In a weird way the Hyperdimension Neptunia video games remind me a little of the One Piece anime. Both properties contain an abundance of great characters – shame then that an annoying protagonist fronts each series. Given my low threshold for buffoonish leads, it’s great to see that Idea Factory is contracting third party developers to make spin-off Neptunia titles. First up was Noire’s excellent strategy RPG Hyperdevotion Noire and now Blanc gets a moment in the spotlight courtesy of MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies. Blimey, what’s up with Japan’s fondness for overly elongated video game names?
MegaTagmension Blanc takes place in an alternate universe where the CPU goddesses attend a human high school. Despite boasting a student body that contains cute anthropomorphic console girls, Gamicademi is in danger of closure due to an enrolment shortage. If this were Love Live our heroines would try to save the academy by forming a pop group. Film club president Neptune has other ideas though. She will attract new pupils to the institution by filming a horror movie scripted by her partner in crime Blanc. Makeup and props can be expensive, but fear not because the CPU filmmakers can simply record scenes by smacking the real life zombies presently besieging the school!
Gameplay wise MegaTagmension Blanc resembles Senran Kagura Estival Versus, which should come as no surprise given that Tamsoft coded both titles. The only difference between the two is that in one game you smack easily disrobed ninja girls whilst in the other you assault undead hordes. The simple to grasp combat boils down to executing combos, achievable by pressing the square and triangle buttons in a particular order. With each successful strike a character’s SP meter charges up. Once enough SP has been accumulated you’ll be able to perform special attacks or transform into a mightier spandex clad alter ego. If things get dicey players can tag out their injured character and replace them with a reserve, giving the hurt lady time to recuperate from the sidelines.
Looking back through my review archive I note that I previously gave Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed a score of three and a half stars. I will award MegaTagmension Blanc the same rating, as both games are essentially the same. Technically speaking MegaTagmension Blanc is the superior of the two thanks to its larger roster of playable characters, smarter boss AI and a story boasting more plentiful cut scenes. I wouldn’t want to give Blanc four stars though, given that the twelve-part campaign only lasted me a single day. Short levels that can be cleared within minutes and a lack of difficulty make the thirty quid asking price hard to justify. I could have bought sixty delicious eggplants with that money.
Most players will find MegaTagmension Blanc’s repetitive combat and woefully short story to be underwhelming, but I can still recommend the game to diehard Hyperdimension fans (once it gets discounted.) Even if the gameplay lacks depth there is fun to be had watching the Neptunia girls act in a terrible horror movie. Blanc better not quit her day job because the script she penned makes Troll 2 look like a work of art. The inclusion of a multiplayer mode redeems the game in my eyes. Playing with others makes the zombie slaying more enjoyable, plus you can solo the multiplayer stages – giving the title some much needed challenge and longevity. MegaTagmension Blanc isn’t anything special, but it’s arguably the second best Neptunia spin-off ever. Depending on your opinion of the franchise that alone may make it worth a purchase.