The Hyperdimension Neptunia series hasn't been around long yet there sure are plenty of spin-offs. This Vita exclusive title has you beat on countless zombies as a cast of familiar schoolgirls, but is it a worthy entry in the series?
MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies tells the story of Gamicademi being in financial trouble. In the hopes of attracting more students, our favourite gang of console-themed schoolgirls take it upon themselves to film a zombie movie. You play by fighting in arena-style battles between lengthy (and thankfully humorous) cutscenes. The controls are tight and fully featured with many moves to master. Simply running around unleashing normal and stronger "Billion" attacks is fun on its own but you can also jump and dash out of harm's way, guard, use equipped items, and perform many cool special abilities. These involve pressing combinations of shoulder and face buttons for various powerful blows and EXE Drive and Lily Special attacks. You can also switch to a secondary character, transform into a stronger variation, and call upon a couple of support characters to provide boosts. It takes a while to master all of these features, but once you do; you're in for some thrilling zombie-bashing mayhem.
As with every game in the Hyperdimension universe, you can expect a very funny story full of references and ridiculous moments. The character illustrations are as cute as fans have come to expect with subtle animations and an accomplished sense of style. The in-game graphics are just as pleasant with quirky enemies, colourful environments, and well animated character models. An English voice cast does a fantastic job at giving each character a unique personality while the upbeat music and gratifying sound effects round out the audio. Overall, the sights and sounds of MegaTagmension will be right at home for fans and appeal to newcomers, too.
Besides the story mode, you can take the fight online and play with up to four simultaneous combatants. I found this mode to be the most enjoyable part of the experience because taking down massive foes while cooperating with other Hyperdimension fans is simply awesome. Bringing up a chat menu to hear your girl say a silly line in the middle of battle adds even more fun to the equation. Online missions are unique, too, so you won't see much repeated material from the story mode.
Although playing online is a great deal of fun, the single player content lacks longevity. If you were to skip all of the scenes then you could finish the story mode in a couple of hours. The only thing to do besides that is replay missions to uncover additional content but nothing is really worth the grind. You'll discover new costumes and scenes, level up, purchase accessories and weapons at the shop, and fuse materials to craft update programs that give you boosts. However, acquiring these upgrades is mostly pointless if you already completed the campaign. Therefore, it's probably a good idea to jump straight to the online mode after the credits roll.
They may be fun at first, but the battles get rather repetitive after a while due to the fact that they're very short. Most missions can be completed in under a minute with little difficulty so after playing a few dozen of them, you'll probably start to get bored. My only other complaint is that the camera regularly gets in the way. Even with the lock-on feature, sometimes an enemy will stand in the way thus blocking your entire view. I found myself adjusting the camera every few seconds of gameplay which is a bit too often.
MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies is a welcome spin-off of the Hyperdimension series. Even though it has its issues, there's enough here to love for both fans and newcomers alike.
- + Enjoyable beat 'em up gameplay featuring tons of mechanics, moves, and upgrades
- + Cute and funny story with a great cast
- + Playing online is a ton of fun
- - Battles are way too short and repetitive to have lasting appeal
- - Camera often gets in the way
- - Not enough offline content