Super Neptunia RPG is the first in the series to be made in the west and the first to be on a Nintendo console. Is this game a good place to start off the series with? You’ll have to read this review and find out!
Players start the game by controlling the pudding loving and fourth-wall breaking Neptune in the world known as Gamindustri that’s under the control of an organization known as Bombyx Mori. It’s up to Neptune to find out who she is after getting amnesia and to collect what is needed to defeat them. Another character known as Chrome guides her and the allies she make to figure out who they are. Bombyx Mori wants to rid the world of certain games and hides something from the people.
Along the way there are various story sections where some of the dialogue is said over some full screen art and a majority of it is voice acted. It reminds me of a story book without too much wording describing the details, other than trying to reflect the emotions of the characters, so people who do not want to read too much wouldn’t have to worry.
- A Button – Talk/Check/Confirm/Attack
- B Button – Deselect/Jump/Attack
- X Button – Summon (Overworld)/Attack
- Y Button – Attack (Overworld and Battle)
- R Button – Dash/Rotate team clockwise
- L Button – Rotate team counter-clockwise
- ZR Button – Pause mid-battle change option
- ZL Button – Pause mid-battle change option/Speed up battles
- + Button – Pause/Bring up menu
- Left Analog Stick – Move (Overworld)/Selection (Battle and menus)/Activate Break Attack
All of the controls above can be re-checked in the optional tutorials. The controls are very crisp and instant. Loading sections of the game do not seem to take too much of your time.
The overworld is a 2D side-scroller which makes exploring seem more enjoyable to those who do not like getting lost. Players move in two directions in the fairly linear world and choose to accept available quests although some may not be doable because you haven’t unlocked certain overworld abilities or haven’t been to a certain location yet.
Crystals can be found throughout the world of Gamindustri which lets you save your progress. These crystals also teleport you to other areas in the game or allow you to load one of the ten save slots the game provides. However, you can mistakenly load a save file instead of saving your progress if you’re in a rush and not too careful.
Battle phases start off smoothly but as soon as you get farther into the game with more allies, you will notice input lag and voices mid-battle, not on their cue or overlap. You can still play the game but it will help to know your skills in certain formations or you may end up making a fatal mistake. The game has all of the typical stats, items, moves, and abilities you get over time and by gaining experience. During battle, both sides have a gauge that counts up to a max of 12. The number is dependent on how you encountered the enemy and skills consume a portion of the gauge. This adds some real time strategy that isn’t too strenuous to grasp and there’s no timer for battles either as long as you’re alive. If a teammate dies, you can revive them or run away and they get 1 HP so you don’t have to worry about using up certain items. There are also elemental attacks that can be effective/resisted/absorbed and if land an effective hit, your gauge refills faster, speeding up the process and that’s when you may notice some lag.
A majority of the fun comes from selecting your moves and abilities that you get on the battle side of things but if you are in trouble later in a battle and have enough charge, the busted “Break Attacks” can help and hopefully you can end the battle a bit sooner. Later in the game your four main characters can change into Goddess form and their stats increase for a brief amount of time and they have their own “Break Attacks”. You cannot change the effect of the “Break Attacks” and it’s basically just a ton of damage on a singular opponent with some pretty animations.
There are tasks In the overworld that test your platforming and sleuthing skills. The prime example of this is collecting Magic Stones. Some are just floating about but others appear once a switch is attacked. If you fail to collect all the stones that appear once the switch is attacked and the time runs out, they will not add to your total and you’ll have to retry until you collect them all. It can be a pain, but the stones appear in a clear path making sure you don’t stray and waste your time looking elsewhere.
Previous knowledge of RPGs will go a long way with this game. When you first encounter new wild enemies (based on if you go to a new area or reach a certain level), you may need to figure out the effects of statuses that are inflicted upon your characters because if left unchecked, it can result in the death of the character or something less lethal such as slowing you down. You might not have an effective attack on an opponent either so not knowing what skills to use might get you in trouble. In general there’s always a bunch of healing items that can be obtained by defeating enemies so the problem isn’t as bad as it sounds and once you level up enough you won’t have to deal with that problem because you can just plow through enemies. I personally find this portion of the game pretty repetitive but easier than the challenges offered in the platforming section of the game.
Super Neptunia RPG is either a love it or hate it type of game. It tries to be fun with its humor and pulls you in with its variety of characters and situations. It feels like something new but recognizable. There are some minor issues involving errors or small glitches but nothing game-breaking or problematic if you save your progress regularly. The music had a lot of effort put into it and a majority is memorable. The graphics/animations are a huge reason to get the game. However it doesn’t fall into a specific genre where you can compare it to another game you played which could be good or bad. If you want to try something new while waiting for one of your favorite games to release, you’ll enjoy it.
Super Neptunia RPG gets an 8 out of 10.