[Review] Super Neptunia RPG – Nintendo Switch

Written by Thomas Haroldsen

Reviewed by Thomas

  • Developer: COMPILE HEART
  • Publisher: Idea Factory
  • Release Date: 25/06/2019
  • Price: $49.00 / £44.99
  • Review code provided by Idea Factory

Intro

For those unfamiliar with Idea Factory’s Neptune and the Neptunia series, I’ll briefly get you up to speed. The series originated in 2010 with Hyperdimension Neptunia. The franchise takes place in the fictional world Gamindustri and the main characters represent various consoles. Neptune is the Goddess of Planeptune and is the embodiment of the Sega Neptune. Noire is over the Lastation region for PlayStation. Nintendo is represented by Blanc who oversees Lowee. Finally Vert is in charge of Leanbox for the Xbox system. There are various games in the series with several spin-offs. 

Again With the Amnesia, Huh?

Super Neptunia RPG is the latest entry in the Neptunia world. Though it differs from its predecessors, it was still a lot of fun to live in the gaming world and look for all the subtle and not so subtle references to other popular games. Neptunia doesn’t just break the fourth wall, it shatters it. Constantly. The game is very aware of popular gaming tropes and pokes fun at every chance. Super Neptunia RPG crafts a fun story while never taking itself too seriously. When the main heroine wakes with amnesia, she sarcastically remarks on the overused vehicle to drive stories forward. Throughout the adventure with Neptune and gang, you will find loads of references to other games. Whether she sings a popular fanfare upon battle victory to joking about becoming a plumber when she uses pipes to get around. And don’t get me started on bokémon and bokémon trainers.

Though the story plays on common themes, it’s surprisingly deeper then it comes off. The undertones certainly capture common complaints and trivialities of the idea of a console war. During the adventure of the four amnesiac goddesses, they encounter a group who would stifle creativity and force only 2D games on the world of Gamindustri. As part of this groups heinous acts, they burn books and seize software engineers who attempt to make 3D games. It’s as bizarre as it sounds but the plot makes sense and reveals more as you play. Some points become somewhat predictable but it was still fun to see everything play out. 

Petris? What Kind of Game Is That?

Super Neptunia RPG at its core is a Japanese role-playing game. Some aspects which stood out to me was how to learn new abilities. As the characters equip various items, they can use the skill attached to it. If they wear it long enough, they will permanently learn the ability. As they level up, more abilities can be activated at a time. Combat isn’t turn-based, learning abilities to compliment the other party members is key. Battles are fluid. Your party has a shared pool of action points. You can let your actions build up and dish out combos, or you can have one character spam an attack that the enemy is weak to.

Most battles went by fairly quickly. Once you have multiple party members you can use the R and the L button to change their position. Depending on who is in front, the skills everyone else can equip and use will vary. When Neptune is in the lead your stance is called Strike and everything is melee focused. If you cycle to Blanc then everyone focuses on healing. Some skills can be used in all the lineups where others are specific to the formation. This allowed for a lot of customization and made the battle system engaging and fun.

You can expect a fair amount of side quests to undertake. Be warned if you’re a completionist however, some quests can be missed and will stay in your pending list for the rest of the game. There are also guild requests where you can take on special challenges by fighting stronger monsters. One aspect of gameplay I didn’t expect was the platforming. Throughout the main portion of the game it is pretty simplified and only serves for getting you around the map. Toward the end there are a few levels that require platforming as part of the story. If you miss a jump you’re penalized by starting the board at the beginning. Overall it wasn’t too challenging but the controls were a little clunky and it was clear the platforming mechanics were not fine tuned.

If the People Ever Played 3D Games, It Would Corrupt Them!

The gang enjoy a break around the table

I absolutely adore the graphics in Super Neptunia RPG. The color schemes are vibrant and easy to look at. There are a lot of varied environments and backgrounds to enjoy. There are also several cut scenes where the characters are eating around a table in a chibi art style and additional gorgeous stills. 

The soundtrack served its purpose without becoming annoying. Though it wasn’t memorable either. Most of the dialogue has voice acting which was done very well. Each actor brought the characters to life with proper inflection and tone. The cast did a tremendous job adding value to the overall product. 

You Know I’m the Protagonist, Right?

Super Neptunia RPG played without any issues. Whether playing in handheld mode or on the television, it looked fantastic. Neptunia RPG is yet another title which takes advantage of gaming on the go and at home. If you own multiple consoles, the Nintendo Switch is a great place to give Neptune a home.

Final Wrap

Neptune claims she's the protagonist

Super Neptunia RPG serves a great story with engaging gameplay. The characters and voice actors work well together and deliver a lot of memorable scenes. The artwork is beautiful and aside from some clunky platforming I enjoyed every minute of the game. Neptunia doesn’t take itself too serious and made for some humorous moments. It was easy to sit back and relax while enjoying the experience.

Pros

  • Engaging Combat
  • Hilarious Writing
  • Beautiful Graphics

Cons

  • Troublesome Platforming

Verdict
Super Neptunia RPG offers a fun romp around Gamindustri for new and returning fans alike.
4.5/5

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