Developer: Tamsoft Corporation Publisher: Idea Factory International Reviewed on the PlayStation Vita
It seems like every month there’s a new Hyperdimension Neptunia game. I personally do not see this as a problem since it seems like the team that works on every new game learns from the mistakes they made in their previous game. The latest Neptunia spin off, due out on May 10th, is Megatagmension Blanc + Neptune V.S. Zombies.
This game is largely based on a Japanese Neptunia light novel series Chou Jigen Game Neptune: High School. In Megatagmension Blanc + Neptune V.S. Zombies the four goddesses attend the school Gamicademi to understand what it truly means to be human. Everyone is loving school life, but because of declining birthrates the school is in danger of closing down. In a desperate attempt to save the school, Blanc and Neptune team up to create a zombie movie when *surprise* actual zombies shows up. They have to now film their movie and deal with the zombies.
Unlike most Neptunia games, this is not an RPG but an action musou style game just like last year’s Hyperdimension Neptunia U. The way this game handles is actually the same as Hyperdimension Neptunia U minus the Senran Kagura-esque costume breaks. Like Neptunia U, it has a combo system that’s not as in depth as other musous, but having 14 (28 in multiplayer) characters that each handles differently makes up for the lack of depth. This game is very fast paced and the story takes about 8-12 hours to complete. There are also alternate scenes to unlock once you complete the single player story mode. Overall, the story is much better than Neptunia U’s plot and actually features a villain.
Unlike Neptunia U, this game features something that is a first for the series: multiplayer via local ad hoc and online play. I booted the game up and went immediately to multiplayer; low and behold I found someone actually playing! I played with this person for about an hour to get a true feel for how multiplayer works, and it works very well. During my play, I did not experience any lag or have connection issues like some would expect with a game of this type. While the gameplay does not change much compared to single play, on average, it still takes about one to two minutes to complete a mission. Unlike most games, the missions that you play in multiplayer are different from the ones in the story mode. If you want to play the online missions but do not have anyone to play with, you can play multiplayer missions solo. A nice touch in online mode are the major villains in the Megadimension series that make appearances as enemies and bosses. Unlike the single player mode, the multiplayer mode has the transformations versions of each character as completely separate characters. The online feature adds hours of gameplay to Megatagmension Blanc + Neptune V.S. Zombies. I hope when Idea Factory produces more action games that they’ll make the multiplayer aspect even better.
The Neptunia series really is not known for its photorealistic graphics and orchestrated soundtrack. The graphics of this game really is on the same level as Neptunia U. This game is very bright and colorful as if watching a 3D anime in motion. The audio is mostly borrowed from other games in the series. It’s not a bad thing, but just something that is the same old same old. Something that I expect from the Neptunia series by now is amazing voice acting and this game did not disappoint. One aspect that was disappointing in this series is that the English dub seems to skip scenes that are otherwise voiced in the Japanese dub. I was very pleased to hear that I could not find any scenes that were not voiced in English unlike the other games in the series.
While this game is a heavily upgraded successor to Hyperdimension Neptunia Action U, Megatagmention Blanc + Neptune V.S. Zombies corrects almost everything that was wrong with its predecessor. With the introduction of a wonderful multiplayer that adds hours of gameplay, it makes for an experience that most action fans should enjoy. If you can look past the game’s reliance on anime tropes, which can be a turn off for some, this game is something that you will definitely enjoy for a long time.