Despite being a fan of RPGs, my experience with Megadimension Neptunia VII was brief when it originally released. Sure, I plunged a few hours into the game, but not enough to get really invested in its tale, its mechanics, or the world it takes place in. Being a sucker for PlayStation VR though, I simply had to play through the remastered release of Megadimension Neptunia VIIR. Bringing with it the original game with new graphical and gameplay improvements, it also introduced a new virtual reality segment too – I just had to check it out.
Unfortunately, the virtual reality additions left me a little disappointed, but I did at least really enjoy my time playing through the main game.
Megadimension Neptunia VIIR has a pretty odd tale that sees characters subtly based upon console manufacturers (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and even SEGA) interacting within a virtual world. Whilst living in a time of peace (I bet they even have cross-play), they end up playing a new game console that sees them get sucked away into a place known as the Zero Dimension. Here, they meet new characters and learn of a deadly threat that could affect everyone…
The story is exactly the same as when the game released the first time, so you shouldn’t expect anything different there. It’s an enjoyable little tale that isn’t afraid to break the fourth wall or make stupid jokes, so it’ll certainly keep a smile on your face – just don’t expect some epic narrative like the kind you’d see in the likes of a Final Fantasy game. There are a lot of visual novel-like sequences too, so I hope you like reading. Fortunately, some good voice work helps keep you invested in these moments either way.
The biggest addition that comes with Megadimension Neptunia VIIR is the virtual reality integration, which is admittedly a little bit hit and miss. You won’t be playing the main game in virtual reality, but instead go to your own little room where you can interact with the heroes of the game. These interactions are normally small conversations where you respond with the shake or nod of your head so there isn’t a whole lot to them, though seeing the characters up close can look impressive. Other than that, you’ll only really be decorating your room with the things you find throughout the game.
I’m sure those who have more of an affinity with the series will be able to appreciate this a bit more, but for me it was a little underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, the virtual reality sections looked good, but given that they were meant to be one of the main hooks of Megadimension Neptunia VIIR, I was a little disappointed to find them so limited.
Oh, and it is probably worth noting that when playing the main game, it’s played like a normal ‘flat’ game on PlayStation VR – you’ve got a big screen in front of you where all of the action takes place. This always impresses me and I like the sense of scale felt with it, but the lower resolution it offers can be a bit of a bummer.
One of the other core additions to the game is the improved visuals, which is something I certainly noticed. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing that’s absolutely jaw dropping, but you can see that some areas of the world not only have a lot more detail when compared to the original release but are also more vibrant with colour. The character and enemy models look great too, especially when you’re unleashing some of each character’s more spectacular moves in the giant boss battles.
Outside of progressing through the story, most of your time in Megadimension Neptunia VIIR is spent battling enemies. The game features turn-based battling, with enemies and the player’s party taking it in turns to move across a circular battlefield, all whilst performing actions or attacks that are unleashed on a specific range displayed in front of each character. It’s simple and effective, though the game has a few neat ideas that spice it up a little.
One of these comes with the different power points of your characters, with AP, SCP and ACP determining what you can and can’t do per turn. There are also different types of skills to use too, with ‘defensive skills’ and ‘item skills’ allowing you to take a more tactical approach where you’re not just unleashing attack after attack upon your enemies. That being said, there are plenty of different attacking options in place too, and some of them are pretty impressive to look at in-game. However you decide to approach battling, it’s always fun and very easy to pick up.
The only real issue I had with the game’s battling was that it could be a little bit too easy at times. A lot of encounters I had saw enemies go down without much of a fight, whilst the fact that you recover your health automatically between fights ensures you’re never carefully rationing healing items. The battles are entertaining enough and there’s certainly fun to be found from taking a tactical approach as you unleash hordes of calculated attacks upon your enemies, but don’t really expect to feel a genuine challenge from them – oh, unless they unexpectedly decide to spam all of their attacks on one character in quick succession (it happens).
Outside of battling, you’ve got your typical RPG dungeon exploration and plenty of side quests to go through. Most of these are entertaining enough and add to the experience, though some of the dungeons were a little guilty of being a bit bland in design. There’s also plenty of treasure to be found, items to gather, and even a crafting system in place, so you can keep yourself busy by simply improving your characters’ equipment as you progress through the game. Megadimension Neptunia VIIR has all the hallmarks in place for it to be an enjoyable RPG.
Maybe my lack of experience with the series and the original release of the game meant I couldn’t appreciate all of the changes made to Megadimension Neptunia VIIR, but I could appreciate that it was an accessible and enjoyable RPG. I had a lot of fun, with the charming story keeping me hooked into what was going on and the entertaining battling adding a few thrills throughout.
It was a little bit guilty of being too easy at times and the virtual reality elements were a little underwhelming, but for the most part everything about Megadimension Neptunia VIIR comes together nicely to make for a neat RPG.
Developer: Idea Factory, Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory
Release Date: Out Now
Platform(s): PlayStation VR (Reviewed), PlayStation 4