Neptunia Shooter (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 02.06.2019

Review for Neptunia Shooter on PC

Somewhere, in the furthest reaches of the multiverse, lays the Shmup dimension. It is home to a sea of stars. Just as vast and infinite as space itself, are the Dogoos. These blobberific goons float about, throwing waves of bullets in every direction. It is in this strange dimension that Neptune finds herself. Compa, Iffy, and the other three Goddesses are being controlled by a mysterious force. If Neptunia is to rescue her friends, she'll have to shoot and dodge her way through the Dogoo space force. Challenge Neptunia Shooter, the spin-off with a two-dimensional twist.

From SRPGs to Hack 'n' Slashers, the Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise has seen its fair share of spin-offs. With the release of Neptunia Shooter, everyone clamouring for a shmup featuring their favourite anthropomorphized consoles finally gets their wish. Over the course of six stages, Neptune and her BFFs must battle an armada of 'Dogoos.' At the end of each stage, a furious duel with a possessed buddy awaits. Players must do their part to navigate through the chaos. If nothing else, they should attempt to better their high score. Even by STG standards, this is a very short experience. Indeed, the shmup dimension can be saved in less than 15 minutes. Though extends are generous, continues are non-existent, so don't expect a free ride to the end. The replay-value is in trying to lose as few lives as possible.

Screenshot for Neptunia Shooter on PC

Every play-through begins with Neptune. In the first stage, she destroys wave after wave of Dogoos with a straightforward shot. If they aren't eliminated quickly, these slimy jerks will clutter the screen with bullets. Upon reaching the end of the stage, the protagonist must then take on Compa, who flings syringes while dropping pills everywhere - she must be a big fan of Dr. Mario. Once defeated, the nurse will join up. Her pills, which fire in a downward arc, will be a necessity in the battles to come.

As early as the second stage, Dogoos will attack from below, prompting you to switch to Compa in order to clear them out. Swapping leads is as easy as a button-press. Enemies will approach from every direction, often within seconds of each other. Needless to say, the swapping mechanic is constantly used, and will prevent the girls from getting overrun. Of course, it also helps to memorize both patterns and positioning. Enemy waves are always the same, so being at the right place at the right moment will save lives. This is one of the benefits of a short game. It's easier to remember the important details.

Screenshot for Neptunia Shooter on PC

Moving along to the end of stage 2, Neptune and Compa must deal with IF. Iffy, much like every other boss, is not content to stay in one place. After firing off several spreads of bullets, she'll fly around the bottom of the screen, all the while attempting to slice her opponents with deadly leaves. This is essentially the MO of every boss. Their pattern consists of moving around the screen while firing off a variety of projectiles. Switching to the character that can counter their attacks is the key to defeating them. Unsurprisingly, IF will join Neptune's cause if she is defeated. Her weapon of choice is a back-shot, which hits anything directly behind the player-character.

As one is likely to expect, the boss of stage 3 is Noire. Her trademark weapons are balloons, which float above her lovely head, damaging whatever they come in contact with. However, this weapon isn't all that effective. It's as if the balloons aren't as plentiful, as accurate, or as powerful as they should be. Even on a team designed entirely around specific situations, she has a little more trouble with things falling on her than she should. Conversely, Vert gets a fairly useful charge attack, which has both offensive and defensive capabilities. Finally there's Blanc, who gets a shield to protect against bullets. Unfortunately, by the time Blanny becomes playable, it's already the last stage, and there are a lot of projectiles her shield can't absorb.

Screenshot for Neptunia Shooter on PC

Juggling six playable characters, all of whom are designed for particular scenarios, can be an awkward task. There are two swap buttons, but it's hard to find the required heroine for when they're needed the most. Sometimes the player can even press the swap button once too many, and end up getting overwhelmed. It would've been more manageable to assign everyone to a corresponding button. Blanc and Noire could provide support through limited-use abilities, and summoning them would be as easy as pressing the left or right triggers. However, the developer likely wanted a title that's accessible for PC gamers. Forcing them to manage so many inputs on a keyboard would result in far too much frustration.

Given enough time, players can adjust to the control scheme. In doing so, they might appreciate that Neptunia Shooter is pretty competent at what it does. Though the stages and enemies never stray from starfields and Dogoos, there's enough variety to keep the action engaging. The short run-time also works in the game's favour. Losing that last life and having to start over does hurt, but it doesn't take long for someone to figure out where they're going wrong, and hopefully improve in their next attempt.

Screenshot for Neptunia Shooter on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

There's really not much that needs to be said about Neptunia Shooter. It's a decent shmup with an identity of its own. However, it could've been a little more ambitious. Constantly switching between half a dozen weapon… err, characters gets to be messy and annoying. A lot of mechanics are introduced in a very short time, and it's hard to get a handle on them. Practice makes all the difference, but it's not enough to overcome something that seems to favour gimmicks over consistency. If there's ever a sequel, perhaps it should have multiple characters available from the outset, and then build from there. Introducing everything piecemeal over a 15 minute span isn't ideal.

Also known as

Neptunia Shooter

Developer

Idea Factory

Publisher

Idea Factory

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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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