To Another World
A role-playing game published by Crunchyroll Games, Mass for the Dead is based on the ever-popular Overlord franchise. Admittedly, I was already a fan of the anime. So I was curious to see how the developers would transfer the anime into video game form. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.
The game does a good job at getting Overlord veterans and newcomers alike invested in the story. At first, it starts off much like the source material. Far into the future, a popular MMO is shutting its servers down. Suzuki Satoru decides to log on and witness the world he and his friends spent so much time in, making their guild one of the most powerful in the whole game. As the server shut-off clock ticks down, Satoru closes his eyes, waiting to be logged out one last time. But that doesn’t happen. Instead his video game world becomes a new reality from which he can no longer escape and he begins a new life as his avatar, Ainz Ooal Gown.
Battle Against an Overlord
This is the point where Mass for the Dead takes a turn from the source material. The game has its own original story that offers something new for fans and newcomers alike. This is mostly exemplified by the inclusion of your own player character, which is a nice touch to make you feel like part of the story. Your character is dispatched by Ainz Ooal Gown to explore the surrounding world with him, providing you allies to control in battle and sometimes assisting you himself. This allows the player to get a new perspective on the Overlord story with your character being the eyes through which you see events unfold.
Gameplay is broken up into chapters during the story mode. Usually you’ll read through some dialogue where you’ll occasionally get to pick something to say. From there you’ll find yourself in the core of Mass for the Dead. The game offers a typical turn-based battle system where you defeat wave after wave of opponents until it’s time to move on to the next chapter. Combat is fully animated, features an autoplay system, and also has a killer soundtrack. At first it seemed a bit stale, but the game really starts to shine when you get more characters for your party. Assembling my favorite characters from the anime and seeing them unleash their unique abilities was a blast.
Unfortunately, all this glamour comes at a cost, mostly regarding your device’s storage space. Mass for the Dead is a pretty big game and, while going through each of the chapters, I often encountered messages asking me to download updates, even after I went to options and pressed “full download.”
A Dead Man’s Party
Downloads aside, I enjoyed my return to the crazy world of Ainz Ooal Gown. The game did a swell job at reminding me why I love the series so much. Seeing the story from a different perspective was refreshing while still managing to cover familiar ground. Collecting heroes and assembling teams is an addicting concept in a lot of mobile games. What sets this one apart is its fleshed out and colorful cast. If anyone has ever been curious as to what the hype is all about for Overlord, then Mass for the Dead is a good place to start.
Is it Hardcore?
Mass for the Dead might be simplistic RPG fun, but it’s also a great introduction into an established series. Just mind the download size.