MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies is the latest installment in the HyperDimension series, once again venturing into hack-and-slash territory as HyperDimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed did. Will it continue to carry the same charm, or will MegaTagmension fall short?
The story takes place in GamiAcademi, a school which the diety-like CPUs utilize to learn and become closer to their people.. Gamicademi is on the brink of closing, as enrollment has plummeted, and the girls are attempting to save it by making a movie to win a film contest and gain enough money to keep GamiAcademi from closing their doors.
Neptune is the head of the school’s film club, initially working on the movie. Blanc is roped into joining the club, on the condition that she can be the writer and director, and soon discovers that Neptune claims to only keep the script in her head so that she doesn’t have to worry about forgetting it.
In response, Blanc points out that the way for others to read it is to simply split Neptune’s head open, prompting her to grab a physical copy for the benefit of the others, but mostly to keep her head intact. Blanc realizes how horrible Neptune’s script is and proceeds to rework it herself.
This in-game movie plot of schoolgirls against zombies (because zombies are awesome and schoolgirls never go out of style) actually comes to life, as real zombies arrive to attack GamiAcademi. Luckily for the low-budget club, this works to their advantage as they simply need to film their real lives.
As you can tell, MegaTagmension follows the series’ course of keeping the plot more silly than serious, which works out for the game.
The game keeps the action-heavy style the franchise is known for, and opts to make things great for bite-sized portions of gameplay. It does this by allowing you to save after each battle and dialogue exchange, allowing gamers to pick up and play at their leisure.
Once you have begun one of the scenes in a given chapter, you will be placed in a small arena with a goal. This goal is typically “Kill x number of enemies” or “kill this specific enemy/boss”. This can honestly become bland after a while, and may wear down on the nerves of some. The short stages work both for and against the game in this sense. They work for the game as it allows the player to more easily pick up and play a quick stage or two before heading back off. It works against the game by not really letting you get into a good action groove, since they typically end in a few minutes (depending on how well you play).
In terms of combat, once again the system is decent. Players can chain together various combo strings, and smart use will allow for some amazing strings. If you step into too large of a horde, you can utilize various special attacks and call in assists from allies who aren’t in the battle. Each one will operate at a different speed and has a cool-down period, so you may need to plan carefully as you use them.
If things become even more dire, you can tag in your second character (each battle allows you to bring two) to cover as the other recovers. You can also, depending on the gauge, transform into the super powerful HDD mode and proceed to lay waste to everything in your path.
The characters (whether knocked out or not) and assists will recover over time, but it can take quite a while to do so.
As with many of the HyperDimension games, it also starts out quite easy (prior to the first boss, and for several stages after, I could get through without being hit by choosing Neptune and hitting triangle constantly), but does get progressively more challenging, particularly when you have to take on 20 or more enemies and then it tops off with a boss. You will then have to change up your strategy, particularly if you became used to utilizing one like I described, and adapt.
Another notable mention is the game’s multiplayer functionality, allowing you to have some mindless fun with some friends online.
You have plenty of characters to choose from in each stage as well, each one featuring a different battle style, so there’s plenty of room for experimentation.
In terms of visuals, they are, as usual, quite good on the PlayStation Vita. The in-battle animation is solid – not amazing, but solid – and the models do look very good.
The music is decent, and the cast, once again, steals the show with their voice acting. They once again manage to deliver the comedic lines in a way that make them better, and their chemistry with each other enhances the effect even more.
Overall, MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies is a decent game, but it does feel like a step down from HyperDimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed. The cast and visuals are fantastic as usual, and it is fun to experiment with the variety of characters, but the small stages to make things feel a bit cramped and enemy reuse can also work against the game and make things feel too similar after a while.
In closing, if you enjoyed HyperDimension Neptunia U, you’ll likely enjoy MegaTagmension.
Final score: 3.5/5