To start this off, I have never played a Neptunia game prior to this one. I had watched our very own Bryan play VII on live stream a bit back, however that was not enough to truly explain things to me about the world these characters inhabited. I did catch a glimpse of their fourth-wall disregarding and comedic tones, but little else. When I was approached to review MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies, I was very willing to take a dive into the magical world of this popular series I had little exposure to, and I enjoyed my stay at Gamicademi.
MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies is a spinoff from the main series in which Blanc is granted the role of main character. The game places us at Gamicademi, which we learn early on in the game that it is closing. It is then up to our all-girl cast to revitalize interest in the school by making a student film about a zombie outbreak. Little do they know, an actual zombie outbreak is occurring. Intrepid heroes that they are, they take the opportunity to clear the outbreak and get some great footage for their movie along the way. The storyline is solid enough, with lots of humor and occasional fan-service comments thrown in to keep things just only slightly perverse. While I won’t go into where the story goes from there, I will say that the climax kind of comes and goes without a lot of pow and/or wow. Yes, that’s a new thing so get used to it. Pow and Wow.
AND THE PROM IS TOMORROW!
The gameplay is presented in story segments, battle segments and menu navigation. Why mention menus? Because you will spend a lot of time on them. The story segments come by with (mostly) every “scene” of the game and like other entries in the series give you (mostly) still portraits and full voice acted dialogue. The dialogue in the main story mode is English, but take a trip into the online mode and you will find that the “story” there is presented in Japanese. Most people won’t have a problem with that, I just find it slightly disorienting to go from one extreme to another in a couple of button presses and menu choices that don’t explicitly say “Language”. But, to each their own.
While there isn’t a lot more to say about the story, I can drone about the battle segments for hours. The first time I saw a screenshot of battle scene, I immediately thought it reminded me of Dynasty Warriors. When I actually got into the game, I still felt that way, however I’m pretty sure that Dynasty Warriors had a more varied enemy set to fight. If memory serves, I believe I saw no more than 5 enemy types and a reskin of each of those types. The same “boss” enemies show up multiple times as well. The fights themselves have conditions you need to pass before completing them such as “Kill X number of zombies”, “Defeat the boss zombie”, which will only spawn after a certain number of small-timers are defeated. I know I just wasn’t paying attention when the game taught me how to do special moves. I wasn’t able to figure it out until halfway through the game. The instructions on battle were presented in a still-shot retro instruction booklet style where they try to fit as much information onto a single page at once. Up to that point in the game, it almost presented a challenge, but was still far too easy, even with me not using specials. Once I figured it out, the rest of the game basically became me fighting long enough to transform into Purple Heart (Oh, the characters all transform into “Goddess” mode as well. They gain a lot of powerful new abilities and lose a lot of clothing in the process) then the rest of the fight is a breeze. You can also select a 2nd “tag” character that you can switch to at any point during the battle. There are also special attacks that can be done with your partner as well when your special gauge is full enough.
I think this means that you’re screwed.
In the beginning of the game, you start with Neptune and then Blanc as your playable characters. As you progress through the story, you unlock other favorites such as Noire, Vert and Peashy. By the time I had unlocked another character, Blanc and Neptune were largely overpowered, so I had just stuck with them. After a while, I spent some time upgrading Noire, and then she and Neptune were my mains for the rest of the game. Some characters never even saw a costume change let alone a battle. Oh, there are unlockable costumes and accessories for the characters as well. Not a whole lost of costumes, but just enough to make your character look normal, or make you feel like you will have the FBI knocking on your door, if you know what I mean. I think the only thing I put on Neptune was sunglasses, on her arm. Yeah, that’s a thing too.
The voice acting was really well done as far as I was concerned, all of the voices fit in with the character they were playing. Maybe it was just the character herself, but I found Blanc’s actress to be a little dull sounding. This either makes her good or bad depending on which it is. The music was wholly underwhelming, so there isn’t really a lot to say about it. I didn’t spend a lot of time with the Japanese language option. Had I done so, I wouldn’t be able to grade it given my lack of understanding of their fine language.
Up to 4 players can tackle the online mode together with any character of their choosing.
Graphically, the game looked very good as a whole with the character portraits and backgrounds well drawn and vibrant. When you get into the battle segments, Everything still looks great. The only issue I encountered was with the constant repeating enemy palette swaps and uninspired and oft-repeated locales for fighting.
When all is said and done, I enjoyed the game enough to see it through to the end of its story line. There are multiple paths to take at key points in the story, however by the time I had gotten to a point where I could approach these alternate takes, I was kind of worn out on the constant cycle of Story > Menu > Fight > Repeat. Don’t get me wrong. Yes, it was frustrating. I still heavily enjoyed it though. I even went onto the PSN to find out what other games in the series I could get my hands on so that I could spend just a little bit more time with the characters I had just dropped a few good hours into. Or, maybe it was just to spend more time with Purple Heart. Yeah, that must be it,