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Superdimensional Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls review a charming JRPG, or a tedious one.
my video review
Just the thumbnail for the review
I played the original Hyperdimensional Neptunia game last year and review it and I enjoy it and it became a guilty pleasure. Only problem every time the game won me over with its charm it decided it had to do something creepy, for the sake of doing something creepy or for fan service. Still I like it enough to give another game in the series a go Megatagmensional Blanch plus Neptune VS Zombies and that one was horrible. Don’t get me wrong not broken horrible, more like the game was trying to be cheap and cute without realizing how to do cheap and cute properly. The story in these game are beyond moronic but done so too be satirical and funny, that game side lined the 4th wall breaker Neptune to focus on Blanch and her bad storytelling, and what we got was just bad. So how did we do in the 3rd round with the latest game Super dimensional Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls. Actually this is the best one I’ve played yet, it balances it’s moronic sense of humor, can be charming, and doesn’t ever get too anime creepy, let’s check it out.
I guess when it comes to a lot of the games happen in other dimensions meaning they can reset the relationships between the character’s and their roles just a little bit. In case you’re wondering who the main character in the game it’s not Neptune, it’s actually IF the straight woman of the team who has to deal with Neptune’s craziness and Compa’s idiocy. Anyways the world she lives in this one is a wasteland that was long destroyed do to the goddess and there battle against the Sega Hard Girls.
Oh I guess I should explain them because I had to google them too. Sega Hard Girls is a light novel series in Japan in which all of the Sega consoles have somehow become super wacky and colorful goddesses. Which is pretty much the exact same premise has this series. Anyways IF rescues a young woman named Segami from falling and finds the lost library which she was searching for too do research on how her world became this way. That said not long after arriving at the library the librarian Histore notices that history is disappearing do to the invasion of the time eater. In order to stop it from erasing history IF and the mysterious Segami; who can also transform into the Sega hard girls, have to go back to the 4 different eras and investigate the problems in each area.
And that’s pretty much the plot has each area has a Sega hard girl battling one of Neptunes family, yeah the goddess representing Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have been sidelined each of these are based on Neptunes family. Basically it’s the real Sega hardware fighting against the fake stand in Sega hardware that the Neptune series created for itself. Anyways IF and Segami have to find a way to stop the fighting.
Has far has the humor I was at first worried because again IF is the straight man and not known to be the go too character for humor. So how do they accomplish it, well Segami’s ideas can be extreme giving her the ability to react to them, but they also not dumb enough this time too sidelined the meta humor character. And the way they do it is kind of unique. After a few missions involving trying to stop the fighting against Neptune and Sega Saturn, IF and Segami fail to stop the war and the history around them starts to erase itself, yeah I bet Sega wishes the Sega Saturn would erase itself. Anyways because Neptune saves them from being deleted she manages to somehow merge with IF bike. Meaning she can’t really contribute much to the plot because she’s stuck in the bike but she’s around whenever the game needs a meta joke or two and she’s funny. From pointing out the cheapness of the game, too pointing out that Segami’s amnesia cliché is being pushed way too far, to pointing out people might have been expecting a boss fight in an area where the game doesn’t have one Neptune is funny.
Neptune complains about there was no boss fight
I will warn while the game does keep away from being creepy with its joke, some are still really dirty that I’m surprised they got away with a T rating, there really funny though so I don’t mind them. I only mind stupid stuff like that if it’s done to be creepy or if it feels cheap. None of the jokes or humor feels that way here so it’s much improved. And we get plenty of good satire that came from the original Neptunia game has there is plenty of jokes based on the industry and how fanboys who take console worshiping more series then actual religion can be the most destructive thing to the game industry. If there is one complaint about the story is why they do make jokes on Sega consoles like Game Gear needing 6 juice bottles to last about 3 hours, making a joke that the game gear just gobbled up batteries no jokes on Sega software is made. While the game consoles are important what give us the memories of them is the software, there in the end just plastic, wires and chips in the end, without the software and no jokes on them are made. And I’ll get why that bothers me when I hit the problems with the gameplay.
While the story is much improved I really can’t say much about the gameplay. My complaints here are pretty much identical to the complaints I had with the first Neptune game, and yes having Neptune complain about the cheapness of the game is funny, but it’s also IRRITATING. While it is nice too see they upgraded If’s design since she’s the main character a lot of the areas, and of the enemies for the most part have been seen in other Neptune games. HELLO you guys at Sega backing you here, you couldn’t use some of those funds too I don’t know make some new enemies based on Sega properties. Why am I battling generic warp pipes from the Super Mario Bros games which makes since when Blanch the Nintendo girl is front and center but makes no sense since this game is Sega oriented? Why am I not seeing Sonic the hedgehog related areas and enemies? And again I have been through this freaking factory before it’s the same EXACT one from the first Neptune game I played last year. Same forest has the first area too, although some points making it look destroyed in the pre apocalypse era. And a few areas do let you climb on latter’s now but this just means there’s a few side areas now but nothing really new
Battling the same warp pipe enemies, in the same old factory
The combat is ok, it’s not bad, but it’s merely ok. Its turn based and combo based kind of. Yeah no more create your own combo but rather it’s a bar, doing special moves, regular attacks, moving or using items raises the bar. When it hits the red your turn is over. It’s a bit too simple but I will give it this there is some strategy. The more the bar fills the longer it is until your next turn. So ending your turn early can sometimes let you move again. Also doing super moves that kill enemies increase your SP for special moves so there is a little strategy too it.
Another wrinkle about this game is how the special missions are taken up. Granted this was originally a Vita game so it’s got the portable missions given out by Histore. But each mission takes up a turn on the clock and if you don’t select and complete a mission by a certain turn the time eater gobbles up the mission and gains more power from it. After all the turns are up you are force to fight it, get your butt kicked and then Segami resets the timer from the beginning. While this is annoying it does add a wrinkle into fighting the final boss each mission you complete weakens the boss, so while you’re leveling up, completing the missions causes the final boss to level down until your strong enough to beat him.
Overall the gameplay isn’t terrible but there’s nothing unique here and the fact that nothing is done to really improve the series and they don’t bother even changing the stage design around a little is dishearten. I know it’s the story that is the main draw but rehashing things like this is just lazy.
When it comes to the look of this game we do have some nice updates to IF’s design to make her look a little older and mature then she was in the previous Neptune games. The character models for the story book cut scenes are decent enough and well animated enough for what they are. That said again some cheapness was used, Neptune in bike form is just a bike they don’t really animate her, so there most hyperactive character now requires absolutely no animation at all.
The Sega hard girls fit in perfectly next to the Neptune character’s although not upgraded. The game does run smoothly though had a higher frame rate then the original, but not many of the other character’s really received upgrades. And again a lot of these areas are just rehashes from the other games.
The music is pretty much the exact same from the previous Neptune games, it’s ok but nothing to write home. The English dub is done well with voice actors like Kate Higgens Melissa Fahn and Stephine Shea doing some of the lead vocals.
The story in Superdimensional Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls is funny and loaded with charm. But the gameplay is do much the cookie cutter approach that the first Neptune remake I played. What 5 RPG’s later and they still haven’t bother changing anything that’s a problem. Still if you’re a fan of the series it’s worth checking out. I got it for 20 dollars which I think is too much for what I got. I say wait until this is on sale for less than 10 dollars before getting it.