In Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online, the CPUs and CPU candidates are fortunate enough to be the beta testers for 4 Goddesses Online, This means you get Neptune, Nepgear, Noire, Uni, Blanc, Ram, Rom, and Vert pretty early on to use in a four-person party. But, since it is based upon an imaginary MMO, the characters are based upon iconic RPG classes. This gives us a reason to choose between different parties and rely on the different attributes each person can bring to the table. Some of the characters are fantastic for dealing damage to enemies. Others are there for ranged attacks or support. It all comes down to what you need at the time and who you like.
Neptune is probably the best character you can have in a party. She’s a paladin, which essentially means she is a tank with healing skills. She’s the most well-rounded character in the party. This means she may not do the most damage per second, but her high defense and ability to keep combos up and help break opponents are invaluable. She’s the most practical person, and I wholeheartedly recommend leaving her in your party at all times.
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online isn’t hurting when it comes to damage-dealing characters. I really like Uni a lot, as she is the thief that uses pistols to deal neutral, ranged damage to opponents. She is great for helping Neptune build combos and continually deal damage to opponents. Noire doesn’t seem to deal as much damage per second as Uni, but does deal more general damage when she does hit, making her another strong contender for a party. Nepgear is good to bring in when you need that elemental magic for ranged attacks, with good damage per second. I really like having Neptune and Noire around, since they compliment each other well, occasionally having either Uni or Nepgear in as the ranged attacker.
You’ve probably noticed I’ve neglected to mention Ram and Rom. The former is a ninja and the latter a samurai. They’re both good characters. The former is about somewhat ranged attack and dealing damage per second, but I feel like Uni is better when it comes to ranked attacks to help build up combos. This is because she can attack from a greater distance. With Rom, I feel like she’s there for people who would rather not use Neptune. She is a tank who is there to deal damage. If someone likes both of them, they could substitute Neptune and Uni for them easily and not really miss out too much.
Then, there are the support characters. These are the ones that are going to be providing buffs and healing the party. Vert is my absolute favorite for keeping people alive and protecting them. Blanc is a better healer, what with her actually being a priest, so she’s helpful when you really need to focus on keeping everyone at their peak and alive. Of the two, I feel like Vert is the best to have on hand, due to her versatility and power, though people will definitely find a use for both.
Really, party choice can come down to favoritism. The way Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is designed, you could probably get away with various combinations. People who love both Blanc and Vert could have both in the party, and would just need to make sure they had strong damage dealers, like Neptune, Noire, or Rom, who could stay close and let Blanc and Vert keep their distance. (This means the starting party, which consists of the four CPUs, is quite viable!) People who like the CPU candidates may have issues with healing, but could probably rely on the four of them to get by. While I rely on Neptune, Noire, Vert, and either Nepgear or Uni, since I feel like they are the strongest. But if I wanted to go with characters I thought had the best design, I could go ahead and use Ram, Rom, Blanc, and Neptune.
There are a few downsides to Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online’s system. I mean, it is great that you initially have eight characters to choose from in the game. Especially since they have different specialties. But switching between them is a pain. There is no hotkey to swap, which means you have to head back to the menu to change your leader. This can be a bit frustrating, especially when so many other hack-and-slash games do allow you to swiftly swap on the fly to gain access to the skills you might need or want in the moment.
Also, characters who are not currently in your party do not earn experience. There does come a point in the game where you will eventually get some heroines that, frankly, can make some other characters look a little lacking. But early on, you may find situations where you will may want two tanks or multiple mages. Knowing that you will then need to bring that character back out and grind to get her up to snuff isn’t exactly encouraging. I sometimes felt like I might as well stick with the party I liked most, since they were all at an even level.
Getting to have all of the CPU and CPU candidates in a new beat’em up is quite an entertaining thing. You can put together quite the party and grind your way through what can sometimes feel and look like a MMO. Each of the heroines brings something special to the table. Which is nice, since it means you can have a balanced party to address most issues. It would be even better if you could quickly switch your leader character in the middle of a fight or have inactive characters growing when they aren’t around. Still, it can be a lot of fun to send them out to save the day. The only things I would absolutely recommend is having one close-range attacker, like Neptune, and a dedicated healer and supporter, like Vert or Blanc, on hand to make things easier. But really, almost anything could work if you put enough effort into making sure your favorite characters are prepared.
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is available on the PlayStation 4.