Super Neptunia RPG announced, screenshots released

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Super Neptunia RPG will be the first entry in the series to land on the Nintendo family alongside the PlayStation 4 and will be the first side-scrolling RPG within the franchise. The game will feature turn-based RPG action.

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Review: Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online – Let’s Go Online

Battle (7)


Pros:
+Controls are straightforward and welcoming to all new players
+Party system is easily learnable and allows for quite a few different party make-ups
+Multiplayer is a blast when a party can be formed

Cons:
-Story based objectives can be hard to follow and can be confusing for players to track.
-Framerate dips are extremely problematic during missions on Logi Mountain
-Side-quests are extremely predictable but must be completed multiple times.


For nearly five years, I’ve been almost seemingly obsessed with the Neptunia franchise. In recent years, however, my fandom has begun to fade away due to the lack of interest I’ve had. Not because the games aren’t good, but rather because the games had begun to wander down the beaten path. The games had begun to grow stale, the humor had done so as well and it had truly seemed that our favorite troop of women had finally begun to run out of steam.

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Review: Superdimension Neptunia VS Sega Hard Girls – Bringing it Back Like 1994


Pros:
+Nep Nep’s humour is back and funnier than ever
+Sega Hard Girls offer up a breath of fresh air
+The reimagined combat systems are rather enjoyable
+Old areas are back, but with subtle, and enjoyable changes

Cons:
-Rehashed locales
-Difficulty scaling tends to be out-of-wack
-The grind is real, once more, and it’s getting old


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Over the years, here at Blast Away the Game Review, I’ve been the go-to-man when it comes to the Neptunia franchise. I’ve played them all, I’ve enjoyed them all, and I’ve invested many heartfelt hours into each title over the years. Whether it’s been a unique strategy game or even a rather fun beat’em’up brawler that ended up to be rather entertaining, I’ve just about seen it all when it comes to each of the titles.

Despite the fact I played them all, somehow Compile Heart’s has kept it fresh over the years, and has somehow kept me coming back for four main entry titles, a dozen more spin-offs (who’s counting anyways, right?), and even the enhanced remakes that landed on the PlayStation Vita. In turn we’ve somehow ended up here where we ended up with another spin-off that just happens to introduce a slightly new cast, and once more brings Nep Nep, Iffy, and friends into the mix. In the mix comes a new group of characters known as the Sega Hard Girls. In this title, don’t expect to see Neptune as she’s turned to relaxing as the backseat int his title (no I’m serious, she’s literally the backseat, just play it and find out!).

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This latest introduces us to the misadventures of IF, whom just happens to somehow travel through time only to cross paths with the girls from SEGA Hard Girls. If you don’t know who these gals are, they’re from an anime that imagines the SEGA consoles as Japanese schoolgirls. Yep, that’s right, they’re here. Genesis, Deamcast (who just happens to have a VMU on her face), and the rest of the gang. They’re all there for the benefits of the player.

When getting started, many players will take not of one thing, the game starts off on an extremely strong route, one that puts Neptune in the backseat for the game, one that decides to axe her as a playable character. Later in, however, this changes as players will be introduced to a clone, one that can be used in battle, and unfortunately it puts players into the position of knowing that players are once more playing a Neptunia title. For those who want a story, there’s quite a bit of story that’s once more told in a visual novel like title.

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Unfortunately, due to the amount of text, I found myself at times fast-forwarding when the banter became pointless, useless, and didn’t seem to push the story forward. This wasn’t necessarily due to bad writing, which is actually one of the best features of the game, but for the fact that the dialogue would become rather serious from to time. The downside, however, there’s so little character development within all the dialogue, which is strange for the series, none-the-less.

Luckily, the game keeps it rather light as Neptune’s crew manages to deliver a few laughing blows while the SEGA Hard Girls manage to keep the events fresh, enjoyable, and on a more-serious side of things. Something that comes off a bit interesting compared to anything else to be quite honest and even makes this one of the most enjoyable spin-offs in the series, unless you’re all for beating up on zombies that pester the girls in other titles.

When we talk about spin-offs, we’ve found each of them covering place sin different genres, places that extend from RTS, to action-RPG, to simple brawlers that offer a rather enjoyable time. The key differences here are quite noticeable when it comes to combat. Even though the game takes place within an already established system, Superdimension Neptune VS SEGA Hard Girls follows suit in the turn-based RPG element. Except this one is different. Movement in combat eats up your stamina meter, which determines how many times you attack, if you can use items, and even the abilities you can use. This change freshens up an already established system, which is honestly what the series needs, and unfortunately it’s not something we’ll see in Megadimension Neptunia VII, which felt stale after a decent amount of time.

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This title also allows players to manage a squad of four gals. This new system also allows players to place the girls how they want in order to establish their place in combat. Not doing so could quite easily determine how quickly you’ll win or lose. This was something that does come with trial and error as enemies can easily swarm players, hitting multiple girls at once, and bringing players down to their knees. While this does determine how delicately you’ll need to balance your placement, it offers a challenge that is enjoyable and even new to the series. This is something that should quite honestly be implemented later in.

The series has been renowned for trying something new. It is a series that has twisted itself across multiple genres to provide players with the best experiences to date. While you tend to go across familiar places such as Virtua Forest, players will find themselves doing as much as possible in order to enjoy the game and do what they must to have an enjoyable experience. The game adds in new segments that weren’t previously available in past titles. This includes climbing walls, moving across rope-lines, and even dashing across the map, which breaks the monotony of revising old segments within the series.

However, as fresh as these changes may seem, there’s a few things that did carry over that probably shouldn’t have from past titles. This includes the atrocious grind to continue forth, rather long hours of exploring dungeons, but even the need to explore side-quests in order to find yourself getting the experience needed to progress from time-to-time. Luckily, side-quests actually benefit players who want to find the powerful bossed named “Time Eater” a bit weaker than they should. It does put some meaning to all those little tedious missions you’ll need to run around and complete, but to some, it’s just a nuance that needs quashed.

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Superdimension Neptune VS SEGA Hard Girls PlayStation Vita
Developer: 
Compile Heart
Publisher: 
Idea Factory
Cost: 
$39.99
Release Date: 
Now Available

Among many of the games new functions added in, players will find themselves enjoying the game the way they should, and they will even find themselves selecting character classes for each character to use. Much like the characters, each of these classes level-up separately from one another. This means classes such as the Nomad, the Noble Thief, and many others as they will become viable later on in the game.

While the game does carry over the problem of grinding from other titles, Superdimension Neptune VS SEGA Hard Girls offers up many changes that the franchise needs, and even attempts to re-invent an already established series with many of its installments that are already out, and the many more to come in the future.


Our review is based upon a retail version of the game provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 7 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

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 TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

Review: MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune vs Zombies – Out of.. School because of Zombies?


Pros:
+
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

Cons:
Cut scenes are longer than each base mission
The games real guts are hidden in the multiplayer
Extremely short campaign


SS6

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.

SS5

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.

SS8

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.

SS3

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.

SS4

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_batgr_prof

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 TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.