[Beyond PlayStation] Super Neptunia RPG Review
Super Neptunia RPG on Nintendo Switch presents an interesting and fun twist to the formula. Learn more in our Super Neptunia RPG review!
The Neptunia series is a long-running franchise that started in Japan back in the year 2010 with the release of Hyperdimension Neptunia on PlayStation 3. After the first game, we got Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 and Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory on PS3, which were later remade for the PlayStation Vita, and Megadimension Neptunia VII on PlayStation 4 in 2017, which ended up getting an enhanced re-release a year later with an optional PS VR mode and graphical enhancements.
But wait, there’s more! There have also been spin-off releases on PlayStation Vita that include Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (an idol simulator/rhythm game/dating sim), Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart (turn-based tactical RPG), Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed (a Musou-style release), MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies (a hack ‘n’ slash game), Superdimension Neptune vs Sega Hard Girls (a cross-over RPG with the Sega Hard Girls – girls that represent each of Sega’s consoles), and Nep-Nep Connect: Chaos Chanpuru (free to play card battle game) which never made it out of Japan. There is also Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online on PS4, which is an action RPG that takes on some MMO characteristics.
And now we have Super Neptunia RPG on the Nintendo Switch, a new spin-off from Idea Factory International, Compile Heart, and Canadian team Artisan Studios, that does away with the 3D graphics and settings of previous entries in the series in favor of great looking hand-drawn 2D backgrounds and characters. On top of this, the game will also provide us with a different take on battles that will remind you of the Valkyrie Profile series. After a short cutscene that introduces each of your main characters, you are thrown into a battle to learn the basics about fights.
The way you set up your formation plays a big part in how battles take place since depending on which of the four Goddesses is leading the group you will enter into the Strike, Magic, Support, or Heal formations, changing what combos you can unleash on enemies. Each of your characters uses actions points (AP) to attack, and as time passes, you will gain more AP so that you can continue attacking. As you attack enemies, you will increase the break gauge. Once it reaches a specific point, you will be able to use a character’s break attacks.
Each of your four characters is controlled with the A, B, X, and Y buttons, and you will get to easily see which button controls which character by checking the brightly colored button prompts on top of them. You can target enemies with the D-Pad so that you can send characters their way to deal some considerable damage. Paying attention during battle is a must since if you manage to deal elemental damage to an enemy’s weak point, you will get some bonus AP so that you can quickly continue your attack.
After completing the tutorial battle, you will see that Nep is actually asleep in a bed inside of a colorful house. After being awoken by a rude NPC dressed in black who demands you to hand over your software to cover the municipal tax. Nep, as you can imagine, has no idea what this guy is talking about, and it is then we learn that in this land, its citizens must pay 2D game taxes. Nep also has no idea of where she is, who this guy is… or who she is! That’s right, we’re in for a case of protagonist amnesia. Once the NPC learns about this, he softens up a bit and helps Nep learn she must head to the guild for assistance – turns out this NPC’s lover also had amnesia.
He is part of Bombyx Mori, an organization that forces citizens of this 2D land to create 2D games that are offered as tax payment to its leader.
You will be able to more around each 2D area with the left analog stick, and jump with the B button as needed. NPC can be interacted with by pressing the A button to talk to them and learn more about them and each area you visit. You can dash with the R button, and slash with your weapon with the Y button – hit an enemy to commence battle with a boost to your party’s AP. The A button can also be used to search treasure chests to open them so that you can grab its contents. Each of your characters can equip a weapon, and armor piece and a trinket, and those found in treasure chests can certainly help to boost their stats. There is also the option of using your credits to purchase equipment at the shop.
Speaking of purchasing things with your credits, you should also check the item shop to see what you can add to your inventory. There are berries which help to recover some of a characters lost hit points (HP), a life fragment that can be used to revive a character that has been defeated, as well as different stones that can be used to deal physical, fire, ice, earth, wind, light, dark, lighting, or water. You might also want to grab some antidotes to remove poison since you never know when you’re going to run into an enemy that can end up poisoning your entire party!
Some of the weapons, accessories, and bracelets you obtain might bestow skills and abilities. If you have equipped that weapon, accessory, or bracelet, then you can use the skill or ability as long as the item is equipped to a character. But you can also unlock them once they have gained enough experience from battles and you’ve maxed out their experience count. When you gain a skill or ability this way, you’ll be able to use it even if the item is not part of your active equipment. To use abilities, you’ll need to activate them with your ability points, which is the game’s way of balancing things so that you don’t turn into an overpowered bunch.
When exploring a dungeon, be sure to check your map by pressing the – button, as this will allow you to see where you are, where you’ve already been to and where you should be headed. The icons on the map will also tell you if there’s a treasure chest, an enemy, a save point, a travel point to a new floor, an exit to a new area, or a boss that you will need to fight. Be sure to move around the map and zoom in with the right analog stick to have a closer look. If, on the other hand, you want to see the entire map at once, you can do so by pressing the Y button.
On top of the main quest of “save everything,” you will also be given additional side-quests to complete. Your first one will be for collecting some glowing magic stones that are floating around the land – stones that you can later trade for stuff. Citizens will offer more and more quests, and you will need to decide if you take on them or not. If you say no, you can always talk to them again to accept a quest, but once you’ve taken on a quest, you can’t cancel it. Complete a quest, and you will be rewarded for your efforts – you will get credits, equipment, items, or experience points.
If you’re a fan of the series and are ready for a new take on the franchise, then you’re going to love Super Neptunia RPG. The new gorgeous hand-drawn art will grab your attention right from the start, and the fast-paced battle system will keep you engaged for many hours. Add on top the many side-quests you can take on as you also complete mandatory quests to move the story forward as you find or purchase new weapons, accessories, and bracelets for your party members, unlocking new permanent skills and abilities as you level up your equipment, and you have a winning formula on Nintendo Switch.
This Super Neptunia RPG review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Idea Factory International.