Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 18.05.2024

Review for Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution on Nintendo Switch

It's barely been six months since the last Neptunia title, Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters, made it to Nintendo Switch in January 2024, albeit months later than other console versions, but there is no such thing as too many Neppy games. Developer Compile Heart has reunited with Idea Factory to continue their creative partnership in bringing the newest Neptunia game to both small and large screens. Rather than focusing on the series main four goddesses, or their younger CPU candidate sisters, this is a spin-off action RPG focusing on the marginally less whacky form of the Nepster, known as the adult Neptune, who last featured in the 2015 Megadimension Neptunia VII. Can this bug-loving goddess bring harmony to Gamindustri in this alternate universe with three brand new goddesses and captivate fans as much as the original deities in Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution?

All Neptunia games can be played as standalone titles, although the more of the series is played the more enjoyable the constant humour is and the long-standing jokes are better understood. Having two characters named Neptune, the younger one and the older Nepnep, may seem confusing to newcomers, but long-term fans will appreciate the more poised and forward thinking version getting centre stage. Fortunately, one of the new characters, Pippih (pronounced Pippy), is a super upbeat girl whose battle cry - "Here comes Pippih" - made her a firm favourite and a permanent member on the main team (once other characters were able to be switched out) rather than being annoying. Her teammates Jagaa and Reedio temper Pippih's peppy persona, although they soon find their hands full with mature Neptune, whose motorcycling self gets caught up in the world they live thanks to some divine shenanigans. Together the team form a game company, Victory, and it's up to them to spread their games across the world, even if initially most of the group are renown for being failed goddesses due to an unfortunate past incident.

Using older Neptune is an inventive way of using known Neptunia characters who do make an appearance later in the game, and bringing in some new ones. The Victory goddesses are entertaining, and while they are not well-known characters, perhaps they may get to feature in future games, too. It was quite easy to get into the rhythm of their group dynamic, as well as getting to grips with the battle systems. While characters can change into their divine form when enough energy is gathered, less focus was put on the cool looking outfit change. Instead, Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution primarily places importance on the Link Chain system, where switching characters mid-fight at the right time leads to combined attacks that pack more punch than singular hits.

Unfortunately, the other fight mechanics details, like the system where non-main party members are paired to a main team member to provide supportive attributes in battle, was not very well explained and it was only thanks to experience of prior games that this element was fully understood. Knowing when to switch a character to create the chain effect was easy because the relevant character's head appeared in the centre of the screen if that setting was activated. Those who want more autonomy can switch off that setting and look to the left-hand side to see which members are ready to be chained, but the setting made it simpler to keep on, especially during tougher boss fights when multiple items needed to be used and battle tactics needed changing partway through.

Screenshot for Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution on Nintendo Switch

The lack of turn-based play for individual characters in early Neptunia games like the Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth trilogy might feel strange if not many newer Neptunia titles have been played, but the ability to set usable combo skills and change them as new skills are acquired made the sometimes fast and furious battles easier than leaving each skill set to separate buttons. As usual, if levelling up is not consistently paid attention to by traversing non-main story dungeons, the inevitable boss difficulty spike will loom sooner rather than later. By expanding the map areas at each available opportunity and taking time to explore each dungeon thoroughly, it wasn't until chapter five boss fights that a single item was used in battle, as the team was strong enough to handle any enemy with no status afflictions.

With no actual difficulty settings, it did feel that the overall gameplay level was set to be relatively easy compared to some earlier Neptunia titles. Veterans will want more of a challenge which can be found in the Neptral Tower dungeon, with randomly generated floors and a boss every ten floors. Here, powerful items can be won and kept if the team survives to that tenth floor, otherwise death in the tower means being kicked out of the tower with no rewards. Both gear and items are severely restricted, making it a true test of skill. Additionally, there is an arena where more tough monsters can be fought, so while Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution offers two areas for those who want a challenge, perhaps having actual difficulty settings within the game would improve variability for those who prefer not to become overpowered through extensive exploration. Neither of these challenge areas are necessary for the main game's completion.

Screenshot for Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution on Nintendo Switch

Neptunia enthusiasts who know the older games the best may find it unusual that quests in Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution are neither given on a board at the guild, nor do they relate to share increases. Instead, they are accepted and reported to people directly within dungeons. Not all locations have quests, but some require extensive searching to locate people, and most involve battling a set number of a specific creature. Interestingly, they don't seem to need defeating in that specific location; it seemed that wherever the creatures are found they can be fought, but on quest completion the original dungeon must be returned to in order to get the rewards which can be a significant number of credits and various items.

