Who doesn’t want to rule the world? Scratch that – how about conquering the known universe and turning every living thing into a peon that worships you? That’s Chou-Chou’s plan in Mugen Souls for the Switch, and to be fair, she does a good job at it.

This Chou-Chou is an interesting character. On the outside, she’s this cute anime girl, but the fire within is a tyrant hellbent on having complete and utter control. How does she do this? Like most of these succubi do: messing with your emotions, and if that isn’t good enough, she’ll flash a little leg and change her get up.

Accompanied by her entourage, she travels the universe, picking fights and, like a galactic vampire, converts enemies to worship her. Despite the tone, Chou-Chou is a goody; she’s just a little bit… immature. Don’t tell her I said that.

Mugen Souls Switch Review - Sun World
Sun World. Source: Eastasiasoft

Mugen Souls Switch Review

Anyhoo, Mugen Souls, from Eastasiasoft, is a JRPG that came out a while back on PC, but launched on the Switch today. It’s a familiar model where you take your party out into the wild, get involved in a random encounter ruckus, and steadily grind away, levelling up your characters, their abilities and their gear.

Mugen Souls is no different from its peers on the surface, but a few unique mechanics define it. The early tutorials were excessive and weren’t too far away from being skipped, but it’s good to get an understanding of how it works. It’s not complicated; it’s just a bit annoying to read through everything before you can get into it.

Let us not deconstruct how these turn-based games work, as this is the same in basic combat other than ensuring your party is within attacking distance of the enemies. However, you can link attacks to involve other members to do an alley-oop combo that does extra damage and showcase some amusing, if somewhat tedious action scenes.

Mugen Souls Switch Review - Luke
Luke. Source: Eastasiasoft

It’s All About Dem Skills

Each character has a dedicated skill base that performs a devastating attack that, in turn, can launch an enemy around the arena. Immediate benefits might be to create a distance between you and them or bring them closer to one of your party members. Alternatively, they can rebound into these event crystals that can set numerous challenges, such as beating enemies in a defined time, etc. Destroy them, and it nullifies its power.

But perhaps the most interesting element in Mugen Souls is the peon… conversion. Chou-Chou can mimic or reflect the enemy’s mood and match their ego. For example, if an enemy is sad, selecting keywords such as kind or smile will persuade them to join you. Go too far the wrong way, and it’ll trigger a frenzy, and they’ll attack harder.

As for their ego, Chou-Chou can eventually shift her personality on command, changing her attire and mood. It’s quite a bizarre setup, and her party is understandably a bit freaked out by it. Still, catch enough of these peons, and it’ll level up her success rate and abilities.

Mugen Souls Switch Review - Fire
Fire. Source: Eastasiasoft

How Does It Play Out?

Mugen Souls has a very fetching intro that reels you in from the start, and, as mentioned, the presentation is good too. Interestingly, most of the game is voice-acted, which is marvellous, but be advised that there’s a lot of pant flashing and sukebe connotations. If you like that sort of thing.

Customisation fans will be pleased to know you can fit your party with a vast wardrobe, weapons, armour, and even create custom peons for your adventure. There are also a handful of mini-games like airship battles that act out like a stone, scissors, paper approach. It’s pretty simple but breaks up gameplay.

For a game released only today, I was quite surprised at how choppy the animation is when moving around, however. The 3D worlds are a little PS One-like at times, and while the illustrations are good, there can be too much interruption with cutscenes and action sequences, such as the skills in battle mode. These can be switched off in the menu but not skipped during play, which is a bummer.

Verdict

Mugen Souls is a decent enough JRPG that’s not as complicated as it first appears to be. It does look a little dated in places, mostly due to the animation, but overall, it’s well-presented. While it’s entertaining, I preferred its counterpart Seven Pirates H more.

Score 6