Review: Megadimension Neptunia VIIR – Going Virtual

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Megadimension Neptunia VIIR is a new iteration of the 2015 release, Megadimension Neptunia VII, which adds VR gameplay elements, and some minor changes to how players will interact with the games bubbly and comedic cast.


Pros:
+The original release remains fully intact including all story elements, missions, and interactions.
+Added VR is a bonus for fans of VR games
+Gameplay remains smooth and rather enjoyable

Cons:
-VR is absolutely cringe-worthy when playing in the “Everday Life” mode of the game
-VR moments aren’t consistent and do not allow fans to thoroughly enjoy the game in VR


In recent years, it seems that Compile Heart and Idea Factory have not been ashamed of the fact they’ve found an admirable amount of success with the “Neptunia” franchise, one that originally launched on PS3 and failed to garner the fanbase it now has. Despite the first title in the series having launched, been relaunched, and still remaining in for the newest generation of hardware, the series has continued on and found a rather dedicated fanbase of gamers that enjoy the series.

Toss in the fact that VR has become a new way to game, Compile Heart and Idea Factory haven’t been ashamed of their chance to get in on that VR fun. However, they did it in a rather odd manner. They’ve brought Megadimension Neptunia back to life with the idea of using VIIR as the game’s codename for “Version II” and “VR” all in one.

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After the main title music video intro runs, the game will prompt you, the player, being addressed once again by Histoire herself into what is going on within the game. This also being your clue to use VR, which isn’t necessary to play the game, and it does offer a nice little change of pace from the games previous version. At the cost of taking your VR headset on and off every twenty-to-thirty minute intervals.

But this is more-so where the issues with the game become apparent. In the game, you’ll be in your room, one where VR-specific events and interactions occur, but sadly, it doesn’t look all that great. Every object, every person you meet, everything looks blurry, jagged even, almost as if the game’s anti-aliasing isn’t working properly, or that Compile Heart wanted to make a statement on their thoughts regarding VR gaming. Otherwords, it’s not something I decided to take full advantage of, but rather, at odd intervals in order to keep my eyes from hurting.

No, literally, it’ll strain your eyes in ways you’d never believe to be possible. In this room, as stated before, you’ll get to interact with various cast members from the Neptunia franchise throughout the course of the game. New interactions do unlock as you progress, along with decorations for your room, but unfortunately, it’s not worth the time due to how cringy the VR graphics actually are. The most you get as far as interactions are concerned is looking away, nodding your head, and even shaking your head as responses to the characters.

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It’s awkward and honestly, it doesn’t feel right as someone who the characters are seemingly led to believe is a young male that’s been placed before them. It’s awkward and not something I actually enjoyed. I don’t want some virtual character invading my virtual and personal space.

However, that’s it for the VR, honestly, that’s it. The VR is only active in those moments in your room. It’s not something you’ll be doing for hours on end, at least I’d hope not, which takes away from the plausibility of an amazing JRPG adventure.

As the game gets underway, in the actual RPG portion of the game, players will once more take on the role of their all-too-familiar cast members including Blanc, Very, Noire and Neptune, all who are related to the console and game developers: Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, and SEGA in their respective order.

Much like the previous title, Megadimension Neptunia VIIR does a great job at striking up a balance between its RPG gameplay elements, slapstick comedy dialogue, and fanservice-ish character designs. The fanservice, as you may be wondering, comes in several different types ranging from video game trivia to scantily clad women who become even more voluptuous when they change into their CPU forms.

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Just like in our original review for Megadimension Neptunia VII, not a lot has changed, and the game remains largely the same. You’ll still explore the plight of the Zero dimension and its CPU, Uzume, who appears to personify SEGA’s cult classic console known as the SEGA Dreamcast. Visually, the game still remains appealing, giving us an idea of what has happened in this oddly designed world where cityscapes have been torn asunder and actually looks rather awesome during VR moments.

But just like past titles, VIIR suffers from the same issue as before. Zone environments are copy and paste, often feeling like recycled portions of a much bigger game, and often makes you want to cringe when playing. Even while in VR, I had moments of disgruntlement, discomfort with my eyes. Something I’d never experienced before, even after three-to-four hour-long sessions of games such as R.I.G.S. or Resident Evil VII: biohazard.

Megadimension Neptunia VIIR – PlayStation 4 and PSVR
Developer: 
Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory International, Inc.
Release Date: Now Available
Cost: $59.99

Sadly, even with VR, I struggle to recommend this version of the game, even if it’s just to experience it’s fun and goofy story during its VR-opted moments, which do seem to offer a nice little change of pace from its original release. But ultimately. Megadimension Neptunia VIIR fails to deliver a worthwhile experience that justifies buying a second release of the game. That’s if you already own the previous release.

If you’re curious about the previous non-VR version of the game, you can always check out my review of the 2015 release, which in my opinion, has aged rather well.


Our review is based on a retail version that was provided to us by the game’s publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.


Final Score: 6 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, 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 or Facebook.

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