Super Neptunia RPG E3 Impression
Super Neptunia RPG is the first Neptunia game to be developed outside of Japan, being worked on by a team in Canada, but proudly carrying on the NepNep tradition. Neptunia has fallen out of the sky and lost her memory (that’s definitely never happened before) and landed in a dimension where 2D reigns supreme — in fact, 3D devs get banished to the trial grounds! Those who remain are encouraged (or forced) to make 2D RPGs as a sort of tax.
I got a small taste of the story, which immediately sent me out on a quest to collect taxes. I also picked up a small side quest to defeat an enemy that will be well known to Neptunia fans old and new: the Doggoo! Unlike previous Neptunia games, cities aren’t just menus; they are fully explorable, with buildings to enter and multiple paths to explore.
There’s a ton of detail put into the game — the backgrounds are simply gorgeous. It’s sometimes hard to tell at first when you can “jump” from the foreground into the background and go up into a new part of the scenery! Practice will make perfect, but in experimenting with where to jump I found numerous secret areas and found some treasure chests and even additional NPCs to talk to, which made the exploration even sweeter. Speaking of “sweet,” Neptune has acquired the ability to summon Pudding Doggoos. She can jump onto these sweet summons, which when combined with her double jump leads to extra exploration opportunities.
Once I headed out into the wilds, I could jump and platform to my 2D heart’s content, as long as I kept my eye out for enemies. I could strike them with my sword for an advantage, much like typical Neptunia titles. However, from there combat diverges entirely. Each Goddess is assigned a face button — I was playing on PS4, so these were circle, cross, square, and triangle. When I pressed the button associated with a Goddess, she attacked, and the stamina meter at the bottom right depleted the amount associated with that Goddess; when the stamina meter ran out, I had to wait for it to slowly fill back up to continue attacking.
The formation of my party was also important – which Goddess was in front dictated what kind of attacks my party did. If Neptune was in front (as she deserved to be!) my party was full-on offense. But if Blanc was the party leader, her attacks instead became heals. If another Goddess was in front, their attacks became magic. Every Goddess is associated with an element as well, so deciding who should be in front as well as which attacks should be used is a very important strategy in the heat of combat.
Super Neptunia RPG is going to jiggle into our hearts this fall, landing on both the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. As the game will have both Japanese and English voices as well as both French & English subtitles, I can’t wait to get my hands on it and indulge in more 2D action.