Megadimension Neptunia VII (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 31.01.2021

Review for Megadimension Neptunia VII on Nintendo Switch

Neptunia games have predominantly been a Playstation series. One spin-off has made it to Nintendo Switch, but Megadimension Neptunia VII from Idea Factory is the first game on the console that is port of a Playstation and Steam game, and most closely resembles the main Neptunia games. It is set in the gaming world where goddesses called CPUs - Console Patron Units - rule over four lands in the world of Gamindustri, competing against each other to become the strongest, yet uniting when their land is threatened. In this title, there are three separate parts to the game, each with their own individual story and theme song, which have credits roll once that part is concluded.

The first part, Zero Dimension Neptunia Z, follows Neptune, goddess of Planeptune, a fictional console, and her younger sister CPU candidate Nepgear. They are transported to a different dimension under attack and they are asked to help the area's CPU, Uzume, defeat the enemy so they can find a way home. This introduces the player to most of Neptunia's game systems, perfect for beginners, although long term fans may feel that it isn't quite a full Neptunia game. The story provides a logical reasoning for this, and all features of a standard Neptunia game are introduced in part two.

The second part of the game, Hyperdimension Neptunia G, sees the main four CPUs goddesses fighting an unknown group called The Gold Third, although there are four in that group despite their title indicating it could be three. Unbelievably, The Gold Third beat the Gamindustri goddesses, causing a massive change in how each nation is run. Each original CPU has their own story to be played. The order is up to the player, but all four have to be played for the game to progress. The CPUs are joined by the CPU candidates, so they are not alone in battling against The Gold Third who has overtaken their nation.

This will be familiar to fans, providing all the aspects of Neptunia games that they are used to. Gaining shares (belief from the population) is gathered through completing various quests. Many quests are repeatable to aid in gathering specific components to unlock various useful, non-essential, and interesting items including clothes which mostly do not improve stats. The game does give direction on where to go at particular points, but often it is up to the individual whether the main story is stuck to or if they want to do other things. Other things include doing a few quests under their belt to help level up characters, get better gear, gain shares to make a particular CPU stronger (shares being support from the population which is pivotal to the second part of the game), or simply return to a favourite dungeon like those in Lowee.

Screenshot for Megadimension Neptunia VII on Nintendo Switch

The final part of the game, Heartdimension Neptunia H, focuses on the younger sisters, the CPU candidates, because the CPUs have disappeared. Each nation's CPU candidate (or candidates for Lowee's twins Rom and Ram) is assisted by The Gold Third member who took control of their CPU's nation in the second part of the game, leading to a heartbreaking finale. This shows newcomers to the series how intrinsic the CPU candidates are to the CPU's lives, and they are as important to the adventure as their older sisters are. Plus having previous antagonists team with the protagonists is a good plot twist that produces debate on how the enemy of an enemy is a friend.

Although divided into three parts, the battle system across the whole game remains the same, excluding a few special attacks. To newcomers, the numerous types of attack may feel a bit overwhelming when trying to remember their specific details. There are thorough explanations which can be referred to after the tutorial, and in actuality, almost all the attacks will cause some damage to all enemies. Mastering the attack system comes with practice and experience, allowing experienced players to maximise the damage dealt to enemies.

HDD, or Hard Drive Divinity, is the special attack form which has unique and powerful moves, but is limited in when and how long it can be used for. This forces players of all levels to think tactically about when to use them, especially in longer boss battles. Enemies within a dungeon respawn after a while, and the type in a dungeon can be changed by completing certain quests and unlocking certain aspects of the game. These alternate enemies drop different items which may be needed for set quests. There are enemies which are harder than normal to defeat, and can be identified in the way they barely move on the map. Levelling up is a must before confronting these fiends.

Screenshot for Megadimension Neptunia VII on Nintendo Switch

Party formation, especially later on in the game, is left to personal choice. Some may pick their party based on stats, others on which of the characters they prefer. Naturally, the technology queen Nepgear should be a permanent party member! The new character Uzume follows closely when transformed as Orange Heart, as does the custard pudding-adoring title protagonist Neptune, who has a clone in this game (clone is not the official term, but the one used to avoid a spoiler about the main plot), quick to flare in a temper Blanc and truly game obsessed Vert.

In any Neptunia game, the characters are what makes the game so enjoyable. The enormous focus on gaming as a theme is integral to the series, but there is another aspect which needs dispelling for Megadimension Neptunia VII and most other games in the series. There is fanservice, but on further investigation it is not present all the time. There are certain long running joke themes that Blanc and Vert share about their appearance, some of the special moves may include a less than appropriate camera angle which can be avoided by blinking in the right place. Some of the outfit styles, especially in HDD form, can be questionable for the more conservative minded. There is a bathhouse scene, but overall it is by no means the majority of the game. It is the humour and camaraderie between all the goddesses and future goddesses which shine through and make the game so thrilling. Long term fans will look for particular quips to reappear, new fans can expect to be surprised by what can be given priority during warfare, especially if it is food and Neptune can be remarkably hard to say not to.

Screenshot for Megadimension Neptunia VII on Nintendo Switch

The anime style graphics are part of Megadimension Neptunia VII's appeal. The dungeon style ranges from cutesy to rather dark and foreboding. The numerous enemies, some who are just a colour change, range from cute slime slash blog like creatures, some with legs, others being a zillion times larger than the normal ones, as well as people riding paper aeroplanes and actual photos of anime girls with a title on them. The battle transformations to HDD mode use magical girl-like sequences that never get dull to watch, especially when they're of a favourite character. Costume changes feature a lot of cute dresses and accessories which remain changed in each fight, as do the weapons. In the later stages of the game, when there are separate parties, it can be fun to designate a hairband or bow to quickly distinguish which team is being used.

Between major parts of the story, there are short skits called Nepstation episodes, involving a few characters chatting about the Neptunia universe. There is a weird dungeon exploring expedition game that will test a player's gaming ability, but is not at all mandatory. The familiar NPCs who pop up with useful hints make a return, and they can be sent off to already visited dungeons to seek hidden treasure that the player then has to go find for themselves, or ordinary items that the player then receives.

Screenshot for Megadimension Neptunia VII on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Gameplay time in Megadimension Neptunia VII can easily get into the sixty hour mark with the various side quests. The New Game Plus mode after completion allows the option of keeping various items and stats, and with three endings to discover the replay value is high. The easy-to-like characters make every gaming session enjoyable, even if it is a short burst, perfect for those who play on the go on Nintendo Switch. Hopefully there will be more Neptunia games ported to the Switch - most were on the Playstation Vita, which even during its time, was not the most popular of handheld systems. Neptune and her friends have found a home on this hybrid console and will win over new fans to their amusing and ludicrous adventures.

Developer

Compile Heart

Publisher

Idea Factory

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

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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