The four goddesses have been on many memorable adventures since their debut back in 2010. This time around, you can interact with them in virtual reality but does this new feature make purchasing Megadimension Neptunia VII again worth it?
What the heck is VIIR?
Before starting the review, I figured I should clear up a couple questions that a lot of gamers probably have about Megadimension Neptunia VIIR. Back in 2012, Idea Factory and Compile Heart released Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory as the third game within the main series. A few years later, a sequel titled Megadimension Neptunia VII came out. That's right; it's "V-2", not "7". Anyway, Megadimension Neptunia VIIR is a remake of sorts that features VR support, rebalancing, and a few additions to the core gameplay. As seen in the past, these remakes can be substantially better or a bit of a letdown. Thankfully, VIIR adds enough to delight hardcore fans but those who already own Megadimension Neptunia VII and aren't dying to jump back into its delightful world might not find it worth buying yet again.
Is PlayStation VR required?
No it isn't. In fact, the only parts of the entire game that use PlayStation VR are short scenes known as "VR Visits" that take place in your virtual living room. To be clear, these scenes can be enjoyed without the use of a VR headset as well. Anyway, in these scenes, the goddesses enter your room via a portal then do something silly like show off their game collection, eat snacks, or talk about philosophical issues. Once, one of them asked me if I wouldn't mind if they tried a game on my console and I said "No" as in "I wouldn't mind" and she was disappointed that I said no. Hey, I didn't mean that! It's silly stuff and doesn't have any sort of impact on the core game which is kind of disappointing as they could have done so much more with PlayStation VR support.
An adventure in 3 parts
With those questions out of the way, let's get to the review! For those who never played Megadimension Neptunia VII, allow me to say that it's one huge and satisfying adventure. For starters, it takes place within three distinct parts. The first part (Zerodimension Neptunia Z: Twilight of the Desperate CPU) is a bit dark and desolate. It helps you thoroughly understand the core mechanics of battle and party management as you journey through a dilapidated city with Neptune, Nepgear, and Uzume.
When you complete that portion, you'll begin the second section (Hyperdimension Neptunia G: The Golden Leaders, Reconstructors of Gamindustri) where you can choose between the four goddesses and play through each of their scenarios. Believe it or not, this section introduces a ton of gameplay features as the world truly begins to open up. You'll meet a lot of familiar characters, explore an array of memorable dungeons, and enjoy plenty of humorous scenes (including a few risqué scenes with barely covered boobs). It's fun stuff and this middle section really shines with humour and delightful personalities that are portrayed by a fantastic English voice cast.
Finally, you'll begin the third portion (Heartdimension Neptunia H: Trilogy Finale: Into Legend) where you'll journey to rescue the goddesses who have been kidnapped. Things start to get a bit serious in this chapter and even the villains from the previous section (members of Gold Third) join your side. From there, things escalate and you'll eventually watch one of two different endings.
Character progression done right
One thing that Megadimension Neptunia VIIR accomplishes very well is feature oodles of ways to customize your characters. On top of levelling up and equipping better gear, you can also craft items, increase the rank of equipment using catalysts, and create custom discs that have attributes of video games. Each character also has relationships with the other characters in the form of Lily Rank and can perform cooperative attacks with them in battle. Speaking of which, skills can be purchased and there are a ton of them which gives you a great deal of options when it comes to honing your party into monster-slaying machines.
Besides just growing your party, the world map also contains some rewarding mechanics. For starters, you can create shortcuts between locations which is both handy and innovative. Also, you can invest in various aspects of a city such as commerce, industry, and public relations in order to earn items and have the shop sell more stuff. Finally, each town's guild contains a collection of quests that you can try and complete in order to earn loads of bonus cash as well as some nifty items. There's definitely a lot to do.
Nep-Nep puts up a fight
Finally, I should discuss the battle system. It should be very familiar if you played any mainline Neptunia game as you take turns moving your characters around an arena and unleashing attacks that have the potential to damage multiple foes. Of course, you can give monsters a whack within the impressively large and detailed dungeons in order to gain an upper-hand. As you fight, you'll have to juggle between attack combos and defensive skills in order to emerge victorious. There is an AP system in place where you spend points to perform actions so optimizing each character's turn is key to success. Whether you're unleashing flashy special or cooperative skills, transforming into your HDD Form, or strategically using items; it's a solid battle system that can be rather rewarding.
All of that being said, I found the majority of the campaign to be super-easy. Whenever I happened to get a game over (which only occurred a couple of times), it was because I was being complacent. I usually overcame these segments immediately after equipping better stuff and using upgrade points wherever I could. So, if you're looking for a hardcore JRPG then this will likely disappoint.
Megadimension Neptunia VIIR is possibly the best game in the series. It may be a remake of a game that came out only a couple of years ago but there's enough here to delight both hardcore fans and newcomers alike.
- + Huge adventure in three distinct parts with a large cast of familiar characters
- + Rewarding in-depth character growth
- + Great humour and English voice cast
- - Might not be worth getting if you played Neptunia VII and aren't a huge fan
- - Most of the campaign is pretty easy
- - VR aspect is a bit underwhelming