Money is essential to upgrade gear and buy items once they are unlocked in the shop; dungeons can hold weapons, but they are not always more powerful than the already equipped ones. Furthermore, money is needed to help increase shares throughout each chapter through putting a commercial in any unlocked territory to advertise Victory's games to more people. The total number of shares do not change the game's ending in Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution, but they impact the end of chapter assessment which is graded and rewarded. This was a fun aspect that along with seeing the map slowly take on yellow for Victory's colour gave a real sense of accomplishment at each of the ten chapters' ends. For more amusement there are accessories to purchase and place on the characters, like an angel halo, various types of wings and tails. This is a recurring feature that has carried over from previous games, as has the appearance change whenever a new weapon is equipped. It is features like these that make a Neppy game feel complete.

A unique aspect to this Neptunia title is the game development section. At the start, one of several classic game genres can be picked to focus on; others can be unlocked with special credits (not the monetary kind) called Company Points, which, if discs are constantly developed, are plentiful. There's no need to panic if being a game developer isn't in a player's skillset, which is the case for most. It is easy to unlock nodes for the genre, mostly using CP but sometimes needing a specific item gained through story progression or developing requested discs that come by email. These have to reach a specific rating to be successful and give a reward. In the early stages failure might happen more than is liked, as the number of creators available to create discs is small and their skillset is low. Making discs slowly increases their skillsets. As the genre is developed more game types within that genre can be created, and in time more slots unlocked for extra creators.

Constantly creating discs is a strategy not only for the creator skill improvement, but the discs themselves can either be sold or a maximum of four can be assigned to each playable character. These provide various skills, like extra credits or experience points per fight, or the ability to automatically trigger the chain link skill when a goddess transformation ends (not always a positive trait to have assigned). Notification of disc completion pops up on screen at any time, they take just a few minutes to make. Reality hits many times in warning notifications when there is an issue that threatens to halt the development process. Thankfully, this is easily fixed with CP. Initially, discs rating is low, but reaching the full five stars feels like such an achievement until later in the game when creators are highly levelled, making five star games almost guaranteed.

Screenshot for Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution on Nintendo Switch

There are a few issues with Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution that sadly do reduce enjoyment for some Nepnep enthusiasts. The addition of puzzles to certain dungeons is welcome, but the puzzle difficulty may prove a struggle to those who are not so logically minded. An early puzzle was so basic, it felt like there was a trick to solving it in the way it was laid out. This made the next puzzle, totally mandatory for progression, infuriating, by spending over four hours to solve it. There was a vague hint of what needed to be done in this instance, but it took a ridiculous amount of time to finish. Another tricky puzzle took two hours to work out, and that one didn't have a hint at all. The range of difficulty within the puzzles was varied, with later ones being mercifully easier and taking mere minutes rather than hours, but there will be gamers who don't have the time to keep the game suspended. This leads to another disliked point: the game could only be saved at save points, and they were not always close to puzzles, forcing partial level replays if users needed a break and didn't want to risk a crash, which happened randomly three times in the 35 hours of gaming.

It would have been useful to have an exit dungeon item, so that when certain areas were traversed before the main story called the team there, a quick out is provided. This is because the boss couldn't be triggered early, making it necessary to backtrack all the way to the dungeon's start, which sometime was a long way away. Mostly, the bike (which only adult Neptune rides) could be ridden for speed, but it does trigger battle if driven straight into monsters. However, in some dungeons, such as those in buildings, there wasn't a bike option available, which made sense as, realistically, driving indoors would cause chaos. Nonetheless, even with a bike, it takes time returning through the meandering corridors to get to the exit. The bike time trials were fun but not mandatory to finish the main story.

Furthermore, the quality of some of the dungeon designs felt lower than the main quest dungeons. It is understandable that tunnels and side dungeons may be plainer as less time is spent in them, but two seemed virtually identical. To make matters worse, aside from the floor and the walls, there were no other objects in these areas compared to the luscious green, tree-filled open areas or the gem-studded caves whose walls sparkled like a galaxy. Additionally, several smaller dungeons had far fewer enemies than others, which made their emptiness and plainer design more noticeable. Some were so well designed they were literally breathtaking; the final chapter's main area was rather brilliantly designed in the way it felt running through as a group, and how the vague puzzle of unlocking various areas was activated. The overall length of Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution is decent in over thirty hours, which did not include doing all the quests or getting the best weapons. The new game plus allows choice of what is carried over, and getting all the quests completed will take a few hours more, especially if the alternate story routes in a few of the chapters are taken.

Screenshot for Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

There is no doubt that that the mostly strong level design, amusing character interactions and intriguing story make Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution a solid entry on Nintendo Switch, especially when having both new and returning music that help with the nostalgic feel for returning fans. It is a shame that there are some unbalanced areas in both design and gameplay that could impact enjoyment for some less skilled players, as overall it is a captivating addition to the well-known and beloved Neptunia series.


Compile Heart


Idea Factory


Real Time RPG



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   


Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.