The Neptunia series is one that took me by complete surprise when it debuted back in 2010 as Hyperdimension Neptunia. After achieving commercial success as a trilogy, the Neptunia series saw its fair share of spinoff titles like Action Unleashed and MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune alongside its revival with the Re;Birth games. Showing little to no signs of slowing down, Compile Heart and Idea Factory are back with their latest instalment: Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online on Steam shortly after its original release on the PlayStation 4.
Gamindustri has long been protected by the Four Goddesses: Neptune, Noire, Vert and Blanc who have saved the world from destruction time and time again. The goddesses venture into the popular online game called 4 Goddesses Online, where their prestige and stature is held in the highest esteem, as they are chosen to be its beta testers. Meeting Bouquet, the guardian spirit guide, they quickly learn of the impending threat of the Demon King and set forth to revive the Goddesses of Legend. To change things up, each of them takes up a different class to explore the different roles than what they are accustomed to in the fantasy world of Alsgard.
Much of your time is spent completing quests to progress through the main storyline and bolster your guild ranking. The Hub City, Wishuel is where you can converse with NPCs and check out the Guild Facility, Pierre’s Emporium, the Bulletin Board, Cathedral, Gem Shop, Blacksmith and more. Traversing the open world allows you to kill monsters, grind and obtain experience with plenty of humorous dialogue to keep you entertained. As expected, battles in this game are real-timed, action based instead of turn based combat. You can map character skills to assigned buttons and use various tactics for your party members prior to engaging your enemies on the open field. Compared to its predecessors, the combat feels much more fluid and intuitive as there are tons of strategies you can deploy to subdue the bigger and bad monsters. The conversations are often a hit and miss affair as some lines feel labored while others are cheesy and comedic. Players new to the series need not fret as there is plenty of dialogue to bring you up to speed on current events as well as the relationship quirks and nuances that exist between the Four Goddesses.
One of the things the Neptunia series is known for is its wacky and often quirky humor. Cyberdimension is no exception in this regard as there are plenty of references to capture the hearts and attention of its loyal fanbase and more. The game rarely takes itself seriously with plenty of jabs and jokes thrown at the abundant tropes seen throughout your adventures. No expense is spared to make players feel right at home with its clever dialogue and random conversations. You have the option of playing with three A.I. party members or partnering up with three other players online to bring the virtual MMO experience to life. The option to swap players is another added touch that series’ fans are sure to welcome as the Four Goddesses have their own unique fighting styles. Be aware that switching to a different character that was not actively part of your previous quests will require you to grind to give them the necessary EXP to bring them up to speed with the stronger team members.
As expected, the game’s visuals are its strong suit with vibrant character designs and colorful environments. With a variety of character gear and accessories, there is plenty to see and do as you traverse the open fields and explore all that Wishuel has to offer. The minimum system requirements are moderate without requiring a hefty PC gaming rig to run the game smoothly. Much of the complaints have surfaced around the netcode with many players experiencing severe lag issues and region locks when diving into the multiplayer modes on Steam. The soundtrack is whimsical and catchy and suits the game well with Japanese and English audio voiceovers. Communication via Normal and Ex Chat adds to the immersion that you are inside a fully living and active MMO world.
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is a return to form for the Neptunia series. The game provides fans with a solid gameplay experience that reminds them of what they cherish most about the series as a whole. Although the online multiplayer mode needs considerable tweaking and improvement, Cyberdimension at its core with its hack and slash combat and quirky humor is exactly what fans have come to know and love about Neptunia games. The Four Goddesses await you!
PROS (+): Engaging Combat, Vibrant Visuals, Quirky Humor
CONS (-): Online Multiplayer Experience
SCORE – 8.0/10
This review is based on a review copy of Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online on Steam provided by Idea Factory International.