Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars is a crossover game of two franchises, Hyperdimension Neptunia and Senra Kagura. It’s a “hack n’ slash” action RPG with a cast of cute girls. The story follows the characters from each franchise being from two different warring cities, Heartland and Marveland, that are eventually united against a common enemy.
Purple Heart (Neptunia) and Asuka (Senran Kagura) have been fighting for some time, but throughout each of their daily battles they seem to have become friends rather than enemies. When the Steeme Legion attacks, Neptune is hopeful that they will be able to make peace with Marveland’s Honeypa users and have them team up with the users of the Compa style from Heartland. Initially they are rejected, but as Steeme continues to threaten both cities, a temporary alliance is formed.
Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars has a mix of 2D graphics and 3D graphics. Story sequences are told with 2D art and Japanese voice acted dialogue with English subs to read in a visual novel style. Some of the dialogue sequences can be quite lengthy and it would be nice if there were more than just simple animations on the faces. The action gameplay is 3D and the character models in this mode are really beautiful and fluidly animated. However, the background scenery can be a little bit bland and lower resolution. The standard dungeon enemies are pretty cute, and I feel bad for beating them up sometimes!
When you start a new game, various tutorial sequences will teach you how to play but it can be a bit of an information overload when they come one after another. The controls for battle are fairly simple to use but because this is an action game, there are a lot of button combinations to remember. However, if you have forgotten anything, you can access the Tutorial information from the System Menu. When you access special abilities that consume your Stamina Gauge, you can use these to slow down the battle in an almost turn-based style, as holding down L1 will pause the action until you input the attack from the menu it brings up. I quite like this feature as it gives you a moment to plan the best ability to use against the enemy you are facing.
The game functions from a hub menu and selecting a dungeon to traverse, so you don’t need to spend any time running to a destination. The dungeons themselves aren’t overly long either, so as well as having an auto save, this game is really great to play in smaller sessions. The difficulty ramps up pretty quickly so you may want to grind a few levels by repeating dungeons, such as The Forest to gain experience, items and money. As you progress to the third chapter, you will unlock missions and mini games to give more variety to the levelling process. The difficulty of regular enemies is fairly easy but boss fights can be a lot harder and I found myself barely scraping by.
There’s a lot of equipment that adds stat buffs such as Spirit Gems, Weapons, and Charms. Buying enough to equip all of your team members can get quite expensive at the start, but you only use two characters at a time in dungeons, so you can just focus on setting up who you will be using first. You will begin with the 4 Ninja Goddesses from the Neptunia team available and as you make your way through the game, the girls from Senran Kagura will be gradually added to the party.
Overall, the story is fairly average and didn’t grab my attention but what really makes this game enjoyable are the sexy anime girls and the smooth action battles. If you love action games, then you will like the gameplay that Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars has to offer. For more seasoned JRPG players however, this game may not offer you the depth of story and the freedom of exploration you’ve come to expect from the genre. Existing fans of Senran Kagura and Neptunia will love seeing their favourite girls back in action with the usual light-hearted banter and fan service scenes.
Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars is available on PlayStation 4 now and is also playable on PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility.
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