Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
Buy On
  1. 100
    Zanki Zero isn't really "new"; underneath the dungeon crawler window dressing it's too similar to its predecessors thematically to stand out as a bold new statement. The dungeon crawling elements work well enough, however, and it's hard to complain that the creators are sticking to their traditions when these games are so intensely intriguing and intelligent. Zanki Zero offers every bit the brilliance that Danganronpa did.
  2. Apr 15, 2019
    A fantastic dungeon crawler that provides an interesting story and allows you to focus on the aspects you enjoy the most.
  3. 83
    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a surprisingly good RPG with survival elements, a mature video game able to keep on their toes those who’ll have the patience to tame a rich but demanding gameplay.
  4. Apr 11, 2019
    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a very particular Japanese-style RPG, in first person with a strongly symbolic atmosphere.
  5. Apr 15, 2019
    One of the most unique adventure games out there from the makers of the Danganronpa franchise. Maybe it´s not a game for everyone, but a good one indeed.
  6. Apr 10, 2019
    This mix of narrative adventure and dungeon crawler is interesting thanks to its story and cast, although none of its parts is outstanding.
  7. Apr 9, 2019
    An interesting story and concept that may be too hardcore if you are not an RPG fan, but that may fulfill your wishes if you are that kind of gamer.
  8. Apr 16, 2019
    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a game with lots of good ideas, some well done, others less convincing. By combining multiple genres together, the risk is not to full satisfy anyone, but despite all of these problem, it has all the potential to not be easily forgotten.
  9. Apr 16, 2019
    It’s the game’s zany but gripping narrative that’s the real star of the show, though. If science fiction interwoven with tales of family, loss, relationships and survival sounds like your thing, then Zanki Zero is worth a look.
  10. Apr 16, 2019
    Obtuse inventory aside, there are too many systems in play at the same time to fully enjoy the first class plot and characters of Zanki Zero - Last Beginning. tone down the difficulty to enjoy a great visual novel from the creators of Danganronpa.
  11. Apr 8, 2019
    Zanki Zero is a really entertaining blend of visual novel and survival RPG gameplay. The story is just as eccentric and zany as the Danganronpa series and features that grittiness fans have come to expect. The combat system is a little simplistic, but the human cloning makes it a really unique experience. However, the title doesn't quite hit the same deliciously dark heights as Danganronpa.
  12. Apr 9, 2019
    Zanki Zero is a fun dungeon crawler set in the remains of Earth after a catastrophic event took place with a plot that feels like it belongs in the Danganronpa series. The story and gameplay will keep you curious for most of the campaign, especially if you're comfortable with the inherently disturbing subject matter and occasionally frustrating dungeon traversal.
  13. Apr 10, 2019
    Uniqueness is one of Zanki Zero's biggest selling points, but its myriad ambitions and ideas aren't enough to obscure the elements that don't work as well. While the novelty of the game, its interesting story, and engaging exploration do a lot to carry it, it falters in some crucial spots that drag down the whole.
  14. 60
    I was all set to jump into Zanki Zero and have a good time uncovering a mystery, crawling through dungeons and even seeing what I could pull off after several rounds of surviving, dying, and using that cloning loop to get ever stronger. Instead I found a bunch of tedium fueled by disparate systems not playing well with each other, disappointing combat, and a story that constantly tried to disguise how shallow it was via torturing its characters.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 5 out of 17
  1. Apr 9, 2019
    I only played about 8 hours and reached chapter 3 (or stage 3) so my review is obviously incomplete, but those 8 hours went so fast I barelyI only played about 8 hours and reached chapter 3 (or stage 3) so my review is obviously incomplete, but those 8 hours went so fast I barely noticed: the game surprised me despite its rather weird concept and the story and characters hooked me to discover more.

    Zanki Zero is a sort of blend between Zero Escape and Danganronpa - both games made by Spike Chunsoft themselves - so the style is somewhat similar when it comes to setting or at least the mentality behind the whole game: 8 people are stuck in a place called Garage Island and, supposedly, they are the last survivor of the human race and they have to help save it by using the Extend Machine in order to complete their missions. At first, they think it's a game but soon they discover that everything is more than real when two of the cast dies.

    Zanki Zero is an RPG but to be honest it has barely any RPG elements in it: leveling doesn't actually grants status bonuses but only unlocks better proficiencies and stats like better attack or cooking, meaning that you won't be grinding any levels and instead you'll be grinding mats and food for your survival. It's better to say that ZZ is more of an action adventure game, where you'll fight enemies in dungeons while also seeing cutscenes, mostly with grunts, and proceed with the plot.

    I want to start with the combat because I heard really bad comments on it, saying that it looks like etrian odyssey or other dungeon crawler RPGs...well they're partially right but it's closer to games like Dungeon Master or Legend of Grimrock instead: you don't have random battles and you can move freely during combat, which is on grids, and it's important to be able to move around while attacking or else you can die in this game. And yes, you will die...which is probably the weirdest mechanic of the entire game.

