue.
Due to the way Juri's Solo Attack works, she kicks the enemy high into the air near the end of her attack string, even though they're supposed to be frozen in place thanks to a Cross Hit. This often causes players to miss most of a Pair Unit's attacks, possibly costing them a damage and Cross Points. While several other Solo Units do move the enemy with their attacks despite a Cross Hit, the movements are typically minor such that they wouldn't interfere with a Pair Unit's main attacks, but Juri is the only one who will drastically alter the placement.
Of the Pair Units in the first game, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine fall behind the rest due to them being the last to officially join the party. They suffer from not having enough time to level up and match their peers and are one of the slowest pairs, meaning there's more work to be done to make them keep up with the rest of the party.
Unexpected Character: It's a bit better about this than Namco × Capcom, since most of the characters are from more recent and/or recognizable franchises... but there are still some surprising choices.
Bruno Dellinger isn't a character who was on a lot of fans' radars due to not having any appearances in years and Dynamite Cop/Dynamite Deka being one of Sega's lesser-known franchises as a whole (with its most recent entry releasing in 2007).
In the sequel, the localization team found an interesting way to play with Sheath's American origins by making her speak in Engrish. This brings the assumption the cast are all speaking Japanese to each other (no surprises there) and her poor English is meant to be a stand-in for her poor Japanese, making this an unusual case of Translation Convention. Xiaomu even pokes fun at this, citing Sheath's "Japanese [is what] she learned from the Internet."
Xiaomu's boatloads of gags and jokes are references to old-school video games instead of obscure Anime and Japanese video games most non-Japanese players have never even heard of.
Segata Sanshiro's quotes that reference his various commercials were changed up to more recognizable-to-American moments. For instance, his pre-battle speech with Jill and Chris is completely different — in Japanese, he recognizes the threat of zombies, which is a nod to his House of the Dead commercial, while in English, he complains about their weapons not having Blast Processing.