Developer: Complie Heart
Publisher: If Idea Factory
Platforms: PS4, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 05/03/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Neptunia Virtual Stars, where do I start here? I am a massive Neptunia fan and played all the games, and this one is a far cry for the best. I am all for experimenting with games, especially when a game is based in a video game universe, but at least make it less repetitive. More so when it is to celebrate the 10th anniversary on the Neptunia franchise.
Neptunia Virtual Stars has the four Goddesses of the Gamindustri world being dragged in to another adventure to save the world of Virtualand from the evil Antis. With the help of of real world Vtubers. *A Vtuber is a youtuber that uses an anime style avatar.
It sets the gameplay for Neptunia Virtual Stars up like most Neptunia game, a ton of exposition and world building, dungeons, more exposition, bosses and so on. With all of Compile Heart games, the narrative is fantastic, funny and deeper than it seems at first. However, it is not normally the highlight of the games itself. Here it is by far the best aspect of the game. This is a real shame, as normally the gameplay is fun and solid. With this installment there was the potential for the gameplay to be great but here it was just repetitive and get old fast.
The gameplay has two styles: 3rd person shooter and hack-and-slash, with the ability to change to any Goddess and Vtuber when needed. Changing the Goddess you control makes the gameplay only slightly different from each other. Neptunia is a mid range attacker, Noir uses a plasma cutter style gun, Vert has a sniper that shoots 3 shots and Blanc has a charge up attack. Each however is hold down shoot and move. The Vtubers have hack-and-slash gameplay, that is as basic as the shooting, attack, heavy attack dodge and charged attacks.
None of the two styles of gameplay feel fleshed out or fun. The Goddesses are as good as untouchable with their long range attacks and chopping down the Antis is just as unsatisfying. The gameplay is bland and unpolished.
Neptunia Virtual Stars has plenty of side quests and extra activities to keep you busy like all good RPGs have. Not to mention the myriad of Vtubers you will be introduced to. I only knew of one Vtuber until I played this. Most of the Vtubers do not play a major role in the game, but will pop up during loading screens and on screen in dungeons. It is really well done how they mixed the actual world and game world together.
Within most long-running series you find there is at least one or two black sheep in the family, and here we have Neptuina’s. Neptunia Virtual Stars seems like they rushed it out for the anniversary rather than making a fun, enjoyable game. Neptunia Virtual Stars was just boring and not fleshed out. It is not bad, it’s just average if you compare to the rest of the games it is bottom of the pile.
I would wait for a massive sale on this if you are a Neptunia fan, as it is easy the worset game so far.