Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online (PC) Review

By Ian Soltes 31.03.2018

Review for Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online on PC

It was almost inevitable really. Given the proclivity for the Hyperdimension Neptunia series to address many things going on in the gaming industry, it was inevitable that eventually MMOs would be in the firing line. Taking its cue from the in-game videogame, '4 Goddesses Online,' Nep and the gang have gotten into the beta of the game. Now it's time for the player to play as Neptune playing as Neptune in 4 Goddesses Online II! Cubed3 reviews Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online, out now on PC.

In a bit of a break from the standard set-up for a Neptunia game, or RPGs in general, 4 Goddesses Online is a surprisingly cheery refresher. Neptune and her friends have just gotten the beta passes into the upcoming sequel to their favourite in-universe MMO, 4 Goddesses Online II. They quickly enter in and discover that the beta is proceeding perfectly as planned and that they are having a lot of fun. There's only one tiny problem. Two players, known as Kiria and Black Cat Princess, are kind of being super-competitive with the main cast in their efforts to be the best at the game, to the point where a more sinister force just may be able to take advantage of the growing one-sided rivalry to bring an end to the world… of 4 Goddesses Online II.

Screenshot for Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online on PC

In a nice departure from the norm, Neptune and Co. fight in real-time with this instalment. It's fairly intuitive on the whole and controls decently well. The characters attack fairly fluidly, and block responsively; their abilities feel very smooth on the whole, along with everything else. Coming from a background in which the series has stuck rigidly to turn-based action, it's surprising to find this coming off ever so smoothly. Although, maybe it's due to a background in PC MMOs as opposed to console ones, but the controls don't really feel like an MMO's controls. This wouldn't be a nit-pick in any other situation, and isn't really here, but the game is clearly an action game wearing under guise of an MMO more than anything.

Working with a party of either three AI or, in a surprising twist, three human players over the Internet, the players tackle a series of quests in a format pretty similar to what would be expected of such a title. It's all fairly stock on the whole for an action game, to be honest, just stock that controls a lot tighter than plenty of other titles and is reinforced by the power of Nep than anything else. Working with other players is, as to be expected, a mixed bag. Some players seem to be interested in working together on the various missions, while others seem perfectly willing to jump around like crazy bunny rabbits and be next to useless.

Screenshot for Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online on PC

The AI isn't really that much of an improvement, though. It would be but it gets stuck up on some of the simplest things. A simple ledge, for instance, can cause a massive amount of trouble because the AI struggles to recognise that it exists. Sure, it will jump if it approaches the ledge, but if an enemy is above the ledge and their character is below the ledge, the AI seems to adore just wasting attacks hitting nothing. Still, it is arguably more intelligent than some players online…

As to be expected, each of the four characters take on one of several roles and it's not terribly surprising, either, as to who is what. Series fans won't even bat an eyelid when finding characters like Ram and Rom functioning together as a Samurai/Ninja pair, for example. As well, it's great to see the characters back on top form, as always - working together, playing off each other, and even lessons on tea from Vert popping up, which is a bit surprising.

Screenshot for Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online on PC

Unfortunately, Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online simply isn't that well balanced on the whole in terms of gear and item distribution. This normally wouldn't be such a big problem if it also wasn't just so glaring. One of the things players are allowed to do, for example, is upgrade weapons and armour, with each costing resources and cash. Nothing too unusual, until it gets revealed that certain characters require parts from later dungeons to upgrade what is, for all practical intents and purposes, the exact same weapons and armour that their counterparts, who just upgraded with earlier pieces, had. The stinginess of the shops, and the fact that bosses only drop materials as opposed to actual pieces of gear, makes this worse since it means a character may get stuck with a garbage weapon while her comrades quickly bypass her simply because it requires one part that can't be found for another two dungeons.

However, no one is playing Cyberdimension Neptunia for 4 Goddesses Online II, they are playing it for Neptune. Once again, Nep's back in all her fun and enjoyable glory. No need to worry there. The plot makes sure that both her and the other goddesses get a decent amount of screen-time, although it is noticeably less than what comes around in the mainline series of games. The new characters, in the form of the helpful AI Bouquet, Kiria, and Black Cat Princess, are fairly decent on the whole with Bouquet getting the majority of development. Kiria is a fairly nice parody of a certain anime MMO swordsman, as well, and it's actually kind of nice to see certain things involving them happen. The main problem, however, is that the game is rather short on the whole, which doesn't give the main cast enough time to truly pull all their mojo together to excel. When they are on-screen, they are up to their usual old tricks and being enjoyable, but it's just not as much as it should be.

Screenshot for Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Honestly, were it not for some really glaring problems, such as the AI's problems with ledges and the poor gear balancing, the game itself would be pretty fun. There are no surprises, but it also fairly solid on the whole. Sure, there's plenty of backtracking and the like, but those who are familiar with both Neptune's games and with MMOs probably won't even bat an eyelid at this point. Neptune's glorious and fun-loving self is the main saving grace and rally point, so the verdict is fairly obvious: if you want to Nep out, Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online has got the Nep. Other people may want to play some of her mainline RPGs instead…

Developer

Compile Heart

Publisher

Idea Factory

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

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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