MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies (PS Vita) Review

By Ian Soltes 28.06.2016

Review for MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies on PS Vita

A short while ago, Compile Heart released a title called Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed. It was their first foray into the action series, and it had some problems. From a cast that was a bit underwhelming, a lacklustre story, gameplay imbalances (All hail Uni! Master of assured victory!) to a simple lack of content, it was okay. Held together by a good cast and nothing that qualified as truly painful, it was… average. Now, with some experience under its belt, Compile Heart is ready to take a second crack at it! By putting the girls in high-school!

Yes, that's correct. MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune vs. Zombies starts off with easily one of the strangest premises yet. For a game in which you can see a female version of the X-box get into a fight with an incarnation of freemium games in the form of speedo-wearing mice, that is certainly an accomplishment. This time around, the girls are part of a high-school that is suffering from low enrolment rates, to the point that it is slated to be closed. In a final bid to attract new students and keep the school thriving, the girls shoot a movie. However, they lack a script-writer, and it just so happens that Blanc, renowned for her constant reading and writing, is willing to help out.

The plan is derailed when a zombie outbreak then happens at the school. That is actually fortunate, however, because they were shooting a zombie movie anyways! So it's off to shoot the movie, and, maybe, resolving the zombie outbreak along the way as well. There is only one problem: Blanc is a terrible writer! Her scripts go all over the place, are full of plot-holes, have actors randomly shifting roles, and simply contain poor dialogue.

Had the game tried to play the story straight, it would have been terrible. HDN is not known for playing stories straight, however, and instead presents it as an awful and amateur zombie movie, making the story pleasant and allowing the girls personalities to shine. By finally allowing Plutia, Peachy, and two new characters to the cast, the personalities excel, and the girls play off one another well. It may not be as enjoyable as the mainline games but it is certainly both present and entertaining.

Screenshot for MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies on PS Vita

The game also steps it up with a full-on multiplayer mode and a series of missions meant to be tackled with a group of allies. While some of these missions can be handled alone with little problem, others, such as the major bosses, are intimidating and difficult. As such, extra teamwork is a major boon. Add in alternate scenes, behind-the-scenes content, treasure-hunting, and the generally larger cast, the game rounds off rather well.

Yet it has one stumbling block, and a major one, at that: the gameplay. MegaTagmension feels like it took Action U's notes, copied them, updated them a bit, and then submitted them without much actual improvement. While the action has improved, with characters that are more balanced (for the most part; Uni, while weaker, is still curb-stompingly overpowered), the inclusion of items usable during battle, improved Lily-Rank gaining, it still hasn't addressed the core flaw. The combat is too easy and becomes stale too quickly. While the maps are larger (a welcome change), they also often feel empty and unused, and provide no real reason to explore. Similar games often have multiple objectives over the map and even RWBY: Grimm Eclipse, which is still in Early Access, has varied goals and hidden items. MegaTagmension feels like one big brawl against foes, while coming to a screeching halt when a stage boss appears, at which point it becomes a delicate and annoying battle of repetition to defeat them.

The result is mixed. The game has clearly improved over Action U but hasn't actually addressed its core problems; gameplay feels unpolished, and the plot is underwhelming (though it is stronger and better than before). The verdict, then, was inevitable.

Screenshot for MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

MegaTagmension has grown by quite a few bounds, yet still hasn't addressed the core issue that plagued its predecessor. As a portable game in which things can be handled in bite-sized pieces, some of this is excusable and fits well, but only because the game was designed with short bursts of play in mind. While the story is fun to experience, for the more dedicated gamer, there are superior choices out there in volumes.

Developer

Compile Heart

Publisher

Idea Factory

Genre

Brawler

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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