Making its North American debut on October 18th for the PlayStation Vita, Idea Factory brings us Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls; an awesome crossover between Sega Hard Girls and the Neptunia dimension.
After making it to the Grand Library, IF encounters the disaster or all disasters: history is being erased! IF and Segami journey through time to uncover the mystery of why history is being erased. As they jump to different eras (Sega eras) they discover the CPU’s and Sega Hard Girls are at odds with one another sending waves of destruction across the land. It is up to Segami and IF to make things right and restore history. Where is Neptune in this story (she is in the title after all)? She’s IF’s motorcycle, of course!
The game plays similar to the basic RPG style of turn-based Neptunia games. What makes the game play stand out from other titles is the variety of action you can take during a turn. For example, you can run, jump, and collect gem power ups (for more SP, HP, etc.) including a special rainbow gem that unleashes Fever Time when you have reached maximum fever. Your action is limited to your meter gauge; the more actions your perform during a turn your gauge will increase and max out. This increases the amount of actions you can take per turn so you can hit a monster or two, buff up, or heal if you need to. Adventuring through the levels is also a lot of fun because you can jump, climb, and run through the level; the playing field is more dynamic. Of course, you still have the generic monsters roaming area.
I can’t say the graphics are spectacular or off the chart. You are still venturing in essentially the same levels and encounter the same monsters that are in every other Neptunia game out there. Action cut scenes when you unleash a special move are also nothing to boast about. The game feels like it should be on the PlayStation 4 platform VS the Vita because moves and cut scenes feel choppy.
Pros: The story is fun to play through and meeting the Sega Hard Girls in a Neptunia game is the perfect mix; they belong together. It was also awesome seeing other Sega Hard Girls (outside of Mega Drive, Saturn, and Dreamcast) each with their own personalities relative to their systems. Neptune makes the game (for me, anyway) taking on the role of comic relief; Segami and IF are both pretty serious characters so Neptune breaks the tension. Neptune is especially funny because she becomes a motorcycle; I’d say it makes the perfect material for jokes.
The addition of running, jumping, climbing, and crawling creates a more dynamic feel to the Dungeons. Actions are limited, but it gives you more to do other than run through to fight monsters and search for the Event point; it pushes you to explore entire maps.
Cons: I was so disappointed that I’m not actually playing the Sega Hard Girls. Instead, they’re “clones” gathered from data or Segami transforms into them and uses their powers. Sure, you can argue you are still playing as the Sega Hard Girls, but having them be a “clone” removes me from their character and I feel like it took away from the novelty of even having them on my team. That’s not to say you’re not meeting the “real” Sega Hard Girls, but their personalities do fall short compared to the show. However, I do like stepping away from the main Neptunia cast and getting in some game play with new characters. Plutia has become a new fave.
The story feels like it hits a dead end too soon. Early on, you unravel the mystery and the game goes from playing a story into playing missions to level up so you can defeat the anti-climatically revealed boss. Each mission weakens the boss and that gives you ample time to level up and beat it. Where’s the surprise and lust to continue when you already know what it is?
I felt the game was also unbalanced. You are given missions, but some of them are impossible to beat. There’s also an imposed time limit where you have an X amount of time to clear the mission, otherwise your final monster gets the upper-hand and you have to delve into the past once more. Some missions supplement the story, but I hit the point where I have to (no surprise, this is an RPG after all) grind to level up and fight a boss. Since I wasn’t leveled up enough, and the mission didn’t give me an idea of how strong I needed my team to be, I was fighting battles where my attacks did zero damage and my entire team was taken out in one hit. Then, it was back to the Main Menu with a lot of grumbling on my part. Dungeons also felt unbalanced since the monsters didn’t level up with my characters. There was no consistent challenge -I either took monsters out in one hit, or I was completely annihilated in one blow.
Overall, the game did not meet my expectations. The story is fun, and of course I love the characters. I loved how the game was a little more dynamic letting you adventure more through the levels, but being so unbalanced and turning the story into missions deterred my enjoyment. Not to mention you aren’t actually playing as the Sega Hard Girls. Fans of the franchise will appreciate it, but don’t pick up the title with high expectations.
Will you be picking up this game? Let me know in the comments!