Super Neptunia RPG Presents A New Playstyle But The Same Familiar Neptune

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With newcomer Artisan Studios working on Super Neptunia RPG, the latest game in the Neptunia series, it’s clear that some fresh ideas have been brought to the table, but while the gameplay and presentation can partially feel hit-or-miss, Neptune herself is still as familiar as ever – even if she’s lost her memory… again.

 

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In Super Neptunia RPG, the Goddesses find themselves transported to an alternate world version of Gamindustri, one which is much more fantastic, populated by rats, golems, and the like. That said, the main plot once again revolves around games – specifically 2D games vs 3D games. The evil organization Silkworm is oppressing the people and forcing them to make crappy 2D games, games that their leader childish Fylis, loves. In order to bring the citizens of fantasy Gamindustri back the basic rights to make 3D games, Neptune teams up with the mysterious woman Chrome, as well as the other three amnesiac goddesses, as well as the Resistance.

 

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Fittingly, for this plot about 2D vs 3D, rather than rehashing the 3D gameplay style used by the main games, Artisan Studios has opted to bring the gameplay of Super Neptunia RPG into the 2D plane, with beautiful drawn backgrounds, and Valkyrie Profile-inspired gameplay.

Let’s talk about the presentation first – it’s as beautiful as it looks in screenshots, and the music is also a much different fare compared to the rest of the Neptunia series. The soundtrack of Super Neptunia RPG favors a more mellow style, featuring classical instruments rather than the electronic instruments of the main series. That said, in motion the game’s animations look janky, which characters moving like tweened Flash animations in some instances. While the platforming in the game is precise, the animations will throw you off and takes a while to get used to.

 

Like Valkyrie Profile, much of the game is focused around its battle instances, which begin by Neptune running into or attacking an enemy symbol. Neptune and her allies are able to attack as soon as they have the required action points at the bottom right, and strategy comes from how you use those points – who do you use to attack? Actions are done with the face buttons, each which when pressed initiates an attack from the associated party member. One thing from the main games that translates over well into this style is the focus on consecutive attacks, as comboing attacks together with other party members always brought me a rush.

 

That said, there are some things I wish were available, like a Block button. I sorely missed this option from other similarly-styled games like Exist Archive, and it hurt to just take the full brunt of the attacks each time in such an action-oriented system with no way to defend easily. Furthermore, the game essentially is all about pressing weaknesses, and as soon as you learn this, you can easily turn battles into a mashfest as you earn back Action Points when hitting enemies with weaknesses.

 

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Of course, for a Neptunia game set in a new genre for the series, this game is still quite entertaining, even just in the early to mid-game. Part of this is that the Neptunia cast has always been quite well-rounded, and in this game, they have a whole slew of RPG tropes to riff on. The series is at its best when not taking the situation too seriously, and thankfully, that spirit lives on in this game.

 

Yes, there will be filler quests; and combat and gameplay is fun and different from the original, but at the heart of it Super Neptunia RPG is still about its characters and interactions, and in my opinion that earns it its spot in the series.

 

Super Neptunia RPG is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC in North America and Japan. It will come to Europe on June 28, 2019.


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Author
Image of Alistair Wong
Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!