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Katie Plays Stuff: Mind Zero (PC Port)

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I recently played the PC port of Mind Zero, a JRPG that was originally released in 2013 for the PlayStation Vita by DivZero and Aksys Games. I was not particularly impressed.

The game, which centers around a group of teenagers able to summon creatures called “mind”, is fairly standard for turn-based JRPGs, gameplay wise. You have a menu, on your turn you pick options to attack enemies/heal allies, then the enemies take their turn, so on and so forth. The game has two language options (English and Japanese) and the acting in both is pretty solid. Cutscenes in the game consist of static images with voiced dialog and text, similar to a visual novel.  In terms of the storyline, gameplay, and music, it’s actually quite similar to the Shin Megami Tensei series (the Persona  subseries in particular).

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Now, please keep in mind that as I do not currently own a PS Vita, I have not played the original version of the game, so I can’t really compare the two. That said, I really don’t think the publishers did a particularly good job porting this to PC.

One of the first things I noticed was that there is no option to exit the game from the menu. So what I had to do was alt-tab back to the desktop and close the game from there. That was a little irritating (as most PC games have this as a feature), but I could live with it. The game is also locked at the PS Vita’s lower resolution, rather than updating the resolution for PC screens. Some other folks in the Steam page have also been reporting that there’s no controller support as well as frequent crashes.

I didn’t experience the gamepad issues (since my XBox 360 controller seems to work with the game just fine) or crashes in my time with the game, but I did experience what appears to be a fairly unique issue:

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This is a screenshot I took during the game’s first actual battle. You see all that black space? Yeah, that’s actually supposed to show a view of enemies and a background. All of the battles I fought in the game look like this. I tried googling this issue to see if anyone else was experiencing this, but didn’t find anything. Now, I have no idea if this is an issue with my video card or an actual bug in the game, but I could see everything else in the game just fine. The blank backgrounds only occurred in battle screens. It actually prevented me from spending as much time as I like to with a game before reviewing it, because it made targeting enemies very difficult and was just frustrating as hell.

Which really is too bad, because I really did want to continue playing the game for its own sake. I really liked the art style and thought that the story (at least as far as I was able to get into it) was quite intriguing.

Mind Zero is currently available on Steam for $19.99. However, if you’re thinking of playing it, I would probably just go straight to the PS Vita version. The general consensus appears to be that that version would provide the better experience.

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