Neptunia Virtual Stars Review (PlayStation 4)

Neptunia Virtual Stars Review (PlayStation 4)

Enter Virtualand – a digital world that exists alongside the networks of various dimensions. Within Virtualand lies the planet Emote – a planet faced with extinction due to the maleficent group of Content destroyers known as Antis

Pros:

  • Anime-style graphics.
  • 19.05GB download size.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • Japanese voice work.
  • Controls-can rebinds for v-tuber and goddesses separately, Invert axis and sensitivity sliders. Fixed or free camera control.
  • Text speed options along with skip cutscenes option which can be changed whenever.
  • The excellent soundtrack as always.
  • 3rd person shooter gameplay and is very reminiscent of Space harrier in its movement and feels.
  • Tutorial pop-ups as you play.
  • Tokimeki flash-as you attack an enemy a circle will fill up, fill it and they will get stunned and be unable to do powerful attacks.
  • Goddesses and v-tuber both play differently with goddesses playing it as a shooter and v tubers being more melee-based.
  • Combo counter.
  • The safe area-little pad you can stand in to replenish health and Mana, can also switch characters here and save the game.
  • Executioner finishers can be done to give health and Mana drops.
  • Heart tube-activate to slowly recover health and Mana without using items.
  • Can freely swap between team members and can do so even during a combo attack.
  • Guest connect-play this ability to randomly summon a character from your opposite team.
  • Emotional overdrive is a state that is achieved when your emote gauge fills and activating it makes your attacks stronger.
  • SS boxes-loot chests with a rolling set of icons and what you get depends on the icon shown.
  • A map will show loot boxes, Breakable boxes, and save points, exits, etc.
  • Boss battles revolve around combat but also the beat of the current song as hitting and dodging puts the match in your favor and vice versa. You can change the song to change how it affects the characters fighting.
  • V-cubes-these alter stats and each character can hold 5 at any time.
  • V-make is where you go to equip any found/bought accessories and outfits.
  • Control facility-main hub where you can chat with characters, deal with team management tasks, shop, etc.
  • Transfer gate-entrance to locations and acts as a fast travel point.
  • Can edit the bgm.
  • Virtual memory-shows off all your Collectibles and unlocked movies etc.
  • Decent loading times.
  • Teleport button on the map so you can jump straight back to the entrance.
  • Neotube plaza is like a second hub where you can help rebuild it with new shops, chat with other locals, video battler, and more.
  • Community board-here you can get resident quests for rewards, use Pona coins to do V tuber searches, and get v idol cards.
  • Video battler-turns videos into items.
  • Fields act like a dungeon/location you play in.
  • Replay fields and it will put stronger enemies.
  • Handy fast travel menu for the hubs.
  • Can manually pull the camera in and out.
  • Earn EXP to increase your stats.

Neptunia Virtual Stars Review (PlayStation 4)

Cons:

  • Skipping or fast-forwarding text is not as fast or clear as other games.
  • No difficulty setting.
  • A lot of stories initially so be prepared for many lengthy opening cutscenes.
  • I still don’t understand how the boss fights work and it’s complicated.
  • A lot to take in a lot of the time.
  • Not great performance even on the PlayStation 5.
  • The game doesn’t open up until chapter 3.
  • Feels like you have to actively push yourself to seek out the missions and tasks.
  • Bad feedback on low health or even taking damage.
  • Needless button presses and confirmations.

Neptunia Virtual Stars Review (PlayStation 4)

  • 7/10
    Graphics - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Accessibility - 6/10
  • 6/10
    Length - 6/10
  • 5/10
    Fun Factor - 5/10
6.2/10

Summary

Every now and then a game will come along and baffle me. What I mean by this statement is Neptunia games have always been a good laugh, a bit provocative with the clothing and a bit high pitched with the voices but I’ve never worried about it. Enter the latest installment and it showed brawling and shooting and I honestly thought that was it, I love that stuff so regardless of the wrapper I was looking forward to contents. Unfortunately for me what happened was the game just never stuck to a formula or even make all the many formulas bond into a cohesive experience. You have v tubers and v idols, one does melee damage whilst the others use guns and turns the game into a 3rd person shooter. My first issue pops here as the game doesn’t always let you jump between the two groups but if I die as one I may come back as another? Granted I may have missed the explanation but gameplay-wise it makes no sense and makes combat frustrating as the melee isn’t as strong as I would like and shooting is bland, you can improve both with upgrades but the path to it is a long one that grinds you into submission. The game plays out in fields which is basically just semi-open dungeons. You run around fighting enemies, break boxes and find loot. Sounds alright but it has no mission structure that relates or even describes anything to you so what you are left with is wandering and bewilderment. If you hit enough travel points you eventually get through to a boss fight in its own arena where it uses this music system. As you do attacks or take damage the song bar will go up or down which will determine attack damage of you both, you can change the song to change the whole encounter but again its just not that impactful or clear so boss fights will take ages with loads of zero damage attacks, etc. I tried and tried but never felt like I got anywhere, I built a load of shops and modes in the hub plaza and went back into the fields but I never felt like I was progressing. Combat was just hack and slashy but the enemy leaves were so up and down it would turn from hacky slashy to run the fuck away!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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