Title: Megadimension Neptunia VII
Developer: Compile Heart
Release Date: July 28, 2020
Reviewed On: Switch
Publisher: Idea Factory
I owe it to the Neptunia series for introducing me niche RPGs back on the PlayStation 3. I find myself still enjoying the series’ quirky take on the video game industry led by the truly enjoyable, perhaps a bit annoying at times, Neptune. Megadimension Neptunia VII was first released on PlayStation 4 in 2016 and is now landing on Nintendo Switch for Nep fans everywhere to take on the go. However, the port seems to be more geared towards those who haven’t played it yet since there’s really nothing new to report.
Megadimension Neptunia VII has a really good story for those with the time to invest themselves in it. The game takes place in three different dimensions that players will visit throughout the narrative. We are first introduced to newcomer Uzume how resides in the Zero Dimension, which has currently gone to hell. Regardless, Neptune and Nepgear show up to lend some help and thus the adventure begins.
As optimistic as Neptune is during many of the story scenes once the game’s antagonist Arfoire and the criminal syndicate AffimaX are introduced things get pretty heavy. The climax of the story builds up these heroes in a way that makes the entire experience worth it as you witness how they overcome world-ending plots.
It’s for this reason that I felt the Switch version is the best way to play Megadimension Neptunia VII. There’s just a lot of story content here and being able to play ingest that little by little while you’re on the go actually works in its favor.
Although the narrative is strong for this entry, the dungeon designs haven’t aged well. Each dungeon is like a maze with similar halls and rooms that will cause you to get lost easily. Very little creativity went into the level design and this makes them almost indistinguishable from each other to the point where you don’t even pay attention to them.
However, the battle system holds up surprisingly well, which made me miss the turn-based roots of the series after more recent entries try new things. Characters approach enemies to land a series of attacks, that players can customize. A skill can also be used that causes high damage but uses SP.
The game also has enemies who have armor. These tougher opponents need their defenses broken before real damage can be dealt. There are also boss battles known as Giant Battles. The only difference here is that characters can be positioned around a boss and must use skills to cause damage. It ends up being fun to watch play out given how cool some of the attacks animations are.
Looking at the Nintendo Switch port, I was actually pretty disappointed. There’s nothing new here for returning fans, which ends up making some initial pain points more significant. There’s a lack of an Auto-Save feature, which sucks if you forget to save before a boss or spend an hour grinding levels without saving and accidentally die.
Also, even though it’s possible to skip attack animations, I feel like the port could have benefited from a speed increase option. Furthermore, I think a more casual difficulty option would have benefited for those who just want to breeze through the gameplay to enjoy the story. Currently, there hasn’t ever been a difficulty option for this game.
As for the Switch version itself, you can expect some frame drops when entering a dungeon along with a longer than usual load times. There is an option in the settings that can help with this, but I didn’t really feel like this hurt my experience overall. Sadly, this does not contain the enhancements found in VIIR.
Megadimension Neptunia VII also has some unique systems within its overworld where players can build routes and explore the different dimensions. Every main quest is marked on the map so you’ll always know where you need to go. Other options include both Japanese and English audio along with the ability to autoplay and skip story scenes.
Megadimension Neptunia VII on Switch is perfect to play through if you haven’t already experienced this entry. The narrative holds up, but the same can’t be said for the dungeon design. The state of the Switch port is lacking modern quality-of-life updates, which does hurt the user experience, but the battle system makes it a decent RPG experience on the go.
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