Can Iffy’s entry into the Neptunia franchise live up to the NepNep heritage? Or will this spin off fall flat? Let’s find out in our review of Superdimension Neptunia VS. Sega Hard Girls.
It has to be said upfront that I’m a huge fan of the Neptunia games. I’ve said it before I even started reviewing games, and I said it not long ago when I reviewed another spinoff. So, on the one hand, I may have a bit of “beer goggles” when it comes to the Nepster. On the other hand, though, my expectations are quite high, and I don’t like being disappointed.
This spinoff is much closer to the main series than others (like Noire’s SRPG): it’s an RPG with a semi-real-time battle system. The battle system is new, however, and quite a good one, too.
The main series has a battle system that lets you move around to better “aim” attacks that damage multiple enemies, or to avoid getting your healer hurt. Iffy’s game has a similar approach, but instead of “main attacks” and “skills”, it uses a different system called “Fever Time”. It’s a fill-the-gauge-and-use-the-skill type of affair but works quite well and is nicely balanced.
“Class change” is another addition to the series, bringing a bit more customization to stat managing than other entries, where you could only do this via items.
These are all excellent changes to a formula that may have otherwise seem all to familiar to fans of the series, and help keep the gameplay fresh.
Not all is rosey in the land of Iffy, though.
A problem that has been plaguing the Neptunia games of late is all over this release, too: the use of assets from other games.
While I understand using certain enemies that are hallmarks of the series, and maybe a couple of key locations, Neptunia games have been reusing complete maps, including enemy location and variety, since Re;Birth2.
This is not a problem if you only play one game in the series, as the level design is actually quite clever and the enemies are plentiful and well thought out. But if you, like me, have played a lot of NepNep, the usage of the same maps and enemies from 5 games ago feels like punishment for loyalty, instead of a reward.
The maps, environments and characters all look fantastic (as they always do in Neptunia games) and the engine has been perfected to run on Vita so that it’s now so smooth, it’d be a Michael Jackson song if it became a criminal (hey, I’m 30, leave me alone).
The script is a bit below par for a Neptunia game, but considering it’s a spinoff, it doesn’t bother me all that much. It still has the quirky humor based on the gaming industry we all know and love, but the lack of interaction between main CPUs make it a bit less interesting than, say, Re;Birth1.
The voice acting continues to be top notch throughout, however, and a definitely one of the coolest features of the game.
The new characters are really fun, though, and all represent SEGA systems with a lot of heart. I particularly liked Hatsumi Sega, the “big sis”. I think the SEGA girls in general provide a lot of insight into how one of the most iconic companies in the industry sees itself.
All in all, Iffy’s foray into protagonism is a fun, lighthearted RPG for the Vita, and a great game if you’ve never played a Neptunia game before. But if you have, the rehashing of enemies, characters and whole environments may put you off.
- Title: Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls
- Publisher: Marvelous / Idea Factory International
- Developer: Compile Heart /
- Format: Physical / PSN Download
- Size on Card: 1.5GB