Mind Zero is a dungeon crawler RPG that AKSYS decided to bring over to America for...reasons I don't know.
It's heavy on storyline told through mostly (spoken) dialogue and character portraits. Many times the gameplay gets put on hold by the storyline throwing tons of dialogue at the player. This isn't always a bad thing, but Mind Zero's story goes absolutely nowhere, quite literally. The game ends on a cliffhanger with almost no answers to the questions the story presents. It's the equivalent of a movie that fades to black at the end with a "to be continued?" To make it worse, all of the characters are one note and most get no character progression at all. The good news is that the dialogue is voiced by competent voice actors and some parts are amusing.
So the story sucks, surely the gameplay can save it? Nope. I'll just say right now that Mind Zero doesn't do anything outstanding. It does not have an interesting battle system and is incredibly repetitive. The graphics are not astounding, though the anime portraits are nice. It's music is completely forgettable aside from one or two tracks. The dungeon crawler aspect is dragged down by uninspired maps that don't challenge the player but rather force them to yet another dead end so they can fight yet another boring battle. Oh, and load times are pretty dang atrocious.
I've played a lot of JRPGs and I've played a lot of dungeon crawlers. I have put up with A LOT of games where I overlook many flaws because the game is still fun to play. Mind Zero is not one of these games. I decided to play through the game on expert to see if it could challenge me and to see if the Japanese reviews that bashed the game for it's ending had any merit. Most of the challenge was me mashing the auto battle button and the ending truly was that bad. And it's a shame because this is the kind of game that really appeals to me, but the execution is so poor that I can't bring myself to give this a good review.
This game is a generic turn based rpg, but it never changes. If you run out of mp with a character they are worthless, this makes your mind unusable and disappear. Every battle will be the same, and if you do not beat a decent sized enemy or amount of enemies in say 3 turns you will feel the pain of losing mp and having a worthless character. Do not waste your time with this game, it is pretty much a bad rip off of Persona.
This game deserves a good review because it's honestly a great game. Since I just finished Persona 4 Golden, I was delighted to play what I would call a "spiritual successor" to this amazing series. Yes, they are fairly similar, but differ enough to offer a new experience.
I haven't finished it just yet, but I'm more than thrilled to go home at the end of a long day, crash on my couch or bed with my Vita to play more of it.