General game information
Game name: MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies
Release date: October 3, 2016
Price: US$ 29.99
Genre: Third person action game with light RPG elements
Publisher: Idea Factory International
MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies is a third person action game with light RPG elements set in the Neptunia universe. Players will control different Goddesses (known as CPUs, or Console Patron Units) and gifted students attending the Gamicademi High School, as they attempt to save the school from being shut down, and at the same time, shoot a zombie movie AND deal with a real life zombie epidemic.
The game’s story is full of twists and turns, and gamers who aren’t familiar with Idea Factory’s Neptunia games will probably miss most of the references and winks to previous titles in the franchise (and may feel lost at some points) Series fans may be a bit disappointed, since MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies is a non-canon game, as the title indicates, but I think that the amount of content present in this side game will probably make them forget their disappointment after a while.
As the plot progresses, players will be able to form teams of two characters for each combat encounter, and their choices will also affect some cutscenes, meaning that different character pairings may generate dialog that wouldn’t be the same if the player had chosen other Gamicademi students as their combat team. The cutscenes can be watched again on the game’s Gallery section, and players may want to replay some sections in order to get the different variations.
MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies mixes combat similar of that of a Musou game with light RPG elements. Gamers will enter relatively small combat arenas and face off against hordes of weaker enemies or massive bosses. Each playable character has their own weapons and powerful special moves (which have cooldowns, so players can’t spam them) and gamers may switch to their partner CPU at any time. Aside from the playable Goddesses, there are different support characters which can provide much needed boosts to different stats. Players can use strong and weak attacks, as well as a dash move and a jump, which can be combined with the attack commands to create devastating air to earth combos. As if the normal attacks and the special moves weren’t enough, the playable characters can also transform into a more powerful version of each CPU once the transformation meter is full and perform devastating tag-team attacks.
Beating stages lets the player earn useful items, and there is a rating system that rewards gamers who master the game’s stylish combat. Every playable character can level up and there is a host of different statistics that can be upgraded, such as health, attack power, defense rating, and more. Cosmetic items and new support characters can be unlocked as the game progresses.
Sadly, combat encounters are incredibly brief, with most fights lasting five minutes or less, something that destroys the pace of the action and feels strange, considering that the combat system is very well done. This may be a side effect of the game’s PlayStation Vita origins, as it was originally released for Sony’s portable console. There are also some annoying camera issues, and the lock on mechanic doesn’t always work as it should, something that becomes a fairly big problem when the player is facing a massive boss.
Contrary to what one may expect, MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies‘s online component is actually quite good, with different mission types that reminded me of monster hunting games more than anything else. I had some issues finding players, however. Experience gained in the cooperative mode is shared with the single player campaign, letting gamers take their higher level CPUs into combat if they wish, or level up unused characters. Solo players can also tackle the online mode without assistance, though I wouldn’t recommend doing so. It’s nice that the option is there, but the missions get progressively tougher, and playing alone requires a lot of grinding.
Due to its origins as a PlayStation Vita game, MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies doesn’t look particularly stunning, though it doesn’t look bad either. Character models are very well done, and the combat effects look as good as they should. The same can’t be said about most of the levels, sadly, as the texture work betrays the game’s portable origins. The title’s graphics options are just two, resolution and the choice between fullscreen, borderless windowed mode and standard windowed mode. I didn’t experience any performance issues or crashes.
The game’s audio department fares a lot better, as Idea Factory did an excellent job with that part of MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies. The music is catchy and fits the gameplay, and the voice acting is on point, offering both the original Japanese voices and an extremely well done English dub.
Ultimately, MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies is an enjoyable brawler marred by some annoying camera issues and a barebones PC port. As it stands, the game can be easily recommended to Neptunia fans, and action enthusiasts willing to overlook a few issues will certainly find a lot to love here as well.