Way back in 2001 Nihon Falcom released the original game named Zwei: Tsuvai!! on the Playstation 2 console. With subsequent releases on the PSP in 2004, and the PC in 2008 all in Japan. After many years, the west finally receives the game under the name Zwei: The Arges Adventure, released by XSEED. If you’re a fan of Ys, anime games, and dungeon crawlers, you’re going to love this one. This is our Zwei: The Arges Adventure review for PC.
This game is a mix of RPG and Dungeon crawler. You spend your time mostly in dungeons while you run around and mash a single button to attack in a direction to kill your enemies. The game offers a rich tongue-in-cheek story and plenty of minigames and achievements to go through. You play two primary characters, Pipiro and Pokkle (you can rename them), that you swap out by hitting the tab button. Pokkle, a melee character, and Pipiro, a magic user, each has their own strengths and weaknesses, and each having an ability to open ways through each dungeon.
Gameplay mechanics are very simple. I would have really enjoyed playing this with a controller, but suffice to say I only have a Switch Pro controller to play with. While the game is supposed to have partial controller support, I was unable to get my Pro controller to work with it. Hopefully, a Steam controller or an Xbox controller will work for someone, but I had no luck. WASD will move your character around while spacebar or mouse clicking will attack. You can hold down the spacebar/mouse to charge a powerful attack or multi-tap it to get into a “burst” attack that continuously attacks with your weapon. That’s basically all there is to the game as far as controls go.
Leveling up is unique in this game. You don’t get any experience for killing monsters. There are no “quests” to do to gain experience, nothing like that at all. The sole way to level up is by eating. Yes, you head me, you eat food to gain experience. Each food item has an experience attached to it alongside health restoration. I found myself spamming them as I got them while keeping two in reserve to heal myself. You can also save the items you find and take them back to turn to turn into a much better food item later down the road. These will grant you better experience and other benefits. While I wasn’t a huge fan of this system, it was really unique so it made the game stand out from the rest. Having to micromanage whether or not to use the food item right now to gain exp and health, or save it for later to turn into a better item?
As stated earlier, this game is very much a dungeon crawling RPG game. It plays a lot like Ys does, except you have to hit a button to attack instead of simply running into the monster. Each dungeon has multiple areas to go into with a level range. I would recommend sticking to your level wherever you go, the game is unforgiving. I had a lot of trouble with lightning casters early on at my level, and higher level mobs just destroyed me. The first couple times you go into a dungeon revolves around the main story of the game. You meet a couple characters that tell you how to get things done, basically sort of a tutorial. Each time you clear a “level” you earn a rating. Each level range has a different set of monsters, all with their unique abilities and magic, so go prepared for anything!
The game brought back a lot of nostalgia for me. While it reminded me a whole lot of Ys, for some reason I couldn’t shake the feeling of playing Illusion of Gaia on the SNES. The art style, the soundtrack, it just all hit the right spots I’ve barely broken the ice on this, I expect to be putting more than 30 hours (realistically probably 50+) into the game before I am finished. Alongside the main story, there are many different minigames and achievements to gain, plenty of time to sink into this awesome game. The game is a very simple RPG Dungeon Crawler. It’s made to be simple and pleasing, but hard at the same time. You can control the difficulty by challenging the dungeons at a lower level, or power through them by leveling up by gorging on a bunch of food. All in all, this is a nice, relaxing game to enjoy. If you’re an RPG and Anime fan or an XSEED fan in general, you’re going to love this release!
Final Zwei: The Arges Adventure Review Score: 7.5/10
- Simplistic but solid controls
- Art direction
- Lack of video options – cannot change resolution easily without altering files or using a program
- Lack of Controller support
- Basically, it feels like a half-baked PC port.