    I said that there's no progress from leveling, but that's because it's tied to the Extend Machine and its Shigabane system, which essentially rewards you for...dying. Literally.
    Whenever one character dies, their death will be recorded into the machine and the next body they'll come out will have perks that increase their stats: dying of old age grants a general buff to all stats but, for instance, dying from a physical attack might reduce the damage next time, or dying from stress or lack of sleep might give you more stamina, and so forth. In other words, you must die, a lot, in order to get the good stats and you might be grinding deaths in order to get them since there's over a hundred of them!

    Unfortunately, it's not infinite: you need to use your SCORE to clone your new body and while not expensive at first the more shigabane you get, the expensive it gets. You get SCORE from beating enemies and thankfully they do respawn, although randomly and not always timely so you can grind those score points.
    Add the fact that your characters will die after 13 days, you'll eventually have to understand the system and manage its perks properly.

    But honestly, what draws me into the game it's the story: the 8 characters aren't exactly well defined at first but the more you play, the more you want to know about them. Each dungeon is, supposedly about sin and each character is their representation, which means that not only you'll get to know them in depth but you'll also be playing from their PoV!
    Yep, each chapter (or stage) will make you play from the perspective of another survivor and you'll get to see their feelings, thoughts and mental process: you're not going to stuck with the "main" protagonist like most VN games but you'll keep jumping to each character until their story is complete. It's interesting and really hooks you in because you know what they're thinking and the game will show each part of their backstory in stylized scenes with dark figures and no voicing, which is both weird and fascinating. I played 8 hours straight because I just wanted to know what's going to happen, why did this happen, or if that character did something wrong, or why is something wrong. Even though they really don't seem to grow a lot afterward but maybe it's too early to say it.

    So, do I recommend it? Honestly yes, I do, but you must realize that this game is a little different than your usual jrpgs and it requires a little bit of patience to understand its system: the combat is simple, extremely simple, but it's also extremely simple to die from enemies (2-3 shots and you're dead) and the Clione mechanic makes the game about high-risk high reward, but that's something I haven't fully tested as of now.

    The best I can describe it is, Zanki Zero is an action adventure game with semi-survival elements and visual novel hints too, that while not perfectly flawless they make a rather intriguing and bizarre mix that I can't wait to discover more about it!.

    And considering Danganronpa and Zero Escape were already weird on their own, I hope to get the same here!
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 11, 2019
    Another outstanding game from the creators of dangan ronpa. The story is captivating and the characters are very interesting.
  3. Apr 10, 2019
    This is definitely not a game for everyone. The genres “Survival”, “Dungeon Crawling”, and “Visual Novel” are quite niche and tend not toThis is definitely not a game for everyone. The genres “Survival”, “Dungeon Crawling”, and “Visual Novel” are quite niche and tend not to review well outside their respective audiences. This game pretty much requires you to like all three; which may put a lot of people off, but if you’re like and are into all three, you’ll get an experience like no other.
    The survival, resource management and aging elements mesh really well with the dungeon crawling, adding different metres and caveats to constantly juggle to spice up the floor by floor progression. The VN side helps too, giving us genuinely interesting backstory to a cast member every floor makes progression feel rewarding and less of a grind like in other DC games; each of the eight have committed some kind of sin, and unravelling what that is drives you forward. The story is by the creator of Danganronpa so It may be a little hit or miss for some (The introduction of the guide Sho is done with a series of toilet jokes that don’t land), but it really is distinctive with a lot of energy and mystery. I was always invested in the cast which is essential for this type of game.
    While the story and survival elements are the big draw, combat is nothing special outside and interesting skill system. It is however real time with a fast pace, meaning its shallowness lends itself to fast dungeon progression if you’re skilled enough, again serving the experience much better than a slower turn based approach would have.
    Finally the aesthetics are really nice. It avoids traditional bleak, apocalyptic aesthetics, instead meshing it with a summer beach vibe. Again, people are usually put off DC games because exploring dark caves for 100 hours is not the most exciting experience. The music and setting creates this creepy yet idyllic world you actively want to delve into.
    In conclusion, Zanki Zero does a lot of things right. It knows who its audience is, as specific as that may be, and does little to try and make itself appealing to those uninterested in those genres. For those with a taste for survival and managing resources, you aren’t going to come across another game like Zanki Zero anytime soon. I personally found it to be an overall incredibly engrossing experience.

    EDIT: There has ben some review bombing due to the censorship. In my opinion, nothing egregious has been done, its all camera pans and cut CGS to sexualise the child stages less. Personally, I didnt want to see that stuff anyway, the rest of the suggestive material is in tact.
    Full Review »