+The colorful cliche of the 90’s console war returns as a mostly cinematic experience
+Missions last no more than 2-to-3 minutes making the game an easy pick-up and go title.
+All previous reputation systems and cast members return
+Combat system from Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed is back and feels refined
–Cut scenes are longer than each base mission
–The games real guts are hidden in the multiplayer
–Extremely short campaign
School, a place, a word, and a ideal that we’ve all dreaded all our and something we celebrated leaving once our clever pieces of paper dictating the rest of our lives were handed to us. In the latest title? We get to go back to the very thing we dreaded growing up. A place where our leading ladies have set up as their debuting locale for their latest entry. Unlike past titles, this one doesn’t derive as a spin-off of the 90’s cliche of the console wars that took place between Sega, Nintendo, and Sony. Instead? It’s now an alternative dimension where the girls are in school as well as in clubs such as music, art, cinematography, and even various other entities suiting what niche they identify themselves with.
Taking a familiar turn, many of you who played Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed will find some rather noticeable similarities. The game takes a familiar turn in the approach of chapters, gameplay combat, and character selection. Not straying far from its RPG ideology and roots, MegaTagmension Blanc attempts to erect an identity of its own. In turn, this latest title puts us on the adventure of the ladies we’ve become familiar with such as Blanc, Ram, Rom, Famitsu, Neptune, Nepgear, Noire, and a few others. Unfortunately, it leaves fan favorites such as Compa and Ifi out of the fray for some weird reason.
The narrative is almost to easy to guess as the premise doesn’t change throughout the entire 3 to 4 hour campaign. The idea is simple, the girls are school, the school is about to shut down due to failing finances and interest in it, in turn Neptune has decided to make a movie to help bring profit into the school. Sound familiar? A lot like their game shares in the other titles that bring them power, but this is for a school. In her actions Neptune recruits Blanc as the writer, Ram, Rom, and the other girls as assistants as well as actors. Their idea? Make a movie about the school being invaded by zombies, which plays upon the real-world scenario of the current zombie craze that’s hitting the TV and movie industry as of the past few years. That is until their school is actually invaded and it’s up to the girls to once more get underway and save the day all the while filming their movie scenes.
Much as one would expect, each chapter plays out over the course of several scenarios, which are introduced with a bit of dialogue before the two to three minutes at most missions get underway. These segments are spread across multiple chapters, which is saddening as the games average play time for the main campaign will last only a few hours at most, which doesn’t showcase tough enemies, epic boss fights, and unimaginable odds like previous entries did. Instead? This game seems to aim at the idea of being a pick-up and go with an emphasis on the latter. Even as a Hyperdimension fan, the game is quite disappointing as the best qualities of it are hidden within the titles multiplayer. This is where the real enemies begin to shine and unfortunately, much like the campaign, combat pacing doesn’t change much nor does the need to want to quit due to boredom. While the game eventually offers harder bosses, larger enemies, and even longer mission stretches via the multiplayer, it’s not enough to keep those who hammered away at the main campaign in coming back.
While graphics remain on par for the franchise, so does the quality of the games writing, which leaves it quite enjoyable with a few good laughs from time to time. Let alone does much of the sound quality, video quality, and development quality remain intact it leaves a sincere questioning as to why the missions didn’t get the same attention in SP versus MP. In the multiplayer portion of the game players will find themselves delighted until the repetitive combat once more begins to sink in. Players will find themselves consistently smashing square, triangle, and a select few other buttons to engage in combat. They will use up abilities, and ultimately make themselves aware of team position with their three other counterparts.
Unfortunately, if players didn’t stick with characters to level and spend time leveling their Lily Ranks, obtaining equipment, as well as preparing for the worst case scenario? They’ll find themselves getting destroyed throughout the titles multiplayer, which can be quite unforgiving.
Sadly even with bigger and meaner enemies, it doesn’t help feeling as if this game was a second thought when trying to come up with a new title. Unlike its sister titles, MegaTagmension Blanc finds itself lacking in the long run since both multiplayer and singleplayer are quite enjoyable for their combat experiences once the campaigns dialogue and humour run dry. While multiplayer itself is where the game shines, it also finds itself running dry after a few good hours and will leave players wanting to revisit titles, which is something I eventually did once completing all missions available.
While the game can certainly use some newer characters, it’s a title that attempts to do things that have already been done in an older title. While the game could have used new elements such as tower defense mechanics or even a rogue-like dungeon crawler experience, it detours and finds itself in a troubling situation that left even this fan a bit annoyed. In truth? The title feels like it should have been apart of a PlayStation 4 port of Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed with new content made readily available on it. Unfortunately, we are stuck with this title, which finds itself mostly enjoyable on the multiplayer level once the single player campaign has been mastered.
MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune vs Zombies – PlayStation Vita (Reviewed)
Developer: Compile Heart / Tamsoft
Publisher: Idea Factory
Price: $39.99 USD
Released: Available Now
While the games button mashing of square, circle, and X can be enjoyable, the enjoyability will eventually run dry and leave fans hungering for more if their thirst hasn’t been quenched for the fan service MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune vs Zombies has to offer. If it’s fan service you want? This game serves it up perfectly for its 3 to 4 hour campaign duration and as much as multiplayer replayability as one can handle. The only thing not saving this title? A scaling difficulty that should have been implemented from the games get-go when it comes to the development cycle. For hardcore fans? You’ll enjoy the title just like any other for its quirky storyline and gameplay mechanics.
Our review is based on a copy provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 6 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.