Sunday, September 11, 2016

Megadimension Neptunia VII (PC) Review

Megadimension Neptunia VII (V-two, not seven) is a game I reviewed on the PS4, and like many other Idea Factory, Intl. games, has also been ported to PCs and is for sale on Steam.  The game was originally three smaller games that got compiled into one, with each smaller game now becoming a story arc for its full release.

Dungeon and battle controls are largely the same.  You walk and jump around the dungeon areas, and if you make contact with an enemy walking around, you will enter battle.  Battles are turn based, and when it is your turn, you can move around a set area to attack enemies with your combos.  What has changed, though, is one of the attack types.  The break attacks and break meters from previous games have been removed, with a 'standard' attack joining the 'rush' and 'power' ones to form your combo.  For better or worse, the number attacks you can use in a combo is defined by your weapon and not character level or skill.  Personally, I'm not a fan of that particular change, since stronger weapons may not be better at all, or even worse because you are losing out on full attacks for an increase in damage.

Another big change to the game is the overworld map.  Before you just selected the place either from a list or by moving a cursor, but now there are paths that you follow.  Paths are basically connected dots, with a fight possible on most dots.  Towns restore your health just by walking on them, so you don't have to actually enter the town menu to get healed.  The towns also offer shops and other functions that you will need throughout the game.  Sometimes the roads Neptune travels have to be built to connect, allowing you to travel there.

For all of my PC port reviews, I like to see how the game runs on my PC.  I have an Intel Core i7-4790, 3.60 GHz with 16 GB of ram, and the game ran fine for the most part.  It ran smooth, and loaded quickly.  The only area that was suspect was the victory and level up poses after battle.  They seemed a little choppy.  I don't know if that is because of the game, or my system or maybe even intentional, but the framerate was noticeably lower just in these parts.  Other than that, I didn't encounter any problems in the few hours I ran the game, and it looked just as good as the PS4 release.

The three arcs of the game give a good story length, though there will of course be times when you will need to grind.  Still, the game is a fun RPG, and a definite play for fans of the Neptunia franchise.

The Good:
Really mixes things up with the three arc story, and the new characters are pretty cool.  Bosses feel less tedious with the removal of the break meter.

The Bad:
Scouts can increase the difficulty of the enemies in dungeons, with no way to turn it off like the old blueprint system.  Combo length is tied to the weapons, and not the characters.

The SaHD:
The special attacks of the Gold Third characters are all pretty awesome.

(Review code for Megadimension Neptunia VII was provided by the publisher)